Where are you from? Where is “home”? Is home where you grew up as a child? Is it where you graduated high school? Where you got married? Is home where you live now? Well, for me and many military brats, yes, to all of the above. We’ve had many homes and even a few hometowns.
I’ve thought alot about home lately, since, well, since we’ve all been restricted to our current homes. My current home is in my sons’ hometown, where I’m fortunate that one of them still lives nearby, nearby enough to see him and his family often now that covid restrictions are loosening. The other son, in the military, lives far away. As does my own father. As do a few brothers.
I took a survey many years back, I forget for who or why, but the results were pretty amusing. The survey asked you to list what town you lived in, at age 7 year intervals, ie, from birth to adulthood. For me, this survey looked like this :
Birth : Calgary, Alberta
age 7 : Calgary, Alberta
age 14 : Yorkton, Saskatchewan
age 21 : Edmonton, Alberta
age 28 : Winnipeg, Manitoba
I guess the survey was for marketing purposes, because after submitting my results, I started to receive literature and flyers for companies and businesses from the Canadian West, things like subscription requests to “Prairie Life”-type things. Of course, when I did the survey I lived in Quebec. (Still do.)
Now, if the survey had asked for where I’d lived at age 5 intervals, the results would have looked like this :
birth : Calgary (same start)
age 5 : Kingston, Ontario
age 10 : Unna, Germany
age 15 : Petawawa, Ontario
age 20 : Edmonton, Alberta (hey! same as above)
age 25 : Kingston, Ontario
Somewhat different life path, wouldn’t you say? But both results are true, and they both don’t tell the full story of my hometowns. Statistics and sampling perform wonderful functions, but maybe this survey reminded me to be cautious, and to get the full story sometimes and not just look at a subset of data.
In the meantime, I’ve learned to answer “Where are you from?” with my own answer: “My home is now in Aylmer, Quebec.” If they want to know where I was born, or lived as a child, or where I graduated high school, or went to university, well, they’ll get a different answer for each one.