So how do I start this lol… erm, introducing myself is always difficult. I could say so many things! But let’s start with my names*. My name is Annabel Lee Sears, after the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. My name is missionary kid, third culture kid. My name is crazy cat lady that doesn’t like to wash her bedspread because she likes the way it smells of her cats. My name is wanderer, traveler, leaver, adventurer. My name is adrenaline junkie. My name is ornery troll, lover of laughs, south paw. My name is servant, beloved of God. My name is aspiring polyglot, lover of foreign cultures, homeschooled. My name is pierced, tattooed person. And my name is avid eater of chicken tikka masala with basmati and naan, and casados típicos with platanos and picadillo. My name is girl who needs a good fix of grunge, 60’s rock, and Beastie Boys every week. My name is please don’t talk to me—I love you and you’re fascinating to me but I’m scared of you. My name is anxiety, insecurity. My name is firstborn, big sister, favorite daughter (hehehe the only daughter). My name is reader of books like breather of air. My name is finder of hummingbirds in her backyard. My name is listener, not talker. So, don’t expect me to tell you all this the first time we meet, sweetheart.
And then you’re like oh, cool, nice name. So where are you from? …You’re definitely not making this easy for me! I could tell you I’m from Olathe, Kansas, which is where I have my first memories of sneaking around while my mom was napping. Or I could tell you I’m from Kansas City, Kansas, which is where I spent my childhood, growing up in a Mexican immigrant community. Where my best friends were just down the alley from me, where Guadalupe made us delicious meat from the carnicería on the corner and put hot sauce on everything, where we went to quinceañeras. But I could also tell you I’m from Costa Rica, which is where I spent most of my life that I can remember. Where it rains so much that the bugs come into our house and my little brother goes all karate sensei with the fly-swatter. Where ash from Volcano Turrialba covers everything in our house, where the beach is a couple of hours away. Where I get burnt under the equatorial sun, where I don’t fit in because of my light skin and hair, where I can’t speak my native language. Where the pollution makes my throat sting. Where the mountains surround me in the valley and make me feel safe. Where I love to be… But where I’m leaving. I could tell you I’m from Spring Hill, Kansas, where we stay when back in the states, where we get together with extended family for holidays, where I feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere, where I sleep on the futon in my grandma’s basement. Who knows, maybe in the future I could tell you that I’m from Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where I’ll be attending college, getting my first job, learning new languages. Basically, I like to think I’m from nowhere, because I’m from everywhere.
So yeah, nice to meet you. Or in Hebrew—naim meod. Tell me all about yourself now, I want to learn from you.
*Disclaimer: I was inspired to write this by a Ted talk called “The Muslim on the airplane.” Watch it.
Quote of the month
""At the margins is the only place the Church will have credibility."