Uniquely Me

I am
a confusion of cultures.
Uniquely me.
I think this is good
because I can
understand
the traveller, sojourner, foreigner,
the homesickness
that comes.
I think this is also bad
because I cannot
be understood
by the person who has sown and grown in one place.
They know not
the real meaning of homesickness
that hits me
now and then.
Sometimes I despair of
understanding them.
I am
an island
and
a United Nations.
Who can recognise either in me
but God?

-“Uniquely Me” by Alex G James

I started reading from the book Third Culture Kids that was given to me by Martin’s family during a visit here in Sweden. I almost started crying when I read some entries from within. I’m onto chapter 3 when I landed on the poem “Uniquely Me” and felt compelled to write.

Who are “Third Culture Kids”?

“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture.  The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.”

Here is also a good article to explain what many of us TCK’s are feeling. My husband and I have been back in Sweden since 2002 and we’re rooted. Yet I still have this haunting feeling at times. Having changed my medication AGAIN (third time now) where vertigo and depression are among possible adverse events, I’m not sure what is Maria and what is just down to neurological chemical glitches. I chose to marry a non-TCK for I’ve always known where home is and that is where I want to go. I have my parents to thank for that; that my brother and I are not islands, but United Nations.

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