A post on identity

On one of my mom’s visits from Iran to the United States, in the late 1970s, she met my dad. This is the moment where my story begins. You see, that my mother was not an american visiting the US and that she met a norwegian-american man determines that from the very beginning I would have a hard time explaining my background, finding my identity. But my parents did not just leave it at that… after they got married and only six months after I was born they decided to move to Argentina, and then just months before my 9th birthday they moved to Chile. It was in Chile that I went through puberty and through my teens, it was a chilean boy that I had my first crush on, and chilean soap operas that filled my afternoons. And then, again just months before my 17th birthday, I left my home and moved to French Guiana for a year…
This is, for all intents and purposes, the year that I stopped living in Chile… After French Guiana I went to the US for a couple of years, then moved to Israel for a couple of year, and then back to the States where I finally started school, got married and settled down.

Sort of… I mean, there are many places that I have not visited yet.

My parents and brother are still in Chile, my sister is married to a chilean man. And everytime someone asks me where I am from, I say Chile.
And yet, I have lived outside of Chile longer than I have lived in Chile.
And yet, when I meet a person from Iran, I get excited about sharing my half-iranian background with them.
And yet, when I meet an Argentinian, I tell them that I lived in Argentina for 8 years!
And yet, when I meet someone from New Mexico, I tell them about my time in NM… or in Oregon, and now in Michigan…

When I am in Chile, people ask me where I am from.
When I am in the US, people ask me where I am from.
When I am anywhere, people ask me where I am from.

Because no one recognizes me as part of their “group”.

I have this strong sense of belonging to all these different groups, and yet the feeling is not reciprocated.
I am not truly persian, I am not truly american, I am not truly Argentinian, I am not truly Chilean.
And yet, I feel persian.
And yet, I feel american.
And yet, I feel argentinian.
And yet, I feel chilean.

I am all of the things above… but none of them.
And I have travelled to over 20 countries all over the world, and every place I go, I feel like I can call my home.

And this is the root of my identity crisis.

Soon after I was born (1983), in Ithaca (NY) and little did I know that we were going to be moving to Argentina soon. I am the baby in the photo, with my older sister

In Mendoza, Argentina – With my family, find me in the middle with the crazy curly hair

Crossing the Argentina-Chile border (at age 8) on the Andes (I am the one in the middle)

My high school years in Chile (I am the one with the blue bag)

Life in French Guiana, 2000

Living in the US – picture from a trip take to Brazil with my flatmate Leila (on the left)

Two years in Haifa, Israel… sitting with my friend and co-worker, Mara.

With  my husband, Jason, at a new years party last year.

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