GEOGRAPHIC IDENTITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN CHALLENGING for me. The question I like the least is, where are you from? It seriously gives me that deer-in-the-headlights kind of panic. I have to answer you, but if I tell you the whole truth you’re going to regret asking it. I can’t pick which part of me to share with you, therefore, my reaction is to look at you like I’m lacking in wits to a relatively simple inquiry. Why so challenging?
Get this… I was born in Canada to people that aren’t Canadian. My dad hails from Wisconsin, as a solid Norwegian/British import, and my mom is 100% Italian (came over on the boat in the 50’s). As a result, I have dual citizenship, but we left Canada when I was 5 years old, so I don’t really identify as Canadian. I grew up briefly in Washington State, then Arizona, and finally landed in California by 8 years old. I spent the most time there, leaving briefly when I was 19 for a failed attempt to move back to Canada. For two years in my early 20’s I lived in upstate New York, met my dream girl and married her, moved back to California and stayed there for another 14 years. On our 15th anniversary, we moved to North Carolina.
So, where am I from? You tell me. Canada is the truthful answer, but it always feels wrong to say it. Here’s the thing, living in all those places created in me the desire to explore and learn. Culture, customs, languages, ethnicity; they’re all fascinating to me. As a result of my life experiences I can’t honestly say that I feel like I’m from any one place. In truth, I’ve been pretty happy no matter where I’ve lived geographically, or what place I call home.
At this point in life, I’d have to say that I was born in the North, raised in the West, currently working in the East (my companies home base is in France), and living in the South.
Having spent nearly 30 years in California (Orange County to be specific, which anyone from Orange County will understand that you have to specify), moving to the South has come with its own set of differences and cultural nuances. Absolutely loving it, but it is very different than living in a west coast beach community (Huntington Beach).
Why this blog then? I wanted to share. Anyone that knows me knows that I have an absolute passion for food, cooking, travel, and exploration. I’ve also reached a point in my life (almost 40) where I think I finally know how I feel about things. I actually have opinions and thoughts about life that I believe to be worthy of public statement. It’s carthartic to express yourself – I really believe that. It’s my hope that as I grow this blog I will have a catalog of varied topics, experiences, recipes, notes about Southern living, and some of the exploration my family and I do in our new geography.
Come and join me… let’s put aside the mundance existential conundrums of where we’re from and see what interesting things we can cook up together.
Cast Iron Cook (C. I. C.)