20/20 Vision at Velvet Ashes


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Readers – today I am posting at a beautiful space on the internet called Velvet Ashes, an online community of women serving overseas. Each week Velvet Ashes picks a theme and this week’s theme is called “Hindsight.”  Velvet Ashes is a stunning sight and the picture above is courtesy of this site.

It is a bit of a challenge writing on hindsight when your first memories are on the soil of your adopted country, but the exercise was a gift. It is an honor to be asked to write at that space, so I offer you a preview and you can head over to Velvet Ashes to read the rest of the piece and peruse that site. Thank you!


20/20 Vision

I am an adult third culture kid. My first memories come from early mornings on a rooftop in the southern part of Pakistan. We would sleep on the high flat roof, mosques on all four sides of our home. Mosquito netting covered our beds, shielding our bodies from the harm that one small bite of these insects could bring. During this hot season the sound of the call to prayer, calling all faithful Muslims to pray, was the sound that woke me every day.

To look back is to visit those early memories and think of what I wish I had done – not what I wish my life had been like, but rather as a third culture kid asking a reflective question: what would I have done differently? If I had 20/20 vision how would I have lived?

In this spirit of self-reflection here is a letter to my 18-year-old self.

You are leaving Pakistan tomorrow. You don’t yet know that you will have one of the worst fights of your teen years with your parents in the morning; that the reason it will stop will be less about resolution and reconciliation and more about the fact that your boyfriend and his father are coming to pick all of you up in a van and take you down the mountain to the airport. You don’t yet know that as you leave the soil of Pakistan your heart will hurt so deeply that you won’t even be able to cry. Read the rest here at Velvet Ashes.

We all wish we had 20/20 Vision at some point in our lives. What would you say to yourself looking back? 


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