Hello, my name is Rachel and I’m a chameleon. Maybe you are too. Like many other Third Culture Kids, perhaps you developed early skills of observation and adaptation. You watch, you listen, to learn how to belong. You learn to ‘pass’ the multiplicity of spoken and unspoken rules that are your passport to acceptance and validation. Perhaps, like me, the seeking after that validation became your life’s work.
And so you spin. A chameleon is more than colour-changer after all… it is the supreme watcher. Eyes spinning in opposite directions, it has 360 degree vision. And so do you, hyper-aware as you are of all the various interest groups surrounding you. You spin, scoping out the opinions, the demands, the competing expectations of both individuals and groups and trying to find one that you can hone in on; one set of expectations you can camouflage to, adapt to, belong to. You spin, seeking acceptance. Surely somewhere, somebody will affirm your existence, your beliefs, your choices? After all, successful adaptation is successful living… surely?
But something is changing. That core, that centre of You that has been so ready to align with others is resisting. You can feel its increasing weight, grounding you. You spin but with less desire to attach or adapt… you spin and feel your own resistance. You become aware of your own panicked desire to be affirmed, validated by someone else… and your own core Self resists.
And you teeter… on what feels like a precipice. Spinning ‘out there’ and grounded ‘in here’ and hoping against hope that you’ll stay balanced, just about connected to the ground beneath your feet.
Breathe deep. And slow. And pause.
Chameleon, what colour do you want to be?
Can you validate You? And if this terrifies you, what story does that terror tell?
Centre. Feel the weight of your own Self. Feel the magnetism of your own thoughts, opinions, feelings.
And now the precipice becomes a threshold. Where will yours open onto?