When I was a kid, I had a pretty clear picture in my head of what my future would look like.
I would get married, and have a family, and live in a suburban home, like “normal” Americans did; just like my parents. Well…maybe I wouldn’t switch houses as often as they did, and I probably wouldn’t be living on a military base, in a house assigned to us by the government. No, I would probably live more like my cousins, aunts, and uncles…you know, “normal.”
I would probably live more like my cousins, aunts, and uncles…you know, “normal.”
My husband would think in the same language as me and he would view the world through the same lens that was given to me as a child. We would have a backyard, and a car would be our preferred method of transport. We’d host after-church barbecues, and have people over to watch the game during football season. It would all be very natural, ordinary, regular.
After moving around the world several times, around the age of 15, the picture began to change. What was a regular life, anyway? Will my future children know where home is? Will my future husband even understand me? I was still me in the picture—a me with several different identities colliding into one world—but everything else was fuzzy.
If I ever had a chance at securing my future, I would need to find someone I understood, and who understood me. Someone from one of my many new “homes,” from one of the cultures I had so willingly and lovingly adopted, perhaps? Each country I had lived in represented one part of me—one, wonderful, enigmatic piece of my being—but that’s just what it was, part. A section. A fraction of a complicated whole. I needed to find someone who could know me fully…not just one part of me.
Each country I had lived in represented one part of me—one, wonderful, enigmatic piece of my being—but that’s just what it was, part. A section. A fraction of a complicated whole. I needed to find someone who could know me fully…not just one part of me.
And as I began to realize my multi-cultural-ness, I longed to know and love someone so equally broken, scattered, and yet complete, as I felt I was. My picture had been torn to tiny pieces, and put back together, and shredded, and crinkled, and reworked, and it had faded so many times.
Maybe I didn’t have to pick and choose what I liked from my many cultures, maybe I could be free to be all of them at once, and maybe my future husband would be able to do the same.
While I was completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Rome, Italy—the 6th country I call home—someone so outwardly NOT meant for me became my ideal match. He was born in Serbia, and raised in Hungary and Belgium, and I in America, raised in Germany, The Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria. With this slew of nations, contrasts, languages, and perceptions, we somehow found common ground in the most unlikely of circumstances. In the weirdest way, I can only say this pairing was God-ordained.
We understand each other in a way that no one else ever will.
After many moves, pursuing each other long-distance and longer-distance, everything fell into place. We have been married for 9 months. It’s messy. It’s wonderful. It’s complicated. It’s normal. And we understand each other in a way that no one else ever will. Our views on the world are two completely different mosaics, made up of none of the same shapes, sizes, or materials, and yet they are somehow exactly the same. In my case, when a TCK marries a TCK, two faded ideas of what life should be like become one perfect picture.