As a TCK, you never really expect to be in a “fixed and final” phase, especially when in a relationship. Well, a couple years ago, I’ve found myself in a relationship of close to 3 years (quite an achievement for a TCK right?) To be honest, at that point, I thought I was settled but there was something within me, pulling me back to the country where I spent more than half of my life. A country that shaped me. And I’ve realised, that itch is always going to be there, no matter what. It turned out that I got the opportunity to head back to where I grew up, which was on a 13 hour plane ride away from where we were. It turns out that he followed along, for 4 months. It’s been said that if you really want to get a know a person, travel together. Well, it was exactly that.
I discovered another side of someone I thought I knew, a side I really did not like. Someone who criticised, despised and humiliated a country that meant too much to me. At that point, something broke inside me and I knew this was it. I knew I couldn’t do this anymore. We broke up, and I was on to a phase I don’t really have words for. Being stubborn, I have trouble admitting things but I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t well although I thought I was. I was now out of a comfort zone I had established for myself, something I could hang on and relate to. And I wanted to find that again yet not too much because I didn’t want to feel “trapped”. A nice oxymoron but I guess you could say it was typical of a TCK.
After quite a bit of failed attempts to rebuild myself, I found you. Now you were something else. You were the only one who remained through the stormy self I was. You stuck through the chaotic me and better yet, you opened my eyes. I just plainly wasn’t well. It’s tough to hear people define “normal” to you when you’re a TCK. You end up asking yourself if they even know what normal means. You also tend to think you know more, about different cultures or ways of life when you’re a TCK. This is normal, and it’s also due to the fact that you’ve might have dealt with ignorance, especially when you head back to your home country after having lived abroad for many years and you try to share your story with classmates who have never traveled. You tend to be jaded.
You made me see things in a different way. I’ve felt like I gained a better understanding of the world and people in general. Most importantly, I gained a better understanding of myself. My reactions, my outbursts or my thoughts. You took the time to understand why I would think, say things or act a certain way at a certain time. This numbness I’ve felt as a TCK, incompleteness, uncertainty, you’ve addressed. It’s you took apart every piece of me to put it back together in the best way possible. And I’m not going to lie, it’s been a painful and slow process but I think we’re on the right track.
The only dark cloud is the uncertainty of keeping you.
Having lost my friends over and over again. Having completely changed lives more than once. Adapting and readapting over and over and over again. The following have shaped me to believe that perhaps, one day you’ll leave. Or maybe, one day I’ll leave. I’m used to thinking this is all temporary and you can’t blame me. But I know one thing, you’re the only consistency I wouldn’t mind keeping.