Hearing news of disasters or conflict can often remind TCKs of other events that have happened closer to home. They remember how it affected them before, and understand how it is affecting others now.
I’ve heard people say “I’m surprised you weren’t kidnapped!” when they hear where I’m from. I can’t help but inwardly laugh, and outwardly try to explain that in reality, people in the Middle East are just like you and me.
When I lived in Singapore, one of my aunts shipped me a shoebox full of Heinz ketchup packets from the United States. Tomato sauce is not the same thing as ketchup!
In the yearbook picture, right in front, standing with feet apart and hands on hips, was me. I was the leader! Unafraid, unashamed and confident in every way. Never again would I be that self-assured or uninhibited. I left that “me” behind when we left Brussels.
Now, some people would tell me to get a grip. I was going through the typical “Quarter-Life Crisis,” where a 20-something starts feeling anxious about their future. But as adult TCKs, we also face the unusual crossroads of wondering whether to stay put, or to remain a global nomad.
Entrepreneurs and TCKs have some strikingly common characteristics: adaptable, open to risk, and remarkably resilient. “I’ve seen all kinds of entrepreneurs,” John Scull says. “I think, at end of day, the most important characteristic is that you can deal with ambiguity.”
A terse U.S. immigration officer informs me of a mistake on my form – after a year and a half studying in China, my country of residence is no longer the USA. I apologize as she grunts and waves me through. I feel very welcomed.