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Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Coming Home is Hard

You feel that … you’re only just holding your own, or possibly losing ground.

The Art of Coming Home by Craig Storti, page 72

In context, this quote is talking about being a professional on your way home to a job where it is difficult to readjust to the difference in being back in your original company. I am not doing that, but I have returned to my university after being in England for 4 wonderful months. And in some sense, this sentence summed up how I’ve felt for the last couple months. I’m begining to not feel that way anymore, but it’s a slow process.

Trying to catch up with how my friends lives had changed while I was gone as well as applying for graduation, graduate school, and considering going back to England for my graduate classes was (and is) a bit daunting. The most difficult is in reconnecting with people. I used to know people’s names and how or why I knew them, but now that I’m back from Bristol, I’ll see people who I recognize but have no idea what their name is or how I know them. And it’s not just the people that I had a tenuous acquaintance with who I’ve forgotten, but my friend’s friends who I’ve meet but don’t remember any more.

Another experience that I didn’t expect at all is in my language. I actually felt like I was losing ground in knowing what language I spoke. Should I use the British English I’d learned or revert to American English? Should I be worried when I forget the British English I worked so hard to learn? Some days I felt like I was going a bit mad.

Now that I’ve had a few months to re-adjust to life in Ohio and think about what made my readjustment so hard. I think one of the biggest difficulties I’ve faced is my mindset. In England I was excited to get involved and be intentional about what I did with my time. I’ve lost a bit of that coming back to Ohio, but maybe not as much as I sometimes think. I think God’s used my time as an international student to give me a desire to be more plugged in to what is happening around me, rather than merely floating along life passively. I want to share the gospel like I was able to in England and God’s given me different opportunities than I would have done in England, but His Work is still happening. It’s a good reminder to see that I’m in God’s family, no mater where I am or even if I feel like I’m losing ground.

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New Home

Hello blog that looks like I’ve abandoned you. It’s been a while. Just as an update, I am planning on coming back here and writing more of my thoughts, but I’ve also just done a very TCK sort of thing: I’m studying abroad. The last month and a half have been great and reminded me why I like moving and other cultures and stuff. I’m even starting to want to move here, which is something I need to think and pray a lot about in the next 6 months. But seriously, how amazing would it be to do my Graduate work in the UK and then maybe even move here?!

All that to say, I’m living the TCK life right now and it’s keeping me busy. I will attempt to update soon, though! 🙂

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In the first chapter of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, the authors pose the question “where are you from” in the story about Erica. This is a dreaded question for me. Sometimes I want to just say, “I’m from Colorado.” …I am, too. That’s where I was born. But I grew up in 6 other states! It was easier in the CZ because I could just say that I was from the US. But it didn’t work when I moved back. People expect a town, I give a state.

“Where is home for you” is another question that I fret over answering. For a while the answer was Colorado. Then I realized that I no longer fit into the culture of ranching westerners from a small town. So I was rootless for a while. After moving 2 more times, I realized that Maryland was my home. I went back to visit every year, stayed with my best friends, used the library card I had when I lived there, went to the same church, etc. Then I started college. And my friends in Maryland went to college. Slowly my stability there changed. My friends didn’t live at home any more, so the one home I knew like the back of my hand and had lived in for at least 2 weeks out of every year for 10 years is no longer my “home.” Those friends have moved out, gotten married (as of last Saturday) and no longer live in Maryland. I’m back to being rootless.

All of that said, I have been realizing that while I don’t have a physical, earthly location to call my hometown, I have a future home that will be home indeed. The idea of home being where your heart is has some truth to it, though most people don’t take that as literal truth. For me, it is. My home is in heaven. When I meet other Christians, it’s like meeting extended family. In this way, my hometown is not a physical place but a spiritual one, that is found in many places. Some day my spiritual home town will be physical too. Having fellowship with my fellow believers is but a taste for me of what “hometownness” is like. It’s a good deal, too, because that type of hometown is eternal. I’ll never have to move away from it. I might not see some of my family members here on earth, but I will see them in heaven.

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