where are you from? a letter to third culture kids.

PLAY THE ATTACHED AUDIO FILE BELOW FOR ME TO READ ALONG WITH YOU (or maybe you're just lazy and can't be bothered to read....that's cool too...)

Dear third culture kid,

Where are you from?

Honestly, I don't know either - but perhaps that's something we can live with for now. A sense of belonging is not one you've experienced all too much, yet you experience it all the time. Everywhere has become your home, and believe it or not, your passport has little to do with it. Your visas are irrelevant. The stamps don't mean much. They're all just places you once belonged to, scattered like ashes across the world - without knowing too much about one place or another.

You've tried to belong to the country your family belongs to, but your passport disagrees. You don't speak their language, and your mother blames herself for this. You blame yourself for this, too. You come from the same bloodline of a group of foreign people who you don't understand, and because of this, you pretend to have lots in common with them. And you love your extended family, don't get me wrong, but you can't remember when last you felt like you were just as big a part of them as the other cousins are. You don't go 'home' for the holidays, you go back to your passport country, or your family country, or perhaps you stay in your resident country. One of these is meant to be home, or a version of it at least; but the country you miss the most is neither of these. You are a living embodiment of 'home is where the heart is', but you're not even sure where that lies. But just because you're untraditional, it doesn't mean you're impossible. Sure, it's harder - but only because it's not the norm. Your family consists not just of your bloodline, but your adopted family of people you love, like you - scattered. You have 'family' in places you've only been to once, yet your emotional connection to these people is beyond that which is restricted to whereabouts. You have learnt that where you are doesn't matter all too much.

To an extent. Your heart still aches when you hear the name of your favourite place on earth. No matter how out of place you feel there. A caucasian girl is the most comfortable in China - that's how it played out for me. It sounds odd, but the sense of belonging I receive from that place is much more than I receive from the 'home' the government has given me; or the 'home' my roots try to pull me back to.

You're allowed to be upset. Belonging is complex and not worth the tears, but letting go is all too difficult a task. I know. We've all been there. Your friends are always better and more worthy in the last place you were in, the grass is always greener on the other side, and it'll seem like this for as long as you go on. You miss everybody you've met like they're your own severed limbs. They don't grow back, and aren't replaced without them feeling artificial and unauthentic. I guess, sometimes typing *hug* over Skype doesn't quite cut it...

Moving is so short, belonging takes so long.

Emma.