Everywhere and Nowhere.
I’m what they call a “third culture kid”. I grew up in different countries, cultures, and socioeconomic worlds. It’s why I feel I belong everywhere and nowhere.
Let me try to explain what that’s like.
My passport country is not where I live. I may still speak the language, but I certainly don’t know the rules anymore. I’ve been away too long. My primary residence is a place where I get my mail, in a city that I love more than anything. Yet my heart is dispersed around the world.
I often mix different languages into my sentences and don’t even notice. I learned a long time ago to read between the lines. My life is about the in “in-between-ness” of everything. I am a nomad.
Nomadic living has often-underestimated qualities.
We are philosophers of living in the moment; we are the transition; we are perpetually in beta.
Nomads often struggle with a sense of belonging, self-created identity, and cultural fit.
We are accused of being restless while our need for mobility is nothing but a constant need to explore, learn, and grow.
It might look like we keep moving around from place to place. In reality, we are returning to a place where we are surrounded by people who speak our language.
It took me over a decade to understand that this perpetual state of cultural confusion, lack of cultural identity, and my multilingual freestyle forms of expression come with the territory. It wasn’t until I started to seek the company of other nomads that I began to understand myself differently.
Why? Because I felt a sense of belonging.
When surrounded by nomads, I am neither a commodity nor the odd one out. My life is not mysterious or glorified; I am neither a threat nor confusing to them. They don’t try to compete or box me into a rigid set of ideas. I feel that I belong. I belong “in between”.
These “like-hearted” people are the ones who spark my creative drive and give me the courage to operate outside the “box”.
Granted, I spend a lot of my time online, and thanks to social media and various apps, we are now able to stay in touch almost daily without interruptions. I learned how to love across distances, but still get a little lonely sometimes. It’s the consequence of having your heart scattered around the world.
A consequence well worth the price.
Why is it so important to “belong somewhere”?
Because it gives us a sense of connection, community, and identity…
Having a safe place to be vulnerable is important to all of us. We want to matter, to be understood, and to be met as who we are. Nobody likes to feel they don’t belong. We all have to find our tribe.
My tribe are the nomads.
They are my place where I can find recognition and positive resonance. I feel met by those who speak “my language”. And by that, I don’t mean English, French, or German. I’m referring to the language of the heart, the place where we understand each other and know what it’s like to leave, change, grow, learn, and experience life with all of our senses.
This is the form of communication that happens when you take semantics out of the equation and learn to understand each other differently.
Language is powerful, languages are beautiful – semantics can create separation.
Have you ever noticed how an overly intellectualized debate, a verbal masturbation around semantics creates more separation than it does understanding? When everyone gets fixated on what is different, rather than looking for common ground between them?
As nomads are typically excellent translators between otherwise separate realms, they can understand and appreciate people without knowing the nuances of language. Their large comparative database makes them superior judges of characters in their socioeconomic context.
Nomads are driven by the callings of their souls. They follow the beat of their hearts and they do not submit to the dictates of the norm. They live in between all things.
In my opinion, people overthink their state of mind! They give too much value to interpretation without any actions to bridge the divide between people.
For example, why do we try to “think outside the box”? …Why stay in the tyranny of trends trying to think your way out of it?
Why not just step out of the box?
Personally, I have come to understand how emotional connections build bridges across distances and divides. It’s a pathway to understanding. I have come to understand that vulnerability, kindness, and acceptance of differences are the most effective form of communication.
I believe in giving people a space in which they are allowed to be flawed, grow, and change.
What is your tribe?
Who are the people that let you grow, change, and thrive?
Where do you feel met, understood, and able to make yourself vulnerable?
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me directly. Like what you read? Pass it on.
Lots of love,