Tuesday, March 24, 2015

On having roots...

roots - the condition of belonging to a particular place or group by virtue of social or ethnic or cultural lineage

My heritage is pretty mixed. Especially on my dad's side. My grandfather was half Bulgarian, half Turkish with a Jewish background and my grandmother was half Italian, half Croatian with a Catholic backgound. They met in Italy, while he was traveling to buy goods for a department store that his parents ran in Istanbul, Turkey. My mother comes from an all-Austrian family. She and my dad met in Istanbul, while she was traveling with a friend. She lived in Basel, Switzerland at that time but moved to Istanbul to be with my dad shortly after. My sister and I were both born in Vienna, but spent a lot of our chilhood in Turkey. In fact, we had a long-distance family relationship. My mom moved us back to Vienna, when I was one year old, so that my sister could start school in Austria. But my dad had his own business in Turkey, so he stayed behind. And we all traveled back and forth. My childhood memories consists of packing suitcases, schlepping goodies back and forth and spending time in both countries.

So of course, I did not marry an all-Austrian guy. Alex and I met in Turkey as well. (what a coincidence! ) We met at the beach in an all-inclusive club. Doesn't sound like the place to meet your future husband, right? Yes, that's what a lot of my friends thought but they were totally wrong. You can meet a great guy anywhere! Anyway, we had a long-distance relationship for a while, I moved to Stuttgart, moved back to Vienna for work and another round of long-distance relationship and then we finally found a neutral ground to start our married life in Portland, Oregon. As you know, we moved to Birmingham afterwards and are now about to move back to Germany.

So why am I telling you all this? Because at the moment.  I don't have roots. All this moving around and the fact that I come from a mixed family has made my definition of home and where I belong to physically (other than with my family) a little hard. And that sucks. At least sometimes. I love the un-usualeness of it all, but I also envy people who have stayed in their hometown forever, married someone who is from that same town and are surrounded by their families. Because they have roots and I currently don't. And it sucks. Not always, but sometimes.

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