I, the Ultimate Authority to Myself, Thus Conclude

Alice Vartevanian

Guest Contributor

For these past couple of weeks I can’t help but ask myself, who am I? What am I doing? Where am I going? I ask and ask and end up concluding, from where I belong to who I am, I am clueless. Yet I’m racking my brain around it, how can someone not know where they belong or who they are? Surely I must have a nationality, a country to call home. My passport tells me I’m British and I was born in London, yet majority of my life I’ve lived in Armenia, so which one do I belong to? When I’m in England I’m Armenian, when I’m in Armenia I’m British. So how can someone belong somewhere they are not acknowledged to belong?  I believe these are problems every diasporan tackles with to some extent and each come to their own solution. After all, who gets to decide where your home is? Or which country you belong to? You are the ultimate authority to yourself, you alone get to decide where you belong.

Which is why I, the ultimate authority to myself, decide to be neither, I love both of these countries, as drastically different as they may be. They have both shaped me with their different cultures, qualities and values, and shown me that nothing in this world is black and white. In truth these lessons they’ve taught me are exactly why I have come to this decision, they’ve made me realize that for me, home is not a country, it is not our blood or ancestry that ties us to a patch of soil. It is not a flag or coat of arms that welcomes you back after a vacation. It is not an anthem that gives you chills. Home is anywhere one feels comfortable, surrounded by like minded and kind friends. Friends are what tie us to a patch of soil, for we don’t want to leave their company. Friends welcome us with open arms after a long vacation, eager to catch up over so much time apart. Friends again are what gives us chills, as we sit in a park way past bedtime, listening to our favourite songs and drinking our favourite beverages.

These friends who make me feel home come from all corners of the world, from America to Armenia and all places in between. They are patient, and forgive me when I feel that everything opposes me, when I ramble on generalizing about every person who ever existed. when I yell “I hate this! I’m neither Armenian nor British! I don’t belong anywhere!” they calmly tolerate my outbursts. They accept me no matter my country, no matter who I am, or who I want to be, even if I have no clue on that regard as of yet. This is what a home is, a place cozy and warm that accepts you unconditionally.

And so I, the ultimate authority to myself, thus conclude, that I forthwith will no longer give a fig about what country I belong to and call home, which country I’m from, which country I like best. A country is not my home, my home is my friends and their company.

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