In the weeks, months, and even year following, I’ve received an outpour of genuine, kind, and thoughtful messages from you, fellow TCKs and/or people struggling with adopting this one identity that captures such a broad variety of experiences, but also a bitterly painful colonial past. My favorites were the ones where you candidly shared your own experiences, your painful truths, how you’ve learned to embrace who you are, or maybe how you’re still learning to do so. I laughed at your personal stories of the hilarious awkwardness that consists of explaining our existence to strangers, such as how a Swiss woman born in Tunisia at her marriage ceremony to her American fiancé in Austria answered “how did you meet” with “in Spain.” It was beyond inspiring to read the honest life experiences from you all of how you’ve learned to find love, to settle down, to deal with the restlessness often accompanying our life, and cope with the strangeness of returning to a place you once called home only to realize it’s changed beyond recognition. And finally, I was moved to tears to read about how many of you related to my feelings of not belonging anywhere, feeling alone in your existence and yearning for some semblance of stability.
It felt humbling to be part of creating a space where other TCKs were able to skip the facade of lies many of us tell to save time or to avoid appearing ungrateful. We all have so, so much to be extremely grateful for, but we also need an honest space to reflect, as everyone should, about the complexities of our life and be critical about what we can and should do better.
So here’s to hoping this blog can be someplace where people feel comfortable sharing, not just other TCKs but everyone no matter who you are. We all spend so much of our lives hiding who we are and how we feel, behind small talk, behind happy social media posts, behind the “good, and you?” response we all find ourselves giving to the question “how are you?” when really, we weren’t, and can’t be “good” all the time. So, I promise that I will strive to be as honest and open in my writing, as I hope you will be in sharing your experiences in the comments or in your own posts. If there’s anything you would like to share that you don’t feel comfortable on such a public forum, please feel free write me your thoughts at [email protected] As terrifying as it is be sharing so much of myself to the world, and as ironic as this will sound considering our TCK existence, I hope this blog will play even the smallest role in creating a space where you all feel at home.