On a Saturday night, in one of the most vibrant cities in West Africa, I am, unbelievably sitting at home, writing and feeling a little bit lost, when I should be out and about. I am staying home, because I have no desire to socialize with anyone. And this is one of the downfalls of moving back home, after being gone for so long: I have lost my spot among the groups I used to be part of. The song “Everybody’s changing” by Keane, easily applies to my current state of feelings. I’ve changed, and so have the people, and places I knew. A whole lifetime seemed to have gone behind me, and it feels that I am catching a train, while running as fast as I can, trying not to get left behind.

I left for the states, as a teenager, and my last  memories are from that age, where everything was rosy and hopeful. Many joyful and sad events have affected the fabric of the society I once knew, and I feel like I don’t belong anymore. So everyday, I move through one point to the other, just trying to survive. It’s a very odd feeling and state of mind to be in, because I have never not known how to adapt, anywhere I was. So, imagine feeling like a complete stranger in your own home. This is where I am supposed to be, this is where I was born and grew up, and yet, I feel like an alien. Everyone has welcome me, cheered for me to be here, has missed me, but I am feeling  being here at barely 75%.

The only positive side to this, is that I am not the only one who has felt, like a fish out of water, after moving back home.My feelings are not unique to my current situation;many who have left their home country, to come back after a long time, go through the same ordeal of reintegration. Some take it well, while others have a hard time readjusting to this familiar, yet strange universe. I am, I guess, at the awkward stage where I am trying to fit in, while staying true to who I am. If we put this as if it were a relationship, I am past the honeymoon period, and into the gritty part no one likes to talk about, or glamorize. This is the true test of any relationship: will we or not make it past this rough patch? Is it worth it to fight through to find a resolution?

Well, I am in it to win, and I love to be back in my homeland. It may take a moment, for my mind and heart to fully embrace this new change, but I want this. I want to learn to love what I took for granted, cherish it and nurture it like this land of mine deserves to. I am willing to compromise, because this “relationship” is worth the sacrifices I’m making. Every day is a reward and a blessing to be here, and despite feeling down and separated, I know, deep in my heart of heart, that there is no place I rather be, right now, right this moment. The sums of everything I’ve achieved and done, has led me right here, to fully realize the person I will evolve into. Nobody said this would be easy, but I am willing to let myself breathe a little bit, and enjoy the process, with all the good and the bad coming my way.

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