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The New Me

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To help understand the hearts of our missionary kids and the challenges they face as they move between cultures, we would like to share a poem from an adult Third Culture Kid. The term Third Culture Kid (TCK) is often defined as “a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture.”

The New Me
by Rose*

Friendly people, friendly faces
I’m “home!”
I want to fit in. I really do.
But why do I feel odd? Like I have two extra thumbs.

Time passes…
At “home,” I feel lost;
Away, I feel at home.
Can I express that?
Do I realize what I feel?
I drive people away with my raw honesty.

Catching up…
I don’t want to get my driver’s license;
too much independence.
How much money should I keep in my wallet?
How do I treat my North American peers?
What was that joke again…?
Depression and anxiety creep in. I cry myself to sleep.

I’ve heard time is my friend.
I need time; lots of it.
A chance to grow into myself. Who am I?

After time…
I like who I am. Does anyone else?
I can relate to friends in the jungle (especially the concrete jungle).
Can I also relate to you?
So many new experiences.
I’m learning to never say never.

Now, cautiously…
I do feel the love.
I do love this place.
I may not fit tight, but
This is the new me.

Rose is an adult TCK whose parents were RMM workers in Ecuador for eight years. Today, she is married and a mom of three, and lives and works with EMM in East Asia. Rose along with her husband, work to inspire vision for Silk Road mission opportunities among local believers in East Asia, Latin America, and North America. In her free milliseconds of time she enjoys reading, drinking coffee, playing games, writing, and being in quiet, naturally beautiful places. Her favorite part of growing up in a missionary family was the adventure of it all, and the hardest part is still the good-byes.

*Name changed for security reasons.