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  • I've been meeting lots of new people recently: people who are spiritual and
    open and ready to give of themselves to a world that is consistently
    letting them down. In other words, people like me.

    I had been thinking that I'd finally found my tribe. I was feeling happy
    and confident and as if I was finally a part of a community that shared my
    aspirations and understood me.

    But then I allowed doubts to creep in. I also was affected by the actions
    of another whose claims for themselves did not deliver when it came to
    their interactions with me.

    This left me feeling even more of an outsider than I have felt in a long
    while. I felt cast adrift, as if someone had untethered my little boat and
    I was floating out in the Pacific ocean, circling with the trash.

    Amongst that trash surfaced feelings of homesickness for a home I don't
    have; lovesickness for a love I share with no one in particular;
    community-sickness for a community that only appears to exist online or in
    my head.

    Then a South African woman ended up at my register at work and I felt bold
    enough to ask her where she was from. I then felt even bolder to tell her I
    had grown up in Malawi and that I had visited SA. I then felt so bold as to
    tell her, quite quickly for me, that I was homesick and feeling
    disconnected from the American experience all around me.

    She agreed and commiserated, reminding me that no matter where we expats
    end up in this world, we're always going to feel that sense of not
    belonging no matter where we are nor how long we have lived there.

    That reminder brought me some relief as we bid our farewells. I felt a
    connection again with someone who felt the same way as I often do and my
    homesickness and loneliness subsided slightly.

    This interaction also made me realize that I'm feeling disconnected because
    I'm placing too much emphasis on where I'm from and the differences between
    myself and others when I should really be focusing on being a human first
    and a TCK second. It's hard to remember this, however, when everyone around
    you basis so much of their daily interaction with others on their culture,
    nationality, religion or any number of other aspects about themselves that
    they feel define them.

    As the recent weeks have proven, I'm not different in this way. So many
    times I view myself like the caterpillar in picture: green in a brick
    colored world, when the reality is that while my colors may not be the same
    I am a part of this world and this world is me because we could not exist
    without each other. So, how is it possible that the two could be different?

    Anyway, it's late, I'm babbling and there are no answers to these non
    questions. I simply wanted to put out into the cowbird stratosphere that we
    all feel alone and removed from the world we inhabit at times, but that is
    much more about the way we choose to think about the world than the truth
    of the reality all around us.

    I just hope I remember that little green caterpillar the next time I feel
    disconnected, and remember how I picked it up off the sidewalk so it
    wouldn't get squished for no matter how different we may be, there are many
    people in this world that care enough to help others on their way.
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