Where are you from?
My teen's just been contemplating identity (it's possible he's also delaying his bedtime....) He's a bit of a mix. His dad's from Ireland, I'm from America, and on top of being Texan for seven generations on one side (hi, Mom!) I'm also a first-generation American & Jewish on the other (hi, Dad!)
I've noticed our tendency to define ourselves by the ways we are unlike others. To look at me, I'm fairly indecipherable from any other white woman in the city. So I proclaim my deep roots in the state, my cultural heritage, my imported husband. (He lost the charming accent when he moved here. I have to paint shamrocks on his cheek for people to know he's Irish.)
When my teen was outlining those same differences, we talked about how he would define himself if we lived in Dublin. Suddenly the being half-Irish side of him is less defining than the being half-American side of him. Even as we go through life seeking commonalities (we both have teenage sons! we both love Kristan Higgins books! we both want a margarita right now!), we define ourselves by our individuality.
Ultimately, my life wouldn't be substantially different if my ancestors were from Kansas instead of Texas, or Italy instead of Poland. I would still love margaritas and contemporary romance. So would you.
But I still enjoy hearing about those things from the past that identify you in the present.
So: where are you from?