This is a blog about the everyday events of my life--what drives me, what encourages and discourages me, what touches and nurtures my heart...what makes me who I am.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

With all the blessings of being a TCK come all the challenges as well--Who am I? Where is home? Where do I belong?

Though I've come a long ways in my search for the answers, I find that I still continue to struggle with these issues. And as much as I want the issues to be resolved, I must remind myself that it is a journey, a journey to find my own voice, not that of someone else. I must be patient with myself and not rush to answers that are not my own and to a voice that is not mine. Maria Rilke said it best:

" patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now."
-Letters to a Young Poet

Monday, May 16, 2005

TCK humor

Here's some TCK humor (keep in mind that these people are Caucasian American TCKs):

- When people asked me where I'm from I used to just say Africa. But I always wound up getting asked questions like, "Why aren't you black?"

- I was born in Taiwan, and my favorite question is, "Are your parents Chinese?" Being a six foot tall Caucasian female doesn't seem to stop them from asking this!

- In Papua New Guinea (PNG) I say I'm from Norway, in Norway I say I went to an Americanized school, and in the States I say I'm from PNG. Home is always elsewhere.

- Of course, I always get asked the usual questions such as, "Are there lots of snakes, lions, etc. . . . , Do the people run around naked?"

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Benefits of being a TCK--making the world my home

Being a TCK means that I have friends from and in all parts of the world. Two of my high school classmates are back in Finland, one in Sweden, one in Korea, two in Taiwan, one in Africa, and some are here in the U.S. While my parents are in Bolivia, most of my relatives are in Taiwan. Being a TCK, I kind of see the world as my country. A college graduate from L.A. moving to Boston for a job would be the equivalent of me moving from L.A. to Shanghai. Packing up, moving, and adjusting to a new culture is not so difficult for me. It's just something I do almost automatically.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The benefits of being a TCK

Well, since we're wrapping up, I want to take these last few postings to reflect on some of the benefits of being a TCK.

One of these is the ability to view the world from different perspectives, something that seems to have always been a part of me. Before I make a decision, my mind automatically shifts from one point of view to another, and I have to go through all the possible points of view before I can come to any decision. Otherwise, I'm not satisfied. I need to see things from all the angles available to me thorough my cross-cultural lenses before coming to a satisfactory conculsion.

However, the downside of it is that I usually take too long to make up my mind.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Heart of a TCK--finding roots in relationships

One TCK put it this way when describing his roots,

"I am a mix of many cultures and my roots extend very far. My strongest roots do not lie in a place but in relationships. So, although I am a"hybrid," when I move I make my home, not by putting down geographic roots, but by building friendships. The more connected I am to people, the more connected I am to a place. . . Saying good-bye to good friends is extremely painful, but I would far rather suffer that kind of pain, than the pain of loneliness" (

He is right on when he says that the more I am connected to people, the more I am connected to that place.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Heart of a TCK--Belonging

So the heart of a TCK like me wants to belong. Growing up with a sense of always being on the fringe has been difficult. It's one thing to adjust to a new culture and to try not to stand out, but it's another thing to actually belong. I suppose I will never really belong with one particular culture and in one particular place. Perhaps where I belong is in my relationship with other TCKs like me, who also feel that sense of rootlessness.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Heart of a TCK--Facing reality

However much I may long to be 100% Chinese and fit in with them, I must face reality and come to terms with it. The reality is that I will never be like the Chinese who spent their whole lives in China or Taiwan. They've grown up with a way of viewing the world that's completely different from mine. By virtue of growing up in the same country, they share a common background. They grew up watching the same TV shows, listening to the same types of music, went through the same school system, etc. The truth is, I'll always be seen as different.

Now, is that necessarily a bad thing? No, of course not. Being different is not a bad thing, but it sure would be nice to fit in for once.