ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND LIFESTYLE BLOGGER
The purpose of blogging my story is to give words to the experiences that caused so much joy and sorrow in my life. It’s a story that not many people get to live and one that from the outside appears glamorous yet isn’t in so many ways.
In my thirty years on this earth I have moved fourteen times, lived in four countries, been to countless schools, lost more best friends than I can count and experienced more than most people do in a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade any of it. But what people don’t tell you about growing up as a TCK is that it’s full of fear and excitement.
A TCK (or Third Culture Kid) is the term used to describe a child who has grown up in cultures other than that which is on their passport or that their parents hail from. It’s a weird struggle where you know where you’re from but don’t identify with anyone or anything “back home” because it’s all foreign and no one understands you.
This is how I grew up.
As I was driving home today lost in my thoughts because my four year old and I weren’t on speaking terms (another story), I was struck by the incredible excitement of having found my place to plant roots in this world. I’m excited that the people that come into my life now I can truly pour into and building lasting, deep friendships with that don’t need to be rushed.
With all of the moving in my life I have become an expert at making friends quickly and leaving them just as fast. It’s sad. There’s no denying it but it’s what you had to do to protect yourself. We all knew we were moving on so we moved fast and fell hard. We poured everything we had into friendships getting to a point in them that would take “normal” people years to come to. We all became “TMI” friends.
So when making friends as an adult, I haven’t broken that TCK friend making habit. I still share too much. I still go from zero to best friends insanely quick. I still trust people from the moment I meet them. TCKs may come on too strong, it’s true. But I believe that what you’ll find is that we are some of the most loving and intentional people you’ll meet. We know what it’s like to be the odd one out and to not feel wanted. I know how it feels when that one person comes over to sit with you at lunch as the new kid and how much you just want to be loved. We get it and so we give it.
Moving so many times and leaving so many friends has made it too easy to leave people behind because we just got good at it, but I’m so excited that in this season of my life I don’t have to. I get to intentionally love on my friends knowing that it’s for the long haul – something I’ve never experienced before – and that we genuinely get to do life together!
There may be a lot of sadness in our journey through growing up in other cultures knowing we are constantly leaving so many amazing people behind, but it’s given us to ability to love deeply and empathise greatly. If you can find yourself a TCK to be friends with, do it!
And for all of my friends, if I share too much or love too much just know that it’s because I believe there’s not a moment to waste and I truly value YOU.