Being a TCK means I get to choose where I’m from. It means I get to choose who and what are part of my home, and it means that can change on a daily basis. It means my home can be anywhere and everywhere.
I was born and grew up in southern Germany. I moved to Arkansas the summer of 2018. I consider myself to be from Germany, but the longer I spend getting adjusted to Arkansas, the less I feel like I belong anywhere. I used to feel like I was 100% from Germany, and I prided myself on knowing and living out the intricate German culture in my daily life. But the longer I live in Arkansas, the more aspects of the German culture in my life are being forgotten, transformed, or mixed with American culture. I am what Kaleidoscope calls a “Swirly Person.”
I am inspired to work with other TCKs because I want to hear their stories and help them understand their own stories. It is so important for someone to be able to tell their story from their own point of view. Each story is different from their siblings’ or parents’ stories. I want to be able to show kids that it’s okay to not be the same as anyone else in their lives. Different aspects or memories in kids’ lives may be different or more important to them than to their other family members.
When I moved to Arkansas last summer, I failed to accept my grief. I pushed it away under the pretense that the move I was going through didn’t matter and wasn’t significant enough to spend time grieving over because everyone else in my TCK community had transitioned more than I had. I spent more time being in denial about the move than accepting and healing from it. I want to take this experience and show kids the importance of recognizing where you are and accepting it. I want to show them that it’s okay to be sad about things that seem minor to other people. If it means something to them, then it will mean something to the people who love them. I want them to be able to validate their own feelings and experiences.
Being a TCK comes with a lot of things. It comes with life experience, grief, travel, and a deep understanding of multiple cultures. That understanding and experience is a huge privilege. It’s a privilege I have come to understand more in the last few years, and it’s a privilege I’d like to be able to share and help others understand as well.