Somali Proverb: "Meel ama Ka muuqo ama ka maqnow” -If you are in a place, you should either be prominent or absent.
(In other words, in any place you live, you should be either active and participating or it is better not to be seen. Do not be a mere observer, non activist.)
She's careful to use the word home. She says apartment, house, flat. Home is for cozy fireplaces, warm
fragrant baked goods, closeness. It's for scenes she reads about in books or fantasizes in films. Home is
where you find open doors, unconditional talks, time spent. It's present memories, old ones you can
pull from, and new ones you look forward to. Home is where acceptances grows, like the years of age
ticking by, sharing problems and triumphs, unafraid. Home is where your character is not told to you,
but made by you, ground so fertile difficulties turned to opportunities, pessimism into optimism.
When she is asked where are you from? What they mean is where is home? She's careful, she gives
options, choices that maze around the truth. For where she is from is not where she was born, and
where she was eventually raised is not her home.
Because she knows enough to know home is not betrayal. Home isn't a place where you should keep
secrets, a place where you don't give yourself. Home shouldn't be the place where you learn your l
imitations and then many years later, emerging through the fog, understand those limitations were not
yours to begin with. Home shouldn't be a place to give up your freedom, an environment of deceptive
conditions. Home shouldn't be where you believe happiness comes only with obedience, that love
means loving the bearer of your pain with no guarantee of reciprocity.
So, she is careful to use the word home. Distant synonyms work better, jagged edges that don't quite fit
the puzzle. For what she was told her home was and what she imagined it to be are incongruent. And
she knows enough now to not use that word at all.