return to the motherland |

getting in touch with my inner colorado girl

Sweet home Colorado

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You know that part in Garden State where Zach Braff’s character is talking about how he doesn’t really feel like he has a home anymore?  I am starting to understand where he is coming from.  Although I don’t identify completely with his revelation about not having a childhood home, lately I have had a hard time figuring out how to answer a really simple question: “Where are you from?”  That is actually a tricky answer for me, for a few reasons.  When I moved to Denver earlier this year for graduate school, it was an easy question to answer.  I would immediately say, “Kansas City!”  I lived there during my formative teenage years, I went to college in a Kansas City suburb, and my mom still lives in Missouri.  Plus I love to use any excuse to bust out Tech N9ne lyrics about KCMO, fellas and the ladies know.

My backyard at home in Missouri

But technically speaking, I was born in Colorado and lived there until I was ten.  (Hence the name of the blog!)  Now, in a lot of ways, Colorado is my home.  My life in Kansas City is kind of a distant memory these days.  Yes, a lot of my best friends still live in Kansas City and I love visiting there, but every time I am in Kansas City, I realize that my life just isn’t there anymore.  When I fly into DIA after a long weekend in Kansas City, I feel like I am coming home.  In a lot of ways, living in Denver just feels right for me.  I have a great group of people out there, and I love how active my life is in Colorado.  Colorado and I are just kind of a good fit.

And so when people in Atlanta ask me where I am from, I kind of waver.  Sometimes I say Kansas City.  Sometimes I say Denver.  Sometimes I say that I equally claim Kansas City and Denver.  In the end, I think where you feel at home is highly subjective and personal.  No one can tell you where your home is located.  You can equally feel at home around a certain group of people or in a physical location.  It’s probably fair to say that I feel at home on different levels around my family and my best friends from college.  But as far as the current physical location that I have strong ties to, it is absolutely Colorado.

My genius mathematician older brother actually faced a similar situation after he went to graduate school in Madison.  He was born in Madison, lived with my family in Colorado for most of his life, attended college in California, and then ended up back in Madison for graduate school. It would be fair to say that he returned to his respective motherland.  Anyway, whenever someone asks where he is from, he always says Madison.  For him, Madison became his home, just like Denver is becoming mine.  Plus, after my three months in Atlanta is done, I know for sure that I will be living in Colorado until at least spring 2012.

Since what I consider home is ultimately my own decision, at this point in my life, I have decided that I am going to say that Colorado is home.  I happily and proudly claim the state that brings the world this:

Missouri does come in second place though.  I especially love Eastern Missouri in the fall.  And Missouri wine country.


Author: paulamahla

Typical Colorado girl that can't make up her mind. Trail running, hiking, climbing, camping, CrossFit, ultimate frisbee, and skiing? E, all of the above.

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