It’s interesting when you meet people, and they ask you, “where do you come from?” Most people are able to answer this easily, no doubt originate from the same place that their parents came from, maybe their grandparents, or even great grandparents.
Whenever I’m asked, immediately I’m reminded of the “identity” crisis I face every day as I never really know how to answer it in less than a sentence. My family are Scottish, I was born in the Netherlands and have been raised in Belgium.
Third culture kid? Child of the world? Just your average day in the life of an expatriate.
I’ve come to realise in my 21 years that it doesn’t really matter where you come from. Your nationality is just a label, like every other word you use to describe yourself. It’s just a word which shapes your image give you a sense of “self”.
It forms a part of your ongoing story which helps you and those around you make sense of who you “are”. People take great pride in their countries, and with all the patriotism that comes with it, they think that by identifying with this they feel a sense of collectivism with others of the same nature.
However, your nationality is just another one of the mind’s games to make sense of itself in the world of form that we live in.
Honestly, it doesn’t actually matter at all. None of the many features of your growing autobiography represent you who you really are. The past and the future are just man-made illusions. All the many little preferences gone by that once upon a time meant the world to you are now just that, gone.
Mistakes you’ve made, they do not define you. Achievements you’ve made, they do not define you either.
The present moment is all we’ll ever have and is ever-changing. All that you have, and all that you are is what you’re experiencing in this moment. Deeper still, the characteristics you associate with even in this moment don’t define you either.
All that we REALLY are, are manifested existences wandering the earth temporarily in finite physical bodies.
Okay I’ve just realised how deep I’ve dug with my theoretical shovel, returning to IDENTITY…
Whether I was in touch with my spirituality or not, thanks to my international background, I haven’t needed mindfulness to realise the unimportance of identity.
Time and time again I’ve quizzed my parents over the years to try and gain clarity on where I come from or where I should say I’ve come from.
When the endless inquiring continues to remain unsolved, you eventually realise that it doesn’t matter at all.
Once getting past that all-important meeting question and establishing that your background is a bit different, you realise that life isn’t a one size fits all kind of experience.
Better yet, what a blessing it is to actually be DIFFERENT from the majority.
Home is where the heart is, and whether my family continue to live in Belgium, or move on to somewhere else, that’s where home will be.
I’m glad to not feel obliged to return to the same starting point at the end of it all, because there is nowhere to return!
This permits me to wander wherever my heart desires with no strings attached.
If that doesn’t sound like freedom, then do inform me what is!!! 😉