One of the biggest struggles living abroad is having endless questions about your own identity. Who am I actually? Where do I really belong? Which one is the real me? Are the traditions unnecessary or should I hold on them tightly?
Everyone who has abroad-experiences would possibly have thoughts about it at least once. The biggest problem is there are unfortunately no exact answers to these questions.
I came back to my city during this pandemic around 2 weeks ago and I am about to go back to Germany in less than one week. Those questions are popping out especially during my stay in Turkey. But I have to admit one thing, that every passing day is a bit easier for me to cope with this struggle. I remember my first two years… Every time when I come back I felt like my head was about to explode because of such thoughts that I wasn’t able to answer.
My family is not one of the traditional families. I learned and follow the rules in public but I also knew there is more than one truth in this world. So that I allowed myself to integrate myself into Germany and the German rules. Because I wanted to get accepted by the locals. On the other hand, I guess I allowed myself to be myself. I did the things which are right to me, I inspired by the emotional part of Turkey and the logical part from Germany, so I created myself a mixed culture.
Some of the foreigners abroad refuse to learn the language of the country they moved to. How wrong it is! If you are refusing to be integrated, then why did you come here in the first place? But there are also others like they refuse their own identities and act like they have no idea where they are coming from. It is also wrong because then it is unescapable to feel lost. You need both of them: Remembering where you came from and giving your best to get integrated into the foreign country. If you are okay with doing both of them, then you can eliminate the not fitting parts of both sides and create your own culture.
Without finding inner peace, you can’t find yourself and have a balanced life. Accepting the situation you are in is the number one rule to find your own way. Of course, you need time, we all do. During this time you will be recognizing your rights and your wrongs, your boundaries, your truths, and this phase can be rough. Because it calls the identity crisis. And if you are like me, a person who left home with the age of 18, you will be not only having identity crises, but also the struggles of becoming a young adult. That’s why the most important thing is knowing that all those struggles you are having are normal and part of the process. Then, suddenly you get used to it and feel like everywhere you feel loved and accepted is your home. I also mean self-love and self-acceptance with this sentence, you don’t need to wait to get accepted from outside and strangers to find your own identity. Give yourself some time to digest the situation you are in and try to not to close yourself to the new happenings.
Don’t forget: You create your own universe as you go along.