Reflections

Resolution of an Alien at Home

I’m not one for making new year resolutions.  I usually give up pretty quickly anyway.  but THIS year…. well, I’m HOPING this year will be different.  My resolution is to keep a blog regularly updated.  But not just any blog… MY blog.  A website where I can share what I’m really passionate about.  And hopefully, a place where I can interact with my readers so that we can learn about something incredible together and share each others experiences and insights.  The year 2013, by God’s will, ended with a discovery that I actually know what I want to do with my life and a confirmation that my greatest and deepest wish would soon come true.  But I’ll tell you more about that in later posts.

For now, all you need to know is that my home is different than the average home.  My mom is an American born and raised in New Jersey.  My dad, who was born in Egypt, is an American-Canadian by citizenship and a Greek by blood.  My oldest brother was born in Canada, but my sister, 2nd brother, and myself were all born in Thailand where my parents were missionaries for 17 years.  I lived in Canada for 1 year, Thailand for 7 years, and America for 14 years now.  I am a Third Culture Kid (TCK)… a kid who grew up in a culture outside my parents’ “home culture”, identifying with neither my parent’s culture nor my host culture.  Instead, I identify with the thousands of individuals who have grown up with this common feeling of being an Alien at Home, wherever home may be.

5 guesses as to which one is me
5 guesses as to which one is me

It is my desire and passion to study this TCK culture.  I want to learn about the challenges and blessings.  This semester I will officially be starting this research, and I would like to invite you to learn with me.  I want to share what I have discovered, what I have experienced, and tell you stories about individuals (friends, celebrities, and even fictional characters) who identify as TCKs.  Most importantly, I want to invite you to share YOUR experiences, your thoughts, and your criticisms.  The TCK experience is unique as a whole, but you will find that there are areas in which you will relate.  Tell me about it!

For now, tell me about YOU!

1. Where were you born?

2. Where have you lived?

3. Where is your “home”?

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14 thoughts on “Resolution of an Alien at Home”

  1. Harm, I’m so glad you are doing this! It’s fun to see what you are passionate about. I am not a TCK, but I am married to one. There are things about Nate that sometime don’t make sense to me, because of where he is from and how that has affected him.

    1. Thanks Ally! I hope that this will be a site that can help you understand Nate better. I’m really looking forward to hear your ideas and perspectives throughout the blog. Mel had the great idea of interviewing spouses of TCKs too so that we can see what THAT perspective might be like, so I may set up an interview with you at some point 🙂

  2. I am so glad that you decided to start this blog. It’s a tough issue, but I know you will do a great job portraying the immense joys and difficulties of being a TCK.

    I was born in Thailand, and have lived there, Canada and the US. The US is now my home, but it took a looong time to feel that way.

    1. Thanks for your support Mel! Definitely a tough issue, and even though I’m a TCK, I still find it hard to fully grasp the definition of what a TCK is.

      I’m glad you finally have a place to call home. I wonder if most adult TCKs have a better sense of home once they are married and have kids. I bet that singles have a different perspective.

      1. I truly would hope so. I am still single and lost in where to really go. I am a TCK and an MK (missionaries kid) and grew up in the Philippines but am by birth German. Right now i live in Germany and am a Student soon to be done with my Bachelor. Life has been crazy and surviving it all isn’t easy. I came back to Germany with my Family at the age of 18/19 and before was 17 Years in the Philippines, every five years my family and I would return to Germany for one year and then go back to the Philippines. Where do I feel at home, really hard question. I will be visiting the Philippines after three year now in February once again. To time I am going through a “Trauerprozess” in German, a mmh “crying” or “leaving behind” process.

        Many greetings
        Dorines

      2. Thanks so much for sharing Dorines! I can understand that lost feeling. I pray that God helps you find your way. It took me a while to trust that He knew the way even when I didn’t, but God always provides. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences and how you can or cannot relate to some of the topics I bring up!

