(MEDIUM) Being Third Culture

A Rarely-Understood Identity


Category: Lifelong Learning

(Cover Image: view from our Santiago apartment, 2015)

Being Third Culture- A Rarely-Understood Identity

“For my entire life I have had almost no one understand where I have been, how those places have shaped me, and who I have become. You may think I’m exaggerating when I say I have a hard time making sense of myself sometimes, but I’m not. This is why kids who grow up abroad are often thought of by native kids to be weird. You may expect me to come up with some rebuttal to that, but I don’t have one — it’s because most of the time we are weird. I’m fully aware of it, I’ve learned not to worry about it, I don’t take perceived judgments personally, I’m comfortable with who I am, and choose to use my weirdness to my advantage in life…

“Here’s one analogy I use to explain it: it’s like life is a game of pole vaulting and compared to everyone else’s poles I was given a longer one. I have an increased measure of difficulty added to life but have the potential to see greater results. Thus far in life, I would say I’ve been blessed to see some of those higher returns as a result of my crazy, but beneficial, past. Famous TCKs who made it work in their favor include Barack Obama (Indonesia), Freddie Mercury (Tanzania, India), Kobe Bryant (Italy), Keanu Reeves (Lebanon), Kim Jung Un (Switzerland until 15)… hehe…”

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