Where Am I From?
By: Lindy Connors
“57th and 1st.” Until second grade I had a definite answer; my home was Upper Midtown of Manhattan. I identified as a New Yorker with all the sass and strong navigational skills one naturally develops. With my father’s thick Long Island accent, my mother’s ability to converse with any stranger, and my student metro card, we created the poster family for New York City. Then one day we up and became Midwesterners.
“Columbus, OH, but originally from New York.” The born and bred New Yorker was plucked from the island. I brought my loudness and independence to Ohio, but I learned to lower my voice a little. After the first move, my mom promised me we would only be in the Ohio Valley for four- to five years at most. During every dinner conversation about job opportunities thrown at my mom, I would listen intently for details. I became hooked on the all the options before me. I created excel sheets with all-girls schools, houses, and proximity to our family back east for any possible move. With a passion to fix the unfixable, my mother had us holding onto the edge of her coattails as she hopped from company to company, and the next time we followed her to a far fishier town.
“Boston, but originally from New York, and just moved here from Ohio.” At this point it was evident I had a long backstory. The Bostonians were patient towards my long explanation and taught me to be wicked strong always, never waver loyalty, respect tradition and recognize the high value of seafood. I moved right after the Boston Marathon of 2012, and I’ve never felt a city more together; my parents compared it to when we lived in New York after September 11th. The feeling of looking out for the person next to you, regardless of who they were, was ever present. Despite all these life lessons it wasn’t hard to say goodbye to “The Spirit of America” because I’ve never had the mentality of one place being permanent for me. I took up the motto of “Here for a good time, not for a long time,” and never dug my roots too deep, for there was always another move on the horizon.
“Cleveland, but I grew up in New York and moved a couple times in between.” With my return to the Midwest, the corn hole games played against neighbors and my Ohioan pride increased. I returned to smiling at strangers and picked up the politeness I had lost in transition. I moved to Cleveland as it was making a change; I found that what one can achieve is never bounded by what one has to start with. As everyone around us showed their Ohio pride, my parents were gravitated to New York and knew eventually they were going to end up back there. I am born New Yorker but a bred nomad. Moving back to the Midwest made me recognize that. I’m looking forward to riding this wave of change out with Cleveland; I’m hopeful it takes us both far and to another championship win.
So, I will never have a definite answer to the question where you are from. It is constantly changing and who I am reflects where I have lived. I am not simply a New Yorker anymore, much to my parent’s dismay; I am a wanderer, never settling down, roaming from town to town. I’m working on living everywhere, but for right now….
“I’m Lindy, it’s complicated. How about you?”