It was nearly twelve years ago.
We had just come back to Germany, and even though it had only been two years – this time in Uganda had turned my world upside down. I had left as a child and came back as an adult.
Now I sat in a classroom with people I didn’t know, who spoke of things I didn’t know.
I paid with a currency I didn’t know as ‘German’.
I didn’t laugh at any jokes because I had no idea what ‘normal’ teenagers would laugh at.
I was incredibly tired of people asking me how Uganda had been (Have you seen elephants and snakes? Did you kill a lion? Do you speak ‘African’ now?), but as soon as I said no, they lost interest.
I felt utterly lost and in the wrong place.
All I wanted was to belong.
Isn’t that what we all want? I believe it’s a core longing in a human being.
To know who I was, what I could and couldn’t do.
To be me and others to be okay with it.
And it happened.
On a camp in the middle of nowhere, on a weekend with a lot of rain.
A group of people who had grown up in Russia, Brazil, Tanzania, or Egypt – all stranded in their ‘home culture’ Germany and having now clue about anything.
As soon as we started talking we clicked.
No matter where you have lived, no matter how long you’ve been gone, no matter how old you are – you are one of them.
We are all Third Culture Kids.
We feel lost in every single culture we have lived in, as if we don’t fit in any of them.
So we build our own space where we can find safety; a place we can call home.
Where we can be ourselves, as crazy, funny, or sad it might be.
This is a place to belong. And it is to this day.
Faces might have changed, people have grown up.
But as soon as I meet fellow TCKs face-to-face or via email/phone/skype, it is always the same feeling.
A feeling of belonging. Of family. Of home.
An hommage to my beloved TCK family – but I am also linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. One word. Write for five minutes. Don’t edit and share!