Today is my birthday as I stated in a previous post.... I also stated that I was a TCK who struggles with a sense of belonging and all of that. I don't like being the center of attention, I much prefer to quietly go about my business behind the scenes, moving in and out like a shadow or something like that. I love love love making a HUGE deal of holidays and other people's birthdays or going away parties... it makes me happy to do that for people, it's part of my nature. But as for myself, it kind of weirds me out. As I did a teleclass on TCKs last night, I began to understand why... and I don't know if it's the same for all TCKs but it's the truth for me: I never feel like I belong anywhere... I feel like I can understand and function best in the international community where most people are like-minded to me but I still don't feel like I belong. I have lots and LOTS of good friends but only a few I would trust my heart and soul to... so when I come into a new community, I tend to connect very well and very quickly initially, but then I struggle to go deeper. As a TCK you are often left by friends and family or you are doing the leaving and it's always been out of my control (we moved for my dad's work all the time... no, he isn't in the military)... now that I am an adult, I seem to harbour residual fear of being left or forced to leave, so I choose not too get to close, not to seem to prominent and to leave before too many roots begin to settle in. It's how I've become a TCA (Third Culture Adult) and how I deal with all holidays, birthdays and friendships... I make them a non-issue.
Well, today, my new friend Charity heard my words and ignored them anyway (and I am grateful for it). She helped to organize a small surprise birthday gathering for me. I was totally taken by surprise (I freaked and headed for the bedroom so as to avoid all eyes on me.... hahaha... such a fool!!). I may have seemed ungrateful but it's not the case... I really appreciate the thought, the care, the planning and the friendship... I see all those things in the gathering, but the mass amount of intense and instant attention is a bit overwhelming and something I've tried to avoid for the better part of my life. So thank-you Charity for helping me have a normal birthday (usually, I spend it alone or at a quiet dinner... I've known a party or two in my time, but I prefer to keep it quiet), thank you for my first surprise party ever and thank you for being a friend that helped me grow in understanding myself a little more today!!