[31 Days] Day 23 Free

It’s Day 23 of the 31 Days in the Life of a TCK series! Welcome! You can find more info on the series here. Don’t forget to subscribe!

I had some interesting conversations with my sister and some friends in the last few weeks that got me thinking. 

“I think I am not a TCK anymore.” 

This sounded weird to me at first, harsh even. 
How can you just let go of everything you’ve experienced, not acknowledge your past and the many blessings that came with it? 

But I think this is not what they meant. 
To call yourself a TCK can easily become your excuse. 
Your protective shield. 
Your wall to hide behind. 

No, I won’t settle here because I am bound to move all my life anyway.
No, I won’t meet new people because my best friends live on another continent anyway.
No, I will never fit in here because as a TCK I cannot fit in anywhere. 

If being a TCK leads to hiding and excuses, then you use the wonderful experiences you had as a stumbling block to move on and might keep yourself from many more blessings. 
Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting everything else.

As TCKs we should be free of the constant victim and excuse mentality, holding us back from enjoying life, as fragmented and multi-faceted it may be.

So what makes a TCK a TCK? 
I am not quite ready to give up the term yet. 
I am ready to let go of calling myself a victim and rather see myself as benefactor of this life I’ve been given to live. 
Yet, the older I get and the more I enter into new stages of life I feel I cannot NOT be a TCK. 
Here and there, in small and big thoughts, decisions, factors I see how my past shapes my present and my future. 
This is nothing to be scared of or hide behind, but I feel TCKs should be aware of this and embrace the “TCK seeds” that now bear fruits. 

This is an issue I am not done with yet, and I would be really interested to hear from YOU! 
Are you an older TCK and have had similar questions? How do you define yourself as a TCK? How do you have problems with the TCK identity? 

Author: Katha von Dessien

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

10 thoughts on “[31 Days] Day 23 Free”

  1. No judging over here! There's more info on TCKs in the page above. Otherwise just ask!
    What are you doing in Japan? Culture shock isn't always easy, but the reward is worth living through it!

  2. Yes, this “should” voice in your head sounds all too familiar…Just take your time, there's not rule as to do what when. Hope you enjoy certain things again and keep valuable memories of SA in your heart!

  3. Yes, this not being ready to settle and setting down roots is one of the biggest challenges for TCKs or people who moved around a lot…Hope you have great people alongside you who make you want to settle a bit more…:)

  4. Hey Patty, your comment came through only once, so no worries…:) Travel is definitely a nice alternative if you don't move around often. If you have any more questions on TCKs, let me know! Thanks for coming by!

  5. I don't want to sound silly, but I haven't heard of 'TCK' before. Thank you for telling me what it stands for.
    I live in Japan, which is a relatively homogeneous society. Still, I sometimes feel the 'culture shock' living here.

  6. Though I'm not a TCK, I did struggle with identity upon arrival back in the US. And now, coming on a year later…sometimes I feel like I should be more adjusted than I really am. That I should be “normal” again. But life in Africa was a complete worldview shift, and “normal” changes after that!

  7. Wow I am not a TCK but I did immigrate to the U.S. and can relate to so much of what you said today. I am not ready to settle ~ especially as we have moved 4 times in 2 years. I have become so guarded against placing down roots wherever we are and don't believe I will be ready to give up on that until we buy a home.
    Sarah Travis

  8. Hi Katha… Sorry if this posts twice. I didn't see my comment earlier. Thank you for sharing! I grew up in the same neighborhood through childhood and aside from my dad, no one in my family ever really goes anywhere. I think that's why I just LOVE travel so much. I had no idea what TCK meant until now, so thank you for sharing your adventures and for shedding light on what could be a difficult situation. I don't think you have to let go of the term TCK even though you are thriving in your experiences. Thanks again!

  9. I'm not a TCK and was pretty stationary most of my childhood. However, I can see how moving from culture to culture could be both exciting and scary. I love that you are striving to see the blessings in your experience, but at the same time let go of the aspects of being a TCK that might be holding you back.

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