The more I thought about the concept of fromness, the more convoluted it seemed. “Who we are is made up of a compilation of our origins and experiences,” I continued. “Our origins represent the parts of ourselves we can’t control, while our experiences are a by-product of our choices and circumstances. When I say I’m Irish and Italian, there are thousands of years of history and culture attached to two little words. I come from that. I am that, to an extent.”
“You are only that because you have chosen to embrace that,” said David. He had a point. My “Italian” mother is actually half Greek, but since that culture never seeped into my upbringing, it is always left unsaid when I answer the ethnicity question.
“I suppose most people take some comfort from belonging to a place or tradition,” David said. “It’s like an anchor for them. But I guess I prefer a broader worldview. Next time someone asks me where I’m from, I think I’ll just say Earth — or perhaps I’ll elaborate and say, ‘You know, the part of Earth where they eat lots of paprika.’”