Ex-Pat Stars & Your “Stained Glass Soul”
It’s a fact of life. As long as there are expats, there will be continual discussion about how we see ourselves as expats, our sense of identity and how we relate to others as we move from place to place, or as our kids grow up with a multi-cultural childhood.
Naomi Hattaway (read her blog here) posted a simple, but profoundly accurate, artful description that has resonated with hundreds of expats, repats and multi-cultural families. It has put a clearer perspective out there for many of us as we seek to find out who we are.
These conversations have resonated with me in my own struggle to repatriate mainly because when I repatriated to the United states, I didn’t go ‘home’ (to Houston, Tx), I chose to go somewhere I thought would be more welcoming to an international background. I’ve shared some of my experiences that have contributed to my understanding of cultures and some of my reverse culture shock adjustments. (Read more here) It was much harder than I ever imagined!
In fact, I hear from other travelers like myself who say that going was easier, mainly because it was expected to be hard, it was anticipated that there would be cultural adjustments. But on coming home, most people knew the system and expected to slip right back in where they left off, only to find that others had moved on, the systems evolved and changed, and nothing was quite the same fit as it was before they became expats. I never imagined that coming back to a post 9/11 America would be like going to a new expat assignment, but that’s about what it has been.
The resources uncovered in these discussions have helped me immeasurably to come to terms with and to be ok with being a “star” back in circle land.
I recently discovered a brilliant talk that I wanted to add to that discussion. This TED clip from Pico Iyer, is on answering Where Am I From? There is one phrase that he uses about mid-way through that I found intriguing. It’s about how our experiences come together to create a “stained glass” whole. Yes… that’s it.
I am a star with a stained glass soul.
Take a look and see if you don’t find this interesting too.
I’d love to hear what you find most interesting, or useful, about this video.
Does this help you view your experience or repatriation situation in a new light? Do you still have questions and issues? Check out our Expat Links page here for more help and resources. I hope this conversation and the links to others who share this same adjustment quest will lead to new comfort for you and those you care about.
Good luck! Please stay in touch and join the discussion with your own views and thoughts!