“No Easy Answer” is pretty much how I, and probably every other Third Culture Kid, think of any question that has to do with where I come from, or where I’ve been before.
For example, I could tell you that I’m Lebanese, and it would be the perfect truth. I’m not even mixed–at least not as far as the several previous generations of my family would take me. But, as easy as it is for me to say that I’m Lebanese, I don’t always feel like one. I say it as a factual answer to a question I subjectively interpret to be strictly ethnic. Where do generations upon generations of my family hail from? Lebanon. What kind of culture was the dominant one at home? Lebanese. Which Arabic dialect did I learn to speak? Lebanese. What kind of food do I point to as the cuisine that reflects my family’s culture? Lebanese. Therefore, I’m Lebanese.
Not really. How I truly identify myself is far more complicated than my bloodlines and the passport my parents carried and passed onto me. I lived in my “home country” from 2010 to 2013 and I mostly felt like a visitor who will never quite fit in. So how Lebanese am I? Not much, it seems.
Case in Point: I was born in the States but only started living there in early 2015. Instead, my life has been split between Saudi Arabia (12 years), Lebanon (3 years), Canada (5 years), Qatar (4 years) back to Lebanon (3 years) and back again to Qatar (1 year/4 months) and now I’m in the US where I’ve been since April 2015.
So one can see how identity can grab an almost infinite amount of layers here eh?
In the end, I’m dedicating this blog to sharing and discussing identity, travel stories, and what I got out of my life experiences in growing up outside of Lebanon, and how I saw things when I came back to live there. I also share random tidbits of Lebanese life. (And believe me Lebanon’s a world aaalll on its own).
I’d seriously love to hear feedback from others as well, whether I know you well or not. Really–ask or opinionate away! (WordPress is telling me that “opinionate” is not a word. I say WordPress’ spellcheck should go play in traffic for a while). But you know what? Despite the difficulties, I think the way my life has gone so far has done a lot more good than harm. Let’s hope that doesn’t change!
Source of header: We Just Need a Larger World by Eduardo Abaroa