Hi, I’m Ruth. I’m glad you found my blog and want to know more about me.
Here I come to a conundrum, though… because one of the stated reasons for starting this blog – as opposed to joining a social networking site – is that I like my online privacy. But for you to get to know me (and for those who know me in real life to be sure that this is me), I will have to share some things. Very well, then…
I am a single Christian female in her early thirties, who enjoys connecting to good stories, whether through blogs, books, TV, or movies; playing with words; photography; talking with friends; salty crunchy snacks; and fuzzy socks. I am white, if I must choose an ethnic group, but I grew up in the South Pacific as the fourth child of missionary parents (which makes me a Missionary Kid or MK) and thus I identify best as ‘other’. Upon returning to the US at eighteen – where I now live in Texas, after having lived in five other states during college and after – I had spent more time overseas than I had in my passport country. I wasn’t honestly sure that I wanted to be American, but that is another story. In the week before I started my freshman year of college, I attended a Transition & Adjustment Seminar for incoming freshmen like myself. There I learned a term that finally gave me a ‘box’ to fit into: Third Culture Kid. The definition, from the book of the man who taught the seminar is:
“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.” (emphasis mine; Pollock, David C.; Van Reken, Ruth E. (2009). Third culture kids: growing up among worlds, Rev. Ed)
This fits Missionary Kids, Military brats, diplomat kids, children of international businessmen, and others. (So I am an MK and a TCK both, though MK is the more widely known term so I usually say that first.) We are between. This gives us both wonderful perspective and somewhat unavoidable baggage – though how much and of what sort is unique to each TCK, just as each experience is unique, even among siblings raised in the same house. But I was delighted to learn that there were others like me – others besides just MKs in the same ‘between cultures’ space – and I do identify with them as ‘my culture’ the most, rather than other Americans my age.
All of that to say (if you’re a new reader, you will find that I do tend to ramble… I should probably just apologize in advance and get it out of the way 🙂 ) – while I do fit in the box of ‘American, thirty-something, white, single, Christian, working female’, in other ways I do not fit that box at all, as I am not like most of the others who are in it.
In what ways I am different and how that shapes my life and my view on the world, well, that is part of what I am hoping you will be able to learn here.