My dearest loves. It’s been a while since my last post, and I’m sorry I’ve left you for so long without providing some sort of foolishness or tea-spilling. Why have I been absent? Because I moved away from London 2 weeks ago…
That’s right. The last couple of months have been an insane emotional rollercoaster, a whirlwind of goodbyes. I wanted to write about what was happening in my life, but can I be honest? I was avoiding it because it hurt and I was scared. But someone once told me to “write through the pain,” so here goes.
(FYI this is my brave face. The hearts are cute non?)
A bit of background for those of you who are just getting to know me. I travel a lot and I call four different places home (Ghana, Nigeria, Australia and England).
I was born in Australia to Ghanaian expat parents. We then moved to Mexico for a few years before settling in Nigeria. I had a blissful (and hilarious) childhood there before heading to boarding school in England.
After I graduated from uni, I worked in Australia for a few awesome years before heading back to the UK for another stint. After a rough start in London, I slowly started to feel a strange and unfamiliar sensation. I was starting to settle in. Settle down. Everything started clicking into place and for the first time in my life, I could actually see myself staying in the same country for years to come.
But bruv, you know how life sometimes throws you a curve ball? Things changed very suddenly and it became clear that this just wasn’t going to happen. I would have to leave, yet again.
While my international background is interesting, it is by no means unique. Apparently people like me are called “Third Culture Kids” and we’re everywhere. Children of expats, we went to international schools and were taught the capital cities of every country in the world (shout-out to my IITA peeps WOOP! I know you remember Stripies). We didn’t know what racism was, because our friends looked like a United Colours of Benetton ad. For us, constant travel was normal and stability was never guaranteed.
The last couple of years in London, I started to realise how much I craved that stability.
But sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to. I was now faced with a choice- where to next? Back to Australia made the most sense. I lived there for 3 happy years, and Melbourne wasn’t voted “Most Livable City in The World” for nothing. It’s funky, fresh and fabulous. And yet I didn’t feel quite ready. Something was telling me it was time to go home to Ghana.
But “home” can be a problematic concept when you have never actually lived in your home country. I tried to move back about 6 years ago. Saying it was a bit of a train wreck would be like saying Uncle Donald Trump’s hair is a bit off.
I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock, wasn’t ready for how my own people would see me as an outsider. They said I was too British, too feisty, too Westernised, even too Nigerian. My grasp of my parents’ language, Twi, was… well…it was dusty. This added to my frustration and sense of isolation. I only lasted a few weeks before fleeing to Melbourne.
So. When I found out I would have to leave London, that still small voice of calm said, “Go home.” After my previous experience, I was definitely nervous. Nah let’s be real- I was terrified. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I fail? What if I still can’t fit in? What if I still feel rejected? What if I can’t find a good job?
As I started packing, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. At one point I sat on the floor of my rapidly emptying bedroom, surrounded by bits and pieces of my past, and I just sobbed. It seemed so unfair- why was this happening to me?
Now check this out. Somehow at my lowest moments, when I’m just about to fall to pieces, my mother knows. Even though we live in different continents, there seems to be an invisible string connecting my emotions to hers. Right at that moment she called, and she waited patiently while I cried and cried and cried. Then she said, “Dry your tears. God has never failed you, and He won’t fail you now.”
With those words, she reminded me that there is someone looking out for me. She reminded me that you can’t miss out on your destiny. Whatever is meant to be, will be, and you have to trust the journey.
So my darlings, as I write this I am in Accra, Ghana. In the distance I can hear rushing traffic and the ever-present thump of hiplife music. My grasp of Twi is still rusty, but it’s better than it was 6 years ago. When I arrived in Accra recently, I managed to negotiate the price of a taxi without being royally ripped off with the “abrokyire” (overseas) price. That, my friends, is progress.
I’m effing scared, and there’s no shame in that. But I’m going to try and give this a shot, and I’m taking you guys along for the ride. We’ll explore the city together. We’ll go and see all the landmarks. We’ll hunt down the best brunches and the stiffest cocktails, and we’ll find out where all the hipsters hang out. Welcome to Love, Adjpants: The Motherland Edition!
Is it possible it won’t work out? That I’ll fall flat on my face? BISH IT MIGHT BE- but there’s only one way to find out.
They say you can never go home again. I’m going to try and prove them wrong. As Dr. Maya Angelou said, “all God’s children need travelling shoes.”
And if those travelling shoes happen to be serving Pocahontas realness… well that’s a bonus, hunty.