Published on my personal blog
Perhaps the most striking part of my move to Pennsylvania was the realization that it is not always sunny in Philadelphia. As I took the train from the airport, I watched the dark clouds roll over the city and felt like someone who was left out of an inside joke. I reminded myself that every place has its gloomy days and tried not to let it get me down as I grew closer and closer to my new life, one I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from. The sun was bound to come out soon, anyway.
It rained for three days after. I’ll admit it: after the second day, I chuckled to myself.
Why Philadelphia? I get asked that a lot now, once people stop laughing over the fact that I’m a Kansas girl. One thing I’ve learned from traveling is that no one knows what to do with a Kansas girl. Once I met a bartender in New York whose eyes grew round as he exclaimed, “Hey, I grew up on a farm, too!” In Italy, I met a couple from California who snorted out laughs and said, “But how did you end up here?”
More often than not, my home is the place Americans forget about. The sunflower state, the breadbasket of the country, the heart of America, that little square on the center of the map like a doughnut hole, inconsequential and often left out. Or, perhaps more importantly, the backdrop of exactly one famous film that would forever scar the world’s perception of it. Nearly every “Where are you from?” is followed by a “I have a feeling you’re not in Kansas anymore.” I always force a laugh out of politeness, or perhaps because I’ve heard it so often it’s almost become humorous in itself. I have become the East Coast’s Dorothy, the lost little girl in a foreign land. Everyone seems to wait expectantly for me to click my heels together and return home.
Read the full post here.