tears and a toad

June 28, 2013

Photo on 2013-06-27 at 16.51
Photo on 2013-06-27 at 16.49

I cried my way through the morning session yesterday. I didn’t expect to. And I shouldn’t have. I mean, really—this is the third year in a row that I have heard the same talk. But I guess hearing your own story doesn’t get old. And that’s exactly what yesterday was: my story. Technically, I guess, the session was “The TCK [Third Culture Kid] Profile,” but that’s exactly what my story is. So as the speaker talked, I kept having images flash through my mind that restarted the tears I had stopped shortly prior to that. But you know what? I LOVED it. In fact, after the session ended, I thanked L for her talk. I thanked her for making me cry. But she got that . . . she got me. She had just finished counseling us all to allow the TCKs to grieve, because they needed to. She had spoken of the intense conflict simmering under the surface of so many of us, surrounding the unique challenges of a mobile childhood [i.e. “homelessness”], cultural confusion [i.e. “lost-ness”], and relational difficulties [i.e. needy yet “need-less”]. We are, in short, a conflicted bunch ☺ But, as L mentioned, we would not trade our odd upbringing for anything. We want . . . need . . . the intensity. Who wants normal anyway?
But what I’m thinking about now, at this point in life, is the value of this upbringing for life as I know it. My temptation, in recent years, has been to feel guilty for time spent thinking about the issues that go along with a TCK upbringing. It can, for a busy working adult, feel a bit like wasted time: time frittered away reminiscing about things that do not exist any longer.
But what I am realizing now is that there is, in fact, a practical value for time spent with this issue. As with any aspect of one’s upbringing, awareness of what makes one “tick,” as a “TCK” [he he he ☺ ] can have a very real effect on one’s present life. The reason for this stems from the fact that self-awareness generally promotes more balanced and thoughtful reactions and decision-making.
So what I’m thinking, so far as my own life goes, is that I need to be aware of how different I am from the “norm.” This applies no matter where I am living, as any culture in which I reside will have a majority of people who are, more or less, “at home” there. If I try to fit in with the norm, I will fail. That said, I also know that I am accustomed to living as a chameleon, out of necessity. So I can, for a certain amount of time at least, appear to have adapted fine—can appear competent, efficient, and adjusted. But sooner or later, no matter how much I want to just be normal, with a settled routine, my restless roots will rear their head [feet? ;-)].
Maybe the solution is not to fight this as much as it is to choose my response. If I choose to be fully present, where I am, as much I can, no matter how long I expect to be there, maybe I can fight the current . . . if only just enough to doggie paddle ☺
This evening we had a thunderstorm: blessedly, after the increasingly stifling heat. As the downpour slowed to a sprinkle, Erika and I, stir-crazy after all the days’ meetings, decided to go for a walk. As we began, we saw a toad. I tried to get a picture of it, with Erika’s foot pointing towards it, but the rain falling on my computer was making the logistics of photo-taking a bit precarious. This was the best I ended up, which isn’t all that great, considering the toad is invisible. But as the computer was out, we then figured we should document our rain walk while we were at it. The walk didn’t last long, however, with the downpour resuming soon after we had begun. But we walked back inside refreshed and happy, even if we did look rather like drowned rats ☺

2 Responses to “tears and a toad”

  1. Twmcl40 said

    Wow! Your ability to put a verbal finger on deeply felt thoughts and feelings always awe me. I am glad you are willing to share your gift and your journey. Thank you!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. TJ said

    I was just thinking that though we may often feel out of place isn’t it great that in heaven we will feel fully home.

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