‘‘Where do you come from?’’
When people used to ask me this question I didn’t really know what to say. I could tell them that I’m from Romania, but I was too young to remember my time there. I could say I’m from Turkmenistan, but I don’t think that living there for two years means I’m actually from there. I could say I’m from Poland, but again is that really the case? I could try explaining that my mom is from Turkey and my dad is from Germany, but this doesn’t answer the question either.
So no, by no means did I have a straight answer to this question until about five years ago. Did I feel out of place sometimes? Yes. Was I jealous of all the people who knew where they came from and had lived in one place their entire lives, being able to keep their friends by their sides? Maybe sometimes, but mainly no. I loved my life, I loved travelling, and I liked moving to new places every few years. I felt at home anywhere and the question ‘‘where do you come from?’’ ceased to matter at some point.
Then everything changed and my life was turned upside down. When my dad died of a heart attack I felt as if half of my home had been destroyed. To me home had never really been a building or a place; it had been my mom and my dad. They were the only constants in my life, no matter where we went and how much our surroundings changed; it was always the three of us together. But once half of my home had been ripped away from me I felt more lost then I had ever felt in my life.
That is until me and my mom moved to what I could call my roots. We moved to Ankara, the place my mom had grown up in, but hadn’t been calling home for quite a while now. Sure for the first few years it wasn’t exactly home, I didn’t feel complete without my dad, but at some point I got used to Ankara. I don’t know when exactly or how many years after we moved there I finally started calling it home, but eventually I did. We moved houses once, but for 8 whole years I lived in the same city. It was the longest time I had ever spent in one country and I did feel the urge to move, but I was also happy and glad to finally have an answer to the question ‘‘where do you come from?’’
This year I started university in Wales and people have been asking me ‘‘where do you come from?’’ a lot and for the first time in my life I feel like I can give them a sincere answer. I can say I’m from Turkey and I mean it. Of course I’m also German and I do point that out often because it makes up a lot of who I am. In fact every place I lived in throughout the years is part of who I am now, but when I think of home I think of one country in particular and that is Turkey.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Digging for Roots.”