We’re A Long Way Off

by Tiya

I’m going to be honest and tell you that I’ve been staring at this post for about a week now. I had an idea that I liked, yet I somehow couldn’t run with it. The idea was something I knew about very well (because why would I write about something I had no knowledge on?). I’m also not one to write about stuff that happens to me every day. If I did, this blog probably wouldn’t exist. And if it did, no one would read it. If people did read it, then it wouldn’t be enjoyed very much.

This particular post may be somewhat similar to another one I’ve written, but whatever this is has been heavy on my heart for a few weeks now.

Tiya M. Photography © 2014

So, what was I going to write about? Something about home and how home isn’t really home because nowhere on earth is home. Home.

I was raised as a Third Culture Kid . No residence on earth was permanent in my upbringing. I was flying before I could walk, and I’m slow to pick up on some American cultural references. Nobody knows this unless I tell them. Maybe it’s because I “don’t have much of an accent”. Or I just blend in. I don’t know.

I’ve been in Pennsylvania for a little over two years. I do love it here. I don’t mind being asked where I’m from as much as people think (because you should see my face when it happens), but I never give them a straight answer. Truthfully, I’m not sure where home is. I just tell people I carry Canadian citizenship and list off all the places I’ve lived – in under a minute. Sometimes I’ll make one of my friends do it for me, just because they can.

I should let you know that I have gone down a rabbit hole. 

If you are a TCK/MK and you’re reading this, then I want you to know something: You aren’t alone.

Tiya M. Photography © 2014

I think it is so easy for us as TCK’s/MK’s to move to another country and think that we are (alone). In a way it is true – you’ll meet people who don’t have passports (which to us is crazy!), people who have grown up in the same house their entire life. Sometimes we’re not sure if we’re the ones who are different, or if they are.

I think the biggest stumbling block we have is that we are completely convinced that nobody understands or cares. Do you recall these feelings? I do.

It’s okay to grieve.

Leaving a country that has taken up a significant amount of space in your heart, is hard. There really is no other way to put it. I have been there, and so have you. It’s hard to be in a group of people and listen to them talk about things you don’t understand. Sometimes I listen to my friends talk about movies or TV shows, and honestly, I tend not to care about most of what is said. It’s easy to feel like an outsider when you were raised so uniquely.

With all that said, I still want to let you know that your new friends do care about you. “But no one understands!”, you protest. Are you sure? Your new friends may not be globetrotters, but I can assure you that they have experienced the heartache of a friend moving away, or the homesickness of a first semester at college.

Friends, I want you to consider these things. The people around you may not be as far away from their families as you are, but that does not make their pain any less significant than yours. I’m so guilty of thinking like this, and it’s bad. Opening up is a huge part of adjusting to a new place. While you obviously don’t need to do this with everyone, you’d be surprised at how many people might understand your pain. They probably won’t be able to relate to certain situations you’ve been in, but don’t hold that against them. Don’t let the pity scene get in the way of everything. You are here because you are meant to be here.

You are not in this new place by mistake. He is doing great things. 

Tiya M. Photography © 2014