Today’s Prompt:

What advice would you give your teenage self?

Background:

When I was a teenager, I was living in London, England. That was already Country #4 for me. I knew that country wasn’t going to work out for me, but I felt stuck there. I talked so much about how I wanted to move away. Now that I know what a Third Culture Kid is and that it is an identity, not just words on a page, here’s what I would say:

My Answer:

β€œI can see you’re going through a lot right now. I see your struggles and that others don’t believe them because they see you as a dumb teenager. What you are going through is completely valid and normal. It’s okay to both grow up fast and yet mature slowly. Identity crises are normal for TCKs, but you will learn to manage them.”

β€œDon’t give up on finding who you are and where you fit in this world. Find your people, and also spread the word about TCKs. Don’t let anyone put you in a box where you don’t belong. Set boundaries, while still being compassionate and empathetic. Just because you were born in a UN city and diplomatic doesn’t mean you don’t have opinions. The world is built for monocultural people, but find a way as a multicultural person. There will be cultural barriers in every country, but you need to decide what you can live with and what you can’t. You’ll find the country that fits you eventually.”

I know teenage me was missing a lot of love and acceptance and that’s what I would show myself while giving advice. As a teen, I hated adults thinking they could tell me how to run my life because somehow they thought they knew everything. I learned to spot BS a mile away though! Any time someone said they knew everything, it was all I could do to not laugh in their face! People should be respectful to each other when giving advice, no matter their ages.

So, that’s my answer. What do you think?

About Author

I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦/πŸ‡―πŸ‡²πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.

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11 Comments

  1. WanderingCanadians – We’re a couple of Canadians who enjoy hiking, camping, diving, and spending as much time outdoors as we can. We hope our stories can help as you plan for your adventures. https://wanderingcanadians.com
    says:

    Being a teenager is tough. I imagine being a teenager in a different country is even tougher. I’m just glad those years are behind me!

    1. Third Culture Kid – I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦/πŸ‡―πŸ‡²πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      I wouldn’t be a teenager again for all the money in the world! Thanks for commenting 😊

  2. kagould17 – Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my β€œto-do” hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.
    says:

    As a teen, I recall talking to myself a lot. Mainly due to the fact, we moved around so much and I was always the new kid that nobody would talk to. I managed alright, but was always in one country at least. Mixing cultures with adolescence sounds just plain hard. Stay well and Happy New Year. Allan

    1. Third Culture Kid – I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦/πŸ‡―πŸ‡²πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      I did something similar. I would make up stories. Maybe that explains why I have a blog now lol. When I read this book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, it was good to hear that it is normal to be a messed up teen. There are good ages to move to a new country and bad ages to do so as well. Learning how to deal with identity crises is definitely part of teenage TCK life! Thanks for commenting and stay safe and healthy! 😊

  3. Rosaliene Bacchus – Los Angeles - California - USA – I was born in Guyana, a former British colony on the northern coast of the South American continent. As the only English-speaking country on the continent, Guyana's historical, cultural, and economic development is linked with the Caribbean Region and is a founding member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 1987, I migrated with my husband and two sons to Fortaleza, capital of the northeastern State of Ceara in Brazil. For fourteen years, I worked as an import-export manager. My sons and I migrated to Los Angeles, Southern California in the USA, in October 2003. After migrating to the USA, I started writing articles about international trade issues and US-Brazil trade, as well as fictional short stories. As a form of self-therapy, I began working on a novel. You can learn about my journey as a writer on my author’s website. My debut novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, was released in August 2019. You can learn more, read reviews, and purchase a copy on my author’s website at Under the Tamarind Tree: A Novel by Rosaliene Bacchus. My second novel, The Twisted Circle, the story of a young nun’s journey to self-determination in a patriarchal church, was released in August 2021. I am currently working on my first book of creative non-fiction.
    says:

    Sound advice, TCK! I can only imagine how disorienting it must’ve been as a teenager having to start live anew in a different culture. It’s true that β€œ[t]here will be cultural barriers in every country, but you need to decide what you can live with and what you can’t.” Openness to different ways of thinking and living is a good start to finding one’s footing.

    1. Third Culture Kid – I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦/πŸ‡―πŸ‡²πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      It was quite a revelation to learn that TCKs generally have a hard time as a teen growing up between cultures. There are good ages to change cultures and bad ages to do so too. At least I learned how to deal with identity crises lol. Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

    1. Third Culture Kid – I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦/πŸ‡―πŸ‡²πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      Thank you 😊

  4. CarolCooks2 – Udon Thani – Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them. I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling. Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing. This is now taking me into other areas like deforestation, chemicals and preservatives in the food chain. Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
    says:

    I think it must be hard growing up in a different culture but it must also be wonderful to embrace the differences and learn from it…I do agree about respect and kindness to others though…Happy New Year πŸ™‚

    1. Third Culture Kid – I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦/πŸ‡―πŸ‡²πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      It is tough, yes, but I am glad I grew from it. Happy New Year to you too!

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