Home is Where the Heart is

I recently discovered this website for third culture kids. Third culture kids are people who have grown up in different countries during their childhood. They take the culture from one place and the culture from another place and create a hybrid, thus the name, third culture. Even though I grew up in Turkey and have still lived more than half of my life there (read all about the different homes I’ve lived in here), I never considered myself a third culture kid. Maybe it was because I didn’t hear the phrase very often, but I really only considered myself a slightly different American kid. I know that I don’t understand all of American culture, but I attributed that to other factors. And then I find this website.

And I see myself in the third culture kids they are describing. I can see how I really don’t have a home, that my home truly is wherever my heart is. I can see how I can relate to people and how I form deep relations quickly because that’s what you have to do when you know you might move soon. Granted, my childhood was different from the average third culture kid’s. But it was eye-opening to be able to relate to people that I didn’t even know, just because of this website.

And someone said something along the lines of “Third culture kids are used to saying goodbye.” Maybe it wasn’t even said, but it was implied. Yes, we’re used to moving around. Yes, the airport sometimes feels more like home than an actual home. But just because we say goodbye a lot doesn’t mean we’re “good at it.” I find goodbyes to be one of the hardest things to bear. You go along and make these deep connections with people and then you have to leave them. And that’s hard, really, really hard. I’ve found that having to say goodbye a lot doesn’t make me better at it; it makes me value my home more. And home is where the people are.

And I think that’s something that’s true about a lot of people. We want security, that warm place where you know that nothing needs to change. It’s our Castle on a Cloud, to quote the musical Les Miserables. We love change; just think of Bilbo Baggins leaving the comfort of his home to go on an adventure. But we also value security. It is a precious thing, to know that you belong somewhere, whether that is a physical place or not.

Last year, I was part of a choir that song an absolutely gorgeous song called “No Time (that isn’t us singing it; I just found this link on Youtube).” The whole song is about our journey home. And I think it’s accurate. That’s what we pursue in our lives. We are just searching for a place to belong.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Just one of the many homes I’ve lived in.
Epylle Spydre

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3 thoughts on “Home is Where the Heart is

  1. Pat and Kathleen Meeks says:

    So glad you found the website for third culture kids. This is sad about the goodbyes; soon you will say goodbye to high school and hello to college. Best wishes.

  2. Great post. I understand where you’re coming from. Everyone says ‘oh you’ve moved so many times that it must be easy for you to leave everyone behind’, but it isn’t. It has never been. There are so many memories you leave behind. With TCKs, we sort of divide our lives out according to where we lived during a particular period of time. It’s like a compartment we fill with our memories of that time, including the people who were a part of that period of time. Our past is never forgotten because it has shaped us enormously. That’s the difference.

    We want security and stability because we see how comfortable it is to know one place your whole life. But at the same time, give us that security and stability, and we would want to run away into uncertainty again.

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