Sunday, August 1, 2010

Transition Seminar Thoughts, Day 1

So I’m at my “Transition Seminar” here in Colorado Springs. I have a splitting headache due to dehydration and altitude sickness, as well as a sore throat, but I’m having a good time.

First of all… I wasn’t sure why I came to this place, and I still don’t have everything yet, but its been very successful for now. I think one thing to say is that, obviously, I’m in Transition and I have a feeling that not only this week here in Colorado, but also the next few weeks leading up to my first day of classes in Austin will be very important. Right now what I’d say is that last time I had something this significant happen to me was two years ago in Scotland while my parents did the LDC. That was an amazing time and that was an amazing event, so I’m excited to again be part of such an event.

Thinking about Scotland, I am actually reminded of that experience in a lot of ways, some of the dynamics were different, and I was there for different reasons, but I have to say that I am very happy that I’m here.

So, first of all, this Transition Seminar is for people like me, TCKs, who are now in the process of Transitioning from living in a culture that is not their passport culture into their passport culture. So, we set up the basics of “Who We are.” Fun stuff like how many languages we speak, how many countries we’ve gone too, how many times we’ve moved houses. This morning and this afternoon we discussed so more important stuff, starting with the basic of “What is a TCK?”

Now, I sorta had a definition of a TCK, but I think what happened for me this time was that my definition was expanded. TCKs are not only people who lived outside of their passport country’s culture, but are in fact, a separate culture themselves. TCKs are people who accept and identify with all cultures, but feel at home, truly at home and truly comfortable, in no culture, except of course the culture of other TCKs.

I think that’s probably one of the more awesome things that hit me today. Not only am I a TCK, but I am part of a nation of people like me. Now, not to say that I didn’t enjoy Bangladesh, or that I don’t expect my time in America to be, overall, a good thing, but it hit me that I now know where I can have an identity, where my culture resides. Sure, there may not be a specific country or city or town, but there is a group of people who are, no matter what their passport says, part of my culture.

Now, when I realized that, I gotta say something really did click in my brain. I think a lot of you know that I have and probably always will, struggle with rejection. Now, again, I don’t think I was ever, exactly, or particularly, rejected when I lived in Bangladesh, I don’t expect to be rejected in College exactly or particularly (it could happen, I don’t think it will), but I think when I realized what a TCK was, and how we are our own people group, our own culture, I realized that I have been accepted, and that I will be accepted within my own people group.

And this is the interesting thing, by passport I am American, and, I want that association, for better or for worse. I like the fact that I am, after a fashion, American, and that is a heritage that I want to take with me, but, I feel more comfortable saying I’m a TCK and seeking a peer group of TCKs rather than Americans. I would say the same of my heritage from India and Bangladesh, I like those countries and I want what I have from them, but I’m not Bangladeshi, I’m not Indian.

So… I’m a TCK, and I’m really, really excited about the thought of being a TCK and continuing to use that to my advantage.

Another thought that hit me today, both as I was talking with someone else here and also as I was listening to the teaching/session/hearing the voice of God, was several thoughts that went back to Scotland and some of the things people told me in Scotland.

I am, and I will be, a nation-builder. I think now, for the first time in a while I’m getting a picture of what that means. Also, I remember when Jan told me that I was called to be, after a fashion, a missionary to my own nation. However, I want to link that statement (links within links, ha) to a thought my dad once taught/shared. God, for whatever reason, has this fascination with the Nations going to the Nations. My parents were called from America to South Asia to serve God. They would have had an easier time working America, perhaps, but there is a spiritual dynamic and something magical about Nations leaving their Nation and going to other Nations. Now, think about this, as a TCK, I am not part of the Nation of America from a cultural perspective. So, to link this back to Jan’s words, I will be a missionary to my own country, but I still get that magical, that spiritual dynamic that happens when the Nations go to the Nations. Awesome.

Secondly, I realized something about nation building. One of the problems inherent with Nations going to the Nations is that each nation has their own way of doing things. Now, that doesn’t mean one is perhaps right or better. That is, of course, sometimes the case, but it’s not always. This was just a random thought that popped into my head, but, “Will I be a better nation builder because I am a TCK, a person of many nations?” And another one is, “how does, and who will, my own culture effect the way I build nations?”

So yea, that’s what I’ve been thinking about over these past two sessions. I’ll probably write more stuff later tonight or tomorrow. Expect a lot, because a lot is happening.