The Guts of Being Cross-Cultural
With the whole of my heart (and my guts), I believe that:
Your accent is fine the way it is.
There isn't really a right way to say 'tomato'.
It is okay to disagree with new friends. Just be respectful when you do it.
You don't have to be from one place.
There's nothing embarrassing about not being able to speak the same languages as your family. You grew up differently to them, after all.
Enjoy collecting cultural practices you love from wherever you like.
Getting older doesn't mean you have to become boring.
You might be different to a lot of people in your life. This is not a bad thing.
Take as much time as you need figuring out if you relate to your parents' culture.
Sex is a pretty personal thing. If something doesn't feel right, it's probably not right for you (no matter what anyone else says).
It's okay that you don't know where you're from.
There's nothing embarrassing about listening to music in a language that's different to your friends.
Great friendships will always survive great distances.
A lot of the time people are mean as a way of dealing with their own shit. Their problems don't have to become your problems.
Look after your health so you can travel well into your old age.
While you can't expect others to agree with your cultural identity, you can expect them to respect it.
A lot of people will tell you they mean well by you. These are just words until they do well by you.
Yes. Learning that language will be totally worth it.
It is okay to ask for respect.
Love your far away friends just as hard as the friends who are close by.
No. What you're eating is not weird (unless you think it's weird. Then, yeah, it's weird).
Alcohol means different things to everyone. Take your time figuring out how it fits in (or doesn't fit in) with your life.
Your accent might change depending on who you're speaking to. It's absolutely nothing to stress about.
It's so okay to tell someone you're uncomfortable in a new situation. Just do it respectfully.
How you look can't really tell anyone anything about who you are (no matter what anyone else says).
Do what you want to do with all of your hair.
It is okay to disagree with your parents. Just be respectful when you do it.
You're not losing anything by being single.
There is no such thing as useless knowledge. Learn as much as you can about anything that makes you happy.
"Where are you from?" really is a difficult question to answer.
Practice (and don't practice) patriotism as only you see fit.
Where you are from is not determined by your passport, your skin or your family. It's dependant on where you say you're from.
You can love whoever you like. Just do it respectfully.
Hang out with people who think differently to you when you can. It will expand your mind in exciting (and often unimaginable) ways.
Everything is going to be amazing, eventually.
Happy new year, dear readers! With much love from Ava and the TCK TOWN team.
This article was first published on 1 Jan 2018