Like seasons and birthdays, our comings and goings were a normal part of our lives. When we reached adulthood, we would meet others who had never moved and we would be amazed. On the surface, we felt arrogant – “look at us, we’ve been everywhere” was our silent thought that shouted loudly in our attitudes.
But just below the surface, we longed for weekly family dinners and shopping trips with moms or sisters; for fights that were resolved because they had to be; and for tight family units that stuck together through the years.
While we were roaming the globe collecting stories through the stamps on our passports, others were creating homes and building lives. Each choice came with both joys and challenges.
When your identity is semi-rooted in movement, then you face a crisis when you stay put, when you plant roots, when you’re ‘stable.’
And then if we did settle down, we felt the guilt of stability and wondered how our lives had become so predictable and so mundane. We made the mistake of equating stability with stagnancy.
Stability – strong, secure, safe, steady, firm. Those are adjectives with substance. They mean something. They are foundational to living well. Stability can be present in a life of movement or in a life where you are rooted in one place. Stability is not about where you live, it’s about how you live.*
And in all this, the seasons still came and left, and in between we continued to live.
*from the Guilt of Stability
Quote on photograph from Worlds Apart: A Third Culture Kid’s Journey