Sorry, it has been a little while since I last updated this blog. A lot has been going on in my personal life including some identity changes. Anyone know what that is like?
In Korean there is a word, 헷갈려 (hesgallyeo), which means confused. The beginning of the word 헷 means futile and the end 갈려 means to be divided. To be divided futilely, or confused. Eg: Whoa, that TCK is so 헷갈려...
I heard it first from a TCK and immediately fell in love with it. (I already love language, more on that later.) It’s a word for the thing you feel when in one country you are the American and in the other you are the girl from Ecuador. It’s what happens when you are identified by your heritage in a culture you know and your culture in your heritage country. It’s what happens when you aren’t sure how to answer that dreaded question, “where are you from?”
I’ve moved once again. This was number 32 in my 29 years of life. It came unexpectedly. I don’t mind change, or maybe I don’t know anything different so it is comforting. But whenever I start over in a new place I have this strange opportunity to decide, who am I going to be? I am always me but what parts of me will these people know?
Sometimes we get to be intentional about what parts of us we are known for, sometimes they are decided for us, but with every move we get to reveal what we want to about ourselves. We get to share as much or as little of our story as we want.
So here is the question, who are you?
In this season I have been struggling to feel known for the things I am used to being known for. A wise friend of mine asked me, “what do you WANT to be known for?” It’s a good question worth pondering.
Right now I am in Alabama with a wonderful organization called Kaleidoscope that works with TCKs. My last trip with them was incredible; this one is too. Nothing is better for a TCK who loves to talk about what being a TCK is than getting to do that with other people who want to do the same thing and with a bunch of TCKs. I’ll do it next month and again in January because sharing and talking through what being a TCK is and means is so important to me. But also, being with a bunch of TCKs is where I feel most myself. Where the things I don’t bother to explain don’t need to be explained.
I’m already thinking about moving again. Am I crazy? Probably. It will be in at least a year but after that I don’t know what will happen. If I move to a new community, who will I be? What will define me? I hope that all of us who live with a little 헷갈려 in us will remember we aren’t alone. Everyone changes and grows. Let’s all give ourselves a little bit of room to be confused and be ourselves. Let’s listen to stories and wait before we put people in boxes.
Who are you?