  3. Harmy….I am not a TCK but I do have a thought in that when I became a follower of Christ in college I suddenly felt I was not at home any more. If God made us for heaven and we are here on earth I suppose I could answer your questions like this: I was born in Red Bank, NJ and raised as a “yank” through and through until I became a Christian in college when I was born again. I have lived in NJ, and NY where college was….and Montreal (which is a different culture, being French, from other parts of Canada), and lived in New Brunswick, Canada, and central Thailand, and Pennsylvania. My earthly home with with sTeve (your Dad)…and wherever else my kids are, and ultimately my real home is heaven.

    1. Good point Mom. I have thought about the same thing. I definitely feel that my real home is in heaven. I think that such a realization brings enormous comfort to those that feel homeless on earth. Thanks for the input mom 🙂

  4. As a fellow blogging TCK, I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with your blog and your research. During these past few years since I moved back to the US and I started my blog, I’ve really delved into what it meant growing up as a TCK and how it’s shaped who I am.

    I’m originally Lebanese, but was naturalized American as a kid. Born in Cyprus, then lived in Wisconsin, Mexico, Philippines, Australia, France (UK shortly for MA degree) and now Connecticut. I moved back to the US for my husband’s job – he’s also a TCK (Italian origin, born in Singapore, then lived in Florida, Argentina, Indiana, France, UK and now CT…in case you were wondering 😉 ).

    It’s very difficult for me to define home and although technically coming back to the US was me ‘returning home’ since it’s my passport country, it’s not really coming home for me… And that’s made for a very interesting and not always easy transition, but I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot these past 3 years. And besides, transitions and adapting is all part of the TCK life, right? 🙂

    Sorry for the lengthy comment, but it’s always great to find other TCKs! Best of luck with your blog and research – I’ll make sure to follow along!

    1. Thanks for sharing Dounia! You can leave a lengthy comment anytime 🙂
      Since I just started a couple weeks ago, I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I want the blog to go, but hopefully it all comes together soon
      What did your parents do that caused you to move so much? Business?
      And that’s great that you found another TCK to share those experiences with for life. I definitely want to look more into marriages of TCKs (marrying another TCK versus marrying a non-TCK). I really look forward to hearing more from you, and I’ll be sure to keep up with your posts as well

  5. As a TCK i find incredibly touching to find websites and blogs like yours that can, somehow, help me to learn more about this phenomenon I’m part of and to know more people with the same concerns as mine. As you probably know, its easy to feel lonesome and not understood in a world where very few people share this characteristics. So thank you so much for this work you are doing!!

    Im 18 years old and was born in Guatemala from Spanish parents that came to live to the third world looking for business opportunities. Even though I was born there, my parents always to plant on me in spanish ways, thats why every year I went to spain at least 2 times. I had lived in Guatemala until last year (to add up I went to an american school and traveled there often, so I feel very close to that culture also) when I decided to go to college in Spain and leave all my friends and my parents. Its been quite a ride, and even though Im enjoying this, it gets kind of hard sometimes.

    I don’t really know where I am from, I can only say that not finding a place to call “home” is somehow my greatest attribute and also my greatest flaw. This condition has caused me to feel alienated and different from the rest, yet is has also provided me with a sense of self-worth and braveness, like when you know you’ll be able and strong enough to cope with everything life throws at you.

    1. Welcome Fuensanta! I hope this blog continues to be a place where we both can learn more about the Third Culture experience. If you’re looking for more info, I have a resource page that lists some great books and internet sights…if you don’t already know them.

      I love hearing about everyone’s background. Every TCK is so unique! Was the American School a boarding school? and how often do you get to see your family? It must be very hard to be away from them.

      I can definitely see how being a TCK can bring so many benefits as well as so many challenges. That’s everything I want this blog to be about…how TCKs are so blessed, and yet there are so many struggles that need to be recognized and addressed.

      I look forward to hearing more from you Fuensanta!

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