We're Not In Pennsylvania Anymore, Toto.
Start writing a post

We're Not In Pennsylvania Anymore, Toto.

The reflection of someone who has moved more than a few times.


I am nineteen years old, and I have still not figured out how to properly respond to the question, "where are you from?" There are simply too many answers to this question, and I don't know which one to go with when prompted. This is one of the main questions you are hit with when you meet someone, so as I meet people at school, I've heard it an abundance of times.

I am from Minnesota Nice, I am from a little sunshine shade of yellow house in New Jersey, a town with a park on the same street as my house in Illinois, a hill filled town in southern California, and a small town in Pennsylvania. I am from, "oh, isn't that where that big mall is?" but I am also from, "I've always wanted to live in California! What's it like?". I am from a lot of places, each place containing a different part of me.

Minnesota holds my younger years. The years of going to the zoo and watching the dolphins for hours on end, and a lot of years I don't have much of a memory of. Minnesota holds a plethora of children's hospital visits to Gilette Children's. That place became almost a second home if homes can terrify you down to the bone, for a lot of my life. Minnesota holds height checks and weight checks and x-rays like you can't believe. Eighteen years of children's hospital visits and x-rays become like a second nature.

Illinois holds my years of elementary school, dealing with mean kids for the first time in my life, but it also holds the time I asked if I could sled out the kitchen window on a particularly snowy day. Don't say I was not an adventurous child. Illinois holds the swim team years of chlorinated everything and going to a Hannah Montana concert in the middle of a two-day swim meet. Illinois holds my first best friend and just how painful it was to leave her.

California holds my years of crutching through open-air hallways in middle school after numerous surgeries. California holds beach camping trips, band concerts, and a neighborhood pool. California holds me coming to the realization that the ocean terrifies me. California holds the first "boyfriend" I had who would carry my backpack and call me after nine o'clock at night. (That was a big deal at the time, trust me.)

Pennsylvania holds my middle school through high school years. As you can imagine, they weren't my favorite. Originally when my parents told seventh grade, Megan, we were moving to Pennsylvania, I lost it a little. How dare they rip us from our oh so steady lives? (Yeah, middle school Megan was dramatic.) High school was better than eighth grade because most things are better than middle school. Pennsylvania holds the year I was a cheerleader, a dark year, but it also holds the time I figured out who I wanted to be. All of these places are so important to me that even thinking about the question, "where are you from?" evokes a tornado inside of my brain.

Technically, right now, I am from Pennsylvania. That's where I moved from when I came to school. People react the same way here as they did at home when I said I was going to school in Iowa. What could possibly be in Iowa, right? Other than corn? I explained that the writing program is one of the best in the country, but that never seemed to ease the furrowed eyebrows and bewildered expressions. The majority of University of Iowa attendees are from the midwest. If you visit Raygun in town, a t-shirt will tell you that Iowa City is Chicago's favorite suburb. Being from Pennsylvania, but being born in the midwest, I sort of understand the "oh, wow"s and "that's pretty far!"s. I promise I'm not on a cheesesteak diet, and I can pronounce water the same way you can. I can't promise, however, that I won't get in an argument defending the Flyers. I tend to get pretty passionate about Philadelphia hockey.

Even after putting my tornado of thoughts into coherent sentences, I most likely still will not be able to answer this question. Where are you from? Well, I could explain it all to you, but I'll probably just say Pennsylvania.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Life is hard, and is even harder with a mental illness. Even if you aren't clinically diagnosed with depression or anxiety, in the hardest times of your life you can probably associate with several of these thoughts. Fear not, everyone else is thinking them too. Maybe we just need a big, loving, group therapy session (or six).

Keep Reading... Show less

A Letter To My Heartbroken Self

It will be okay, eventually.

A Letter To My Heartbroken Self

Breakups are hard. There's nothing comparable to the pain of losing someone you thought would be in your life forever. Someone who said all the right things at the right times. Someone who would give you the reassurance you needed, whenever you needed it. And then one day, it just... stops. Something changes. Something makes you feel like you're suddenly not good enough for him, or anyone for that matter.

Keep Reading... Show less

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America

For the first time since 1994 the United States will host a world cup (for men's soccer)

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America
Skylar Meyers

The FIFA World Cup is coming to North American in 2026!

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

An Open Letter to Winter

Before we know it April will arrive.


Dear Winter,

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Cleaning Up Your Room

This holiday break is the perfect time to get away from the materialistic frenzy of the world and turn your room into a decluttered sanctuary.


Cleaning isn’t just for spring. In fact, I find school’s holiday break to be a very effective time for decluttering. You’re already being bombarded by the materialistically-infatuated frenzy of society’s version of Christmas, Hanukah, etc. It’s nice to get out of the claustrophobic avarice of the world and come home to a clean, fresh, and tidy room. While stacking up old books, CDs, and shoes may seem like no big deal, it can become a dangerous habit. The longer you hang onto something, whether it be for sentimental value or simply routine, it becomes much harder to let go of. Starting the process of decluttering can be the hardest part. To make it a little easier, get out three boxes and label them Donate, Storage, and Trash. I'm in the middle of the process right now, and while it is quite time consuming, it is also so relieving and calming to see how much you don't have to deal with anymore. Use these six questions below to help decide where an item gets sorted or if it obtains the value to stay out in your precious sanctuary from the world.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments