[Five Minute Friday] Belong

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!

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

6 thoughts on “[Five Minute Friday] Belong”

  1. This is so beautiful! It reminds me of when I lived in Paris and tried to belong in a country I wasn't from with groups of people I barely knew- yet we all traveled to go to this university so together we 'belonged.' What a beautiful post!

  2. It definitely is a relief! It also felt really great to belong to your bible study group for the six months I spent in the US- thanks for that privilege!
    Yes, let's stay in touch and you never know…we might end up in one place together again!

  3. Regardless of the form in which it comes, that feeling of belonging somewhere is such a relief to the heart. Glad I can keep up with you via your blog and I hope we'll one day be in the same place again!

  4. Thanks for visiting and the encouragement – really appreciated! I like the blogger community, you always meet interesting people. Happy Friday to you!

  5. Glad that you have a “TCK” group to belong in. You also belong with us bloggers! Hopping over from FMF. I have been to your blog before, but it has been awhile. I hope you are doing well, and I hope you always know that you belong to Him. He loves you, and He has sent you to do great things in the past and in the present…and many adventures to come in your future too! Blessings.

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