This poem was written by ASH Alumni Anicka Slachta, Class of 2012, as a reflection of her life as a third culture kid [TCK]. We hope it will inspire you, as it has the community at American School of The Hague.
I Am From, by Anicka Slachta
“I’d rather keep it as a beautiful memory – tucked away in my heart.”
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
I am from unbearable heat –
Heat I don’t remember.
I am from a part of my life that
seems like it would be hard to forget –
A whirlwind of hijabs, city lights,
and unspoken trepidation.
But, too young,
It’s been lost on me.
I am from the hottest days
and the hardest rainfalls,
Dressing in silk, illuminating elaborate lanterns,
and receiving red packets
filled with chocolate coins.
From a little brown book where, stroke after stroke,
I perfected characters that have
long since been forgotten.
From palm trees and flawless beaches.
I am from narrow, impossibly unpronounceable streets
and my black bicycle,
From vibrant Saturday markets
to delicately lit, cinnamon-scented Christmas fairs.
From cities so filled to the brim with history
That my “historical” college campus
somehow lost its luster quickly.
I am from long walks on Christmas Day
along cobblestone streets,
Flushed cheeks from the cold and chills
that only a yuletide fire could cure.
From dusting my clothes with flour
when I go a little crazy with the sugar-cookie-cutting.
From being eighteen years old
and still loving nothing more
Than curling up next to my mother
and thumbing through our favorite picture books.
I am from bright lights and late nights
in my dormitory,
Work, work, work, play, work.
I am from laughing and smiling
as much as I possibly can,
But still being unable to feign
a grin when my friends visit their families.
I am from compressed air and,
after sixteen years,
Still feeling my heart drop
at the slightest signal of turbulence.
From rushing off of the plane
and running through the airport
Because I am about to see my parents
for the first time in five months.
But I am from a family that is strong.
I am from the most incredible parents
who dared to dream, dared to leave
And created a life for me that has
put so much in perspective.
I am from no particular city, or state, or country.
I am from the world,
Because the world has truly welcomed me
wherever I have ventured.
I am from unending, unconditional love
that could never be replaced
By any sum of money.
I am from support, dreams, ambition, a future
from a little blue passport with a gold emblem
that holds my ticket to the world.