Now It’s Time To Play: State Your State

04/06/2011 By Shawn Burns

It’s no secret by now that I’m a Canadian ex-pat. I moved to California when I was 19, chasing after a girl. Fifteen years later I’m still in California. Fifteen years later I’m still chasing after that girl, but she chases back, and we both chase our kids.

For a few years after the move I still considered Canada my home. I wasn’t aching to go back, but it was still what was familiar. It was the earth my personality came from. It was the history I had. But California has been my home for a long time now. It has shaped my personality in my adult years. My history now includes so much California that my affinity to Canada is only romanticizing now. It’s not false, but everything Canadian feels to me like a novelization if itself. My high school memories have lost their mundanity, and I only remember the ones that factor into a long narrative of my own development. I barely remember anyone I went to high school with, even though I saw them every day. Geography has warped on me, and since I never drove until I was in California I lack the kind of geographical knowledge of my home province and cities that usually comes with long driving exposure to them.

I still consider myself an ex-patriot Canadian, but instead of just being an ex-pat, I’m also a Californian. I know what my state is up to. I know what its problems are. I know where its beauty lies. I will defend it against those who denigrate it. I’m loyal.

Where is your loyalty? Are you an ex-patriot living abroad? Are you still living in the town you were born in? What kind of loyalty and history do you have to the place your live?