I recently returned from one of the most affirming experiences I have ever had. I was privileged enough to attend the Families in Global Transitions (FIGT) conference this March. Started by the ever-glowing light of TCKdom, Ruth Van Reken and several of her friends around her kitchen table, this conference has grown to incredible proportions.
This event has developed into the international conference it was destined to become. This year, for the first time, FIGT went international to the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a city strewn with canals and cobblestone streets, and although it’s a large city, it feels like a small town. This is the same feeling within the TCK community, we are widespread and can be imagined as huge and worldly, but when we all gather together it feels like we’ve been in the same small town.
It’s this small town feeling that made me feel so welcomed as a first timer at the conference. As someone who hasn’t had that small town feel in a long time, I felt so refreshed by the incredible friendliness and immediate acceptance extended to me by all in attendance.
This tribe that I belong to, this beautiful community based on identity, is filled with bright minds and people who are impassioned to make a change. This infectious passion has been an exponential catalyst in the changes I’ve been making in my life. I was so inspired by my tribe that my desires to speak up in this conversation were reignited.
It’s so easy to sit back from this conversation, not only because it’s about identities and issues that feel difficult to translate, but also because of our own identities. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s easy to let myself blend into my surroundings and forget about what makes me tick to better fit in, because that’s what I’ve always done.
This conference forced me to be accountable for my contribution to this community. No more will I allow these identities to be out of sight, out of mind, I am choosing to keep these topics at the forefront of my mind. Almost every day since FIGT I have done something for myself and for this community, I’ve started building something and choosing to participate.
After meeting my tribe, hearing their stories, and understanding how they feel, I have become emotionally obligated to participate. Because these people are my home, whether I know them yet or not, they understand what it means and how it feels to be TCKs.
FIGT 2017 is also set to be in Amsterdam, my advice? Start planning to be there now, save up if you need to save up, start reaching out on Twitter, participate in #TCKchat, follow our blogs, find us. Be a part of this conversation, it’s so worth it.
I’m hoping I can make it back to FIGT! I presented and attended 2010-2012 and yes it feels like a home tribe. People that “get” your stories and feelings. It’s amazing!
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