Home is where the heart is

In history we had been learning about Nationalism and were asked a few lessons ago if we identify as British or Scottish or Other. At first I thought British, because I was born in the UK and grew up most of my life here. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered about why I hadn’t chosen Northern Irish, for example, because I was born in Belfast, lived a few years there and most of my family still lives there. Why don’t I feel as attached to Northern Ireland as my mum does, why do I think of Plymouth (MA) as more of a home than Belfast, why is Northern Ireland just a place where my family lives? I feel pulled towards America because countless, blissful summers have been spent returning to the same home every year. I love the pastel blue that melds into the green of the sand dunes and the red bricks of Boston, with the red line that relives the revolution. But I also feel a pull towards Scotland because I live here and have done for most of my life. I love Edinburgh and it’s unique skyline and soot-covered buildings that elude to a history of a different kind of bustle in the city. I love my school and I thrive when I’m learning; Edinburgh has great schools and was home to many great philosophers like Hume. And even still, I feel pulled towards Northern Ireland because I can’t ignore that feeling of comfort, familiarity, an instant connection with anyone with a Northern Irish accent. I am attracted to all of the places I have once called home, each of them holds a part of me and my history. So anytime anyone asks me where I’m from, or whether I’m British, Northern Irish or Scottish; I’ll just have to answer, “My heart is in many places.”

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