i’ve been realizing lately that i like more low-key friday night activities.  sure it’s fun to go out, but it’s more fun to do something relaxing with a smaller group.  last week i drank wine and chatted with a few women i’m just starting to get to know.  we laughed about single girl registries and told camping stories and recounted he woes of online dating.  this week i got takeout with a dear friend and then we watched the next movie on my netflix queue.

it was the namesake.

i saw this trailer about a week ago and audibly gasped, moved by just a minute or two of imagery and dialogue.  the colors and patterns of india juxtaposed with a coming of age story.  yes please.  i loved it.  it was beautiful, nuanced, at times painful and at the end worth it.  worthy, weighty, good.  i’d highly recommend it.

it is a story about finding one’s identity in the past and forging ahead with that into the future.  stories like this resonate with me.  although i’m a farm girl from the midwest, i find that cross-cultural love stories are among my favorite.

my parents have a bit of a cross-cultural marriage.  he, a quiet protestant german farmer from 10 generations, grandfather homesteaded a mile square of rich farmland in ohio.  she, a fiery catholic italian with freshly immigrated parents who valued music and the culture of their homeland above all else.  they met at a school with a good engineering program and a great conservatory and all the sudden she’s helping butcher chickens.  a great story.  my mom always told us, “there’s more to life than this county” and we believed her, spreading our wings and flying thousands of miles away.  we’re still far, but all of us are back on the same continent–mostly.

i like cross-cultural people.  they understand richness and nuance better.  i was talking with my friend who has grown up in a few cultures and is now living in her fourth.  she told me for the first time that a mutual acquaintance of ours had grown up overseas.  “ah,” i said “so that’s why i like her so much!” we laughed.  80 acres in ohio is my home, my parents never moved and probably never will.  my dad worked in a nearby city and drove 40 miles to work and back home each night.  we didn’t fit with the other farmers in our community or his coworkers who lived in suburbia and would visit on sunday afternoons, remarking about how sweet the tomatoes tasted and how we must be such responsible children with our farm chores.  my bare feet seemed strange to these kids who grew up with sidewalks and asphalt, but the other farm kids didn’t understand me either.  i’m facebook friends with most of them now, they are married and have a few kids and still live in ohio.

there are other reasons why i feel cross cultural.  my sister lived abroad and my brother lives somewhere else entirely and i feel tied to them both even as i pursue life here.  i feel odd sometimes when i take stock of my life at this moment.  i get my hair cut at a mall where i can’t afford anything, i wear heels 6 days a week, i work with a group of highly competent people that advise the government how to spend its money, i live in an affluent area and organic produce has to travel miles to get to me.  it’s all so strange and so far from where i started.

i think the movie resonated because i really want to understand my identity rooted in my past and bring that into my present and future with grace.

thanks for reading.