I am no longer a Californian.
I had this idea in my head that I am from where ever I have spent the most time living. I spent 16.2 years in California. I have now spent 17.1 years in Illinois. So, by my own way of thinking about things, I have ceased to be a Californian and am now an Illinoian. Is that how you say it? Is it Illini?
I don't really have an issue with this, although throughout the years I have staunchly defended my association with the Golden State. I grew up in the OC before it was the OC. I lived there during the San Fransisco earthquake and during the Los Angeles riots. Until my parents moved us away, it had never occurred to me that I would like anywhere else. While I really enjoyed growing up there, I see it now and it doesn't feel like home anymore. It hasn't for a while. It's changed too much without me there to change in conjunction.
There is a small issue in that Illinois doesn't really feel like home either. I have nothing against Illinois. With the exception of some brutally cold winters that I have never really gotten used to, it has treated me fairly well. I went to college here, I met most of my closest friends here, I met and married my wife here, my children are being born here. Yet, as a place, it still doesn't feel like home.
Really, I don't believe there is any place on earth where I could settle and think of as home. Home as a location is something I don't believe in as something that can be attained on earth. Where ever God is, that will be my Home. That concept isn't tied to a place anymore.
I'll admit that sometimes that makes me a little sad. I long for the settled feeling home brings, I want a place where I can complete relax, and I know now that I can only get small slices of that here, and mostly through the people I spend my time with, not where I spend it.
So, I'm no longer a Californian, but I'm not really an Illinoisian either. I'm a Christian.