Monday, March 28, 2016

Why I grieve for places I've lived in.

I left suddenly due to complications with visa (always my TCK conundrum) and it hasn't been easy dealing with it.

Tragedy struck Brussels.

For many days, I went through the gamut of emotions from feeling really lucky to sadness to anger to guilt.

Yes, Guilt. I feel guilty for having narrowly missed this kind of terrible acts of terror.

Then I started to feel helpless and isolated. As the city of Brussels is coming back together and breathing a new and beautiful community, I wanted to do something to help.

As I watch the security alerts and emails flow through from work. I wanted to do something. I needed to do something. The only thing that I can do is remain in contact with my coworkers in the office and continue working with the mantra "business as usual" and post images that give others inspiration.

I complained about my life in Brussels but it was all due to not adjusting to living there. I feel guilty for all of it. I started to adjust to life and had to leave when it became a new normal. We all go through periods of adjustment as a expat when moving to some place new.

Jakarta. There were explosions in January in the centre of the city near an area where there was the first McDonald's that opened in 1990 and I spent after school hanging out there with my childhood best friend eating happy meals then going to her house to play until I got picked up to go home for dinner. I was shocked at the explosion. Though I was so young when I lived there, the memories of that area really came flooding back. I grieved.

When hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, just a month after I left. I felt the same emotions of feeling helpless. I made a dance. I donated money to the red cross.

An ode to NYC danced by my lovely students. I grieved for leaving, I grieved for New York. I spent most of my adult life starting out in NYC and have so many stories and memories that I felt I needed to do something.

As a mobile Adult Third Culture Kid, I am very tired of hearing about acts of terror around the world, Mother Nature will do what she wants so I forgive her. But I hope to never have to 'mark myself safe' on Facebook ever again due to an attack.

Peace to the world.
Make love.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How many times do I have to tell "my TCK story" before it gets tiring

I moved again in December. Every move comes with the period of adjustment and I feel like I'm still adjusting. Along with that, is meeting new people. People mean well when they ask about "where are you from" however, its a small talk conversation for non-TCKs but a confusing long winding conversation for a global TCK. I keep thinking about... asking the person what they think about the weather, favorite color, where to eat, etc. just to deflect the question.

It seems like some people glaze over when I tell them my story. I sometimes think I'm boring them and/or think I'm boasting or lying... I don't know. Even more complicated to the "where I'm from story" is also the number of different kinds of jobs I have done thus far.

So here's a bulletproof summary:

  • Singapore to Indonesia to Singapore to Los Angeles to New York City to Singapore to Switzerland to Belgium to Switzerland to Singapore/London 
  • Multicultural heritage and culture family background with family scattered around the world
  • Attended private International and American Schools for K-12
  • Pitzer/Pomona ->UCLA
  • Performed as a contemporary dancer for various dance choreographers and dance companies in LA then New York City
  • Formed a dance collective
  • Founded a dance company
  • Performed, Choreographed, Directed productions and did some touring to festivals all over the New York area, Toronto, Washington DC, Edinburgh, Singapore, LA, etc.
  • Taught dance all over the world at studios, community centres, public schools, private schools, etc.
  • Speaker at 3 Families in Global Transitions conferences in Houston, Washington DC (twice)
  • Recipient of a grant by a private foundation (3x) for my productions of Chameleon and Habitat
  • Worked in nonprofit management (grant writing, Public relations, digital marketing, design, photography/videography, booking agent), telemarketing, retail sales, make up artistry, events, fine dining service, front desk for a hotel gym, lifestyle blogging, TV/Film extra, weddings, street team marketing for a yoga studio, and of course teaching dance - just to name a few - sometimes juggling 3-5 jobs
  • Postgraduate in Hospitality Management from Les Roches
  • and now... I'm a full-time social media intern for Carlson Rezidor group
This reads slightly like a resume (Check out my LinkedIn profile: PS. I am looking for a job starting in July/August) . But this is the most concise I've ever told my story publicly. I confuse myself sometimes. My hobbies and passions are many. I've not had a dream goal that I haven't accomplished yet. You know, I have to step back at life and take it for what it is. Its not a walk in the park. I have never taken an easy way. I have the choice to take an easy route but that has many consequences that I am not willing to sacrifice my independence for. 

I have always fought my way through to make things happen. I stress myself out sometimes with the winding difficult paths I tend to take even though there are easier ones. 

I just want a full life of little regrets. The older I get the more weary of answering "Where are you from?" as small talk. Or perhaps I'm disillusioned to think that people just want to make small talk and when it isn't... they are overwhelmed and can't handle it. 

I fall down a lot in life and feel very sad. Then I push myself through. The life I want to lead in my head and heart is simple. But somehow I always find myself in sticky complicated situations so I just stand and fight through life. Grit my teeth and just do because c'est la vie.