So if people perceive you as being X, but you perceive yourself as not being X, are you X or not?
If you are born somewhere, or live there for a long time, does it make you that nationality?
Legalities and citizenships aside, I mean. If your gut feeling is that you aren't that nationality, even though you might hold the relevant passport, then are you right?
I know how I feel about it all: you are what you feel you are, and passports etc. are about laws and controls, not about your identity at all.
So although I hold an NZ passport and am an NZ-er, I'm not really a kiwi at all. I live here, but I don't really belong.
It's difficult to explain without people getting insulted as if you're rejecting the country (man do people get super-personal if they feel you're rejecting NZ!). Otherwise they accuse you of having your cake and eating it too, or of being a snob. Oh, or they tell you loftily that you'll miss it when you go overseas and will end up eating your words.
But it isn't any of that at all. It's simply that I don't belong.
And, for the record, I miss some people and things that are here when I go away, but I don't miss being in NZ, or the feeling of living somewhere where I really don't belong.
I'm ok with not belonging - it's taken some thinking and learning, but I am. I'm also ok with the fact that so many people here feel that this is the right place for them. Different people, different needs, right?
So why is it so impossible for them to accept how I feel?