How do Third Culture Kids make it work?


A Facebook event invitation pops up.

What is the first detail you note?

For me it’s the city the event is being held in.

I’ve missed so many birthdays, bachelorettes, house warnings, engagement parties…

2 weeks ago, two of the coolest people I know stood up in front of a lot of people and said “Sure why not?” and got married to each other. I was asleep, 12 hours behind, 12,000 kilometres away.

If I ever sound jaded about love or throw my hands up in the air when people I know are getting married, roll my eyes, and scoff, well, this could be the one couple who could maybe make me melt and say “nawwwww weddings, LOVE, Foreverness, etc. YAY”.

My beautiful (now married) friends are the international types, so one of their weddings was being held this month in Hong Kong, and one in France. Back in January I decided that as much as I love Hong Kong, now that my Mother has moved to Thailand (selfish bitch! Stay in Hong Kong forever so i can have a free place to stay, you MOO. You’re so mean to me, I’m running away! YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD!!!!), that I would attend the one being held in France. I thought: Fuckeyeah, Food, Fun and French guys. YUP.

I pulled out my poor, tired credit card and whacked some international flights on them. Hashtag YOLO, Hashtag whoneedsaretirementplan?

I was a Temp at the time, which despite its many drawbacks, meant I could take as much vacation whenever I wanted. It was January and September seemed like a long way off. Sure I could commit. Why not?

And then my year exploded.

Opportunities came my way after a year of knocking on every single door and having it slammed in my face. I attended two of the most amazing film festivals in the world, worked at arguably one of the best  global Film & TV distribution companies, and travelled to three new cities, all before June.

And then one day when looking at my calendar, a shiver of dread ran down my spine and I had one of those OH FUCK moments.

My friends France wedding was smack bang on the first weekend of the International film festival taking place in my backyard.

All of the jobs I was interviewing for would need me in Toronto the weekend I was supposed to be sipping champagne and terrorizing my french Mates groomsmen.

I so badly wanted to be in France with my friends, watching them get married, and make this huge commitment (shudder) to each other. But the timing just couldn’t have been worse. I’m still the bottom of the food chain, and there are 300 other girls who would eat me alive for the opportunities available to me.

Thankfully, friendship is a two-way street, and those that love you will always love you, even if you miss their special day. I explained the situation and they were beyond supportive.

But this situation made me realize that this is just the first of many conflicts I will face.

My best friend & beloved roommate from college has been living with a guy and just bought a HOUSE WITH HIM for 3+ years, and I have met him twice. That makes me go WHAT THE FUCK!

People I love dearly are going to be doing more of this adult shit, and I can’t miss it all. I’m just going to be that person that people wonder if she’ll fly in? Or that person that just won’t get an invite because they know I can’t/won’t come?

Like, sorry I haven’t met your five year old, but today I ordered some totally adorable branded water bottles and my boss said “Good Job Paris.” So yeah…

I’m not sure that it gets easier.

And yet I know I’m not alone. My floating international community is out there facing the same challenges, work, life, travel balance. We can’t just go home and see everyone, because our home is not a stationary place.

I’m worried I’m going to be the crazy old lady from the end of Titanic who it turns out is Rose and she had this insanely awesome life but she was also like, FUCK YOU JACK the door is mine.


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