Why I hate telling people where I’m from

This was a story I originally wrote and performed for I Did My Best: A Reading Series in May of 2015.


Moving out of my parents house for good, 2012

You know when you meet someone for the first time, and you’re either sober, or you’re not, and the conversation goes something like…

Me: Hi! I’m Amber *extends hand*

You: I’m “your name” and then you go to shake my hand (usually) So… how do you know “the person we both know which is why we are talking right now”?

Me: Oh, Twitter

You: Ohhh coool. Lots of people are meeting on Twitter these days.

and I know you’re internally judging me…

Me: Ya, all my friends in NYC are from Twitter

You: That’s interesting, so where are you from?

And this is the part of the conversation I usually try to avoid and the only reason “you” asked “me” this is because I really wasn’t on top of my game or that interested in talking to you, I’m sorry I’ve got a lot of things on my mind right now and I probably can’t even hear you because I’m hard of hearing and it’s REALLY LOUD right now (and we’re at a bar, obviously)

So anyways…

I am not a fan of when people ask me this question.

“Where are you from?”

It’s not you though, it’s me. You’re really nice and it’s very kind of you to care enough to ask where I spent most of my formative childhood years since you probably could care less.

I just hate this question… because I don’t have an easy, roll off your tongue, let’s move on to the next question kind of answer.

By the way the next question is “so what do you do?”

Anyways, I’ve decided, I’m going to tell you all where I’m from. Right now. Where my home or homes are because I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ve always wanted to get up in front of my friends and strangers and let you all know “where I’m from”… so I don’t have to do it later when I meet all you people that I don’t know.

So… here we go.

I was born December, 15th 1989 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yes, I was planned. Yes, I’m two days younger than Taylor Swift.

Shortly after, when I was a toddler — we moved to my grandmother’s house in Bountiful, Utah, 45 minutes away from Salt Lake City.

~during this time my parents divorced~

From Utah we move to Stratford, Connecticut where I lived with my mother and my Grandfather

[ I’m 7 years old ]

~my mom was having a lot of personal issues and unfortunately went to jail for a few years~

From Stratford I moved to Gurnee, Illinois to live with my father and his girlfriend right across the street from Six Flags

~my father got married~

From Illinois I move to Kenosha, Wisconsin with my father and his new wife

~my father got divorced and then remarried~

From Kenosha I moved back to Stratford, Connecticut to live with my mom, who has recovered and is doing awesome. She’s a huge inspiration to me, but we didn’t get along because I was an angsty teen who was mad at her for not being there for me. UGH MOM. UGH, TEENS.

[ I’m 14 now ]

From Stratford I moved back to Kenosha, Wisconsin to live with my dad and his new wife

~my dad became abusive so I ended up moving back with my mom~

From Kenosha I move back to Connecticut but this time in Naugatuck with my mom and her now husband

[ I’m 17 now ]

~I graduated from high school~

We bought a house in Waterbury, Connecticut.

One month later, I moved to Boston for college where I studied computer science.

I dropped out of college (because the loans are a joke and I self taught myself how to code). I move back to Waterbury, Connecticut

~I move out of my parents house and into an apartment in Naugatuck, Connecticut with my then boyfriend~

BIG SURPRISE. We break up shortly after.

[I’m 20 now]

From Naugatuck I moved to Troy, New York for my very first computer programming job

~I get laid off 6 months later~

From Troy I moved back to Waterbury, Connecticut

From Waterbury I moved to Temecula, California with my Internet boyfriend (lol) to try to launch an online game for kids (it flopped and we broke up)

From Temecula I moved back in with my parents to *YOU GUESSED IT!* Waterbury, Connecticut

[ I’m 22 now ]

From Waterbury, I moved to Brooklyn for an internship at a hot new startup, which turned into a full-time position

From Brooklyn I moved to Manhattan on the Upper East Side

~that apartment had bed bugs~

I moved to an apartment on the same street but on the West Side

~my roommate was super passive aggressive~

Now, I live in Chelsea

And I’m moving to Brooklyn on June 1st

I’m 25 now.

Thinking back on what it felt like to constantly pack up my life, unpack my life, go to all these different schools, make all new friends, make no friends. I got used to it.

I’ve never experienced that “home feeling” because I haven’t stayed in one “house” long enough to know what it truly feels like. Even though I lived in Connecticut for 8 or so years, I lived in 4 cities, and in one of those cities, 5 houses.

Writing this piece had me thinking that New York actually feels like a “home” to me. Moving is the norm here. Meeting lots and lots of new people is encouraged and some of the best people I know are in this room right now. I can move in-between boroughs and live inside different boxes that are called apartments… but I still live in New York and I’m a part of this “home”.

So there you have it. That’s where I’m from and none of you can ask me ever again.

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