When the boys were smaller they were fans of the movie The Incredibles. They used to give each person in our family a super power and like to pretend they/we had those powers. In 2006 at a small group Halloween party, we dressed up as The Incredibles.
When at the Philadelphia airport in 2009 getting ready to board the airplane bound for France – leaving the USA for our first term to serve overseas, we saw this sign.
As odd as it may sound, the sign helped spur us on and gave us an extra jolt of excitement about boarding the plane.
We’ve been back in the USA for six months! We’ve hit a place in our adjustment that makes it a bit harder to see positives, however, we know this will pass. (More about this subject in an upcoming blog post) Believe it or not, the silly children’s movie is helping articulate how we are feeling. In the movie after Mr. Incredible saves someone who doesn’t want to be saved, the government decides to have all superheroes just be their hidden identity. Below is what the movie says.
Under tremendous public pressure, and the crushing
financial burden of an ever mounting series of lawsuits, the government quietly
initiated the superhero relocation program. The supers will be granted amnesty
from responsibility for past actions, in exchange for the promise to never
again resume hero work. Where are they now? They are living among us. Average
citizens, average heroes. Quietly and anonymously continuing to make the world
a better place.
I don’t and we don’t at all think or want to communicate in any way that we compare ourselves or think of ourselves as superheroes – we definitely do not! What I’m trying to communicate is that we feel a bit like hidden foreigners in our own passport country. When living cross-culturally one must adjust to some degree in his/her new, host culture. When one returns to his/her passport culture people, things, values, etc… all change, however, for the person who lived outside their passport culture for an extended amount of time, they changed with the other culture, not with their passport culture, so they must adjust, try to find their way in their “home culture” that is now new and familiar at the same time.