Sometimes I feel like there should be a TCKA group. “Hi, I’m Emily and I’m a Third Culture Kid.” All: “Hi Emily”. Then, there would be a discourse on how you feel like you don’t quite “fit in” amongst most Americans. I’m sure everyone’s experience is different, but sometimes I find myself longing for the simpler, safer, more loving culture that I grew up in. I love America and am abundantly thankful for my freedom, just to be clear, but that doesn’t keep me from wishing certain aspects of life here could be more like that of other cultures. I do identify with some of the below struggles and find myself instantly forming a special bond with those from other cultures or those who have spent time living or traveling in other countries. They “get me” and that’s all I’ve ever really wanted in relationships.
Despite some of the interpersonal difficulties, being a TCK is something I’ve become increasingly grateful for over the years. While living in China as a kid, I was not always thankful or happy about being there, that’s for sure. I missed the familiarity of the USA along with my grandparents and friends back home. Being less than 10 years old, it was hard to always understand why I had to live a different life in a foreign country. I’m thankful my parents made the decision to take our family overseas when I was only 1. I can’t imagine that kind of move with such a young child, plus 2 other mischievous boys in tow 😉 but glad they were brave! Because of their desire to share the Gospel in Asia, I was able to see firsthand the lives they impacted for eternity and will treasure those memories forever.
Thinking about how I often feel “different” culturally and working to be able to embrace that also led me to listen more carefully to a song I probably sang along with on the radio many times without ever paying attention to the words. The below lyrics especially stuck out to me:
I can’t waste a day, I can’t stay the same
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different