Lent 10 + 11: fitting in

(Okay. I’m a day behind. But who is counting??)

My job is keeping me busy this weekend, but I’m learning a lot and I’m thankful to have a job that keeps me busy. And, also, I’m busy.

I’m not sure what to write about. I have a lot of thoughts on my mind.

Mostly thinking about culture (since it’s what I’m getting my MSc in), and how great I am at adapting but how bad I am at belonging.

I’m what is called (in the psychological world) and ATCK.  An Adult Third Culture Kid.  It is a child who is moved during developmental years; raised for multiple years in a country other than their parent’s passport country.  The impact of being asked to ‘belong’ in multiple cultures leads to things. It leads to superpowers like adaptability and the ability to put people at ease no matter how different.  It leads to never treating or even feeling like others are ‘outsiders.’  And it leads to challenges like unresolved grief, and identity confusion and always feeling a little out of place.  It leads to a feeling that I have named ‘homesickness’ which is a vague sense of nausea that is actually just feeling disconnected; feeling like you don’t quite belong.

This weekend I feel a lot of that feeling.

It’s okay.  I’ve learned how to deal with it.  I’ve learned to tolerate the feeling, and accept it.  I’ve learned to breathe deeply and remember, I do belong.  I’ve learned to push my roots deeper and ask them to give me the flexibility to move with the direction the wind is blowing in, without fear of being uprooted – not motivated by a desire to conform in order to belong, but out of an overflow of confidence that I do belong.

(BTW – this post is not related to Lent. But that’s what is on my mind.  So there you go.)

Genuine question that I’d like a genuine answer to:

  • Does anyone else struggle with this?? (a feeling of not belonging??)
  • How do you manage it?



8 thoughts on “Lent 10 + 11: fitting in

  1. I grew up in a bicultural household – Japanese and American, and can relate to everything you’ve written. Adaptable is certainly true! I was always aware of my “American-ness” when in Japan but my Japanese side in the US. Growing up this was at times confusing and frustrating , but now as an adult, I see how this experience always pointed me to finding my identity in Christ. Not easy or something I am always confident in, but a constant and loving reminder when I struggle.

  2. For a really long time, especially in my adult life I’ve felt like I don’t belong. It is mostly true since I started to follow Jesus. I didn’t feel like I fit in the world but I also didn’t feel like I belonged in the Christian circles I was in. It put a magnifiying glass over my feelings of in adequacy.

    It really has only been about a year that I have learned to cope with it. I had to deal with the underlying issue of inadequacy. But more importantly, it’s a fight to tell the lies that I belong to the most high King and that is more than sufficient. That has taken so many years to finally get here.

    1. Yeah. It’s weird how being a Christian can make you feel like an outsider in all the worlds here, even the ‘church’ ones! <3 Thank you for sharing this!!

  3. Pretty much errday. I think it’s the human condition? And if not that, I blame going to 4 different schools in 6-9th grades. #whiskeyfodder

  4. Yes yes yes! I’m an ATKD too! I’m a little late to this post but oh my gosh, I am struggling with this so much right now. I opened it up in my browser and told myself I would read it later, and it came at the perfect time. I went to a the Latin American showcase for SXSW alone because no one in my circle could/wanted to go I told myself…I need more brown friends. But because of my background not just in culture but in faith, I don’t exactly fit in with my brown people either. I don’t have an answer, and as I read the responses of some people there it’s encouraging, but I have not been good at reminding myself of truth and fighting the lies that I don’t fit in anywhere.

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