Today's 5min post is a reply to the following comment from @TheExtroverted Introspect under my last 5 min post about being a third-culture kid:

Are you attached to a geographical identity? Or even a cultural one? At what point does the assessment and agreement by others become a divide within your own soul? What is your essence? And does the question of identity even matter? We reject the schema and categorization in how it diminishes us and yet somehow find comfort in the label. I say find your home, and own it. Those who resonate will accept you. Those who don't would have probably poisoned your pot back in the day so no need to impress them 😉
@TheExtroverted Introspect

First of all, thanks for your thoughtful comment!

For me, it's hard to separate geographical identities from cultural ones, and I do feel incredibly attached to the places I have spent time in. I think frequently about how the physical locations of Shanghai and New York have shaped me physically, mentally, culturally, and emotionally. I find comfort in my memories of those places, and proud to represent those locations as part of myself as I continue to move through life despite not living there anymore.

The other questions you have are worth more than 5 minutes of exploration for sure. However, I do think what you've touched on resonates deeply with me about the interaction between our self-perceived identity and the identity that others perceive us as. I indeed try to reject heuristics and typical schema, trying to live outside the confines of what is "expected" of me. Yet, it is difficult to find the consistent emotional capacity to explain the complexity of my identity to a stranger on the street who just asked where I'm from and doesn't need to (or deserve to) hear my life story. I believe that a personal identity that is grounded in reality is expressed by the individual by also reinforced/affirmed by the environment and the people around us. And when that does happen, it is where we find resonance and acceptance.

ANYWAYS!! I appreciate your suggestion of finding my home and owning it, as that is probably going to be my goal and motivation for the next stretch of my lifetime.

Looking forward to sharing more third-culture explorations!