To Bee Honest…
“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing’s sake, back home to aestheticism, to one’s youthful idea of ‘the artist’ and the all-sufficiency of ‘art’ and ‘beauty’ and ‘love,’ back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermuda, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time–back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” Thomas Wolfe
Blogging again is certainly one version of homecoming. I’ve missed y’all. Fingers crossed I will write more in the coming weeks, Lord knows I have enough stories.
So a number (almost all) of my past blog posts document my move back to Nigeria from the States. If you have read my piece about global citizenship, you know I have a problem with identifying one specific place as “home” and more problems with feeling lost. If you haven’t read it here you go
Until this month I would say I identified three main places as home : Lagos, Nigeria; Atlanta, Georgia and now Amsterdam. After 3 years, mostly self-exile, I returned to the states and specifically Atlanta. From the moment I bought my ticket in March I could do nothing more than dream of my trip, like I was literally having dreams about it.
Now the trip has come and gone and I am left with an inescapable weight in my heart. The saying “you can’t go home again” has never felt so relevant. Atlanta is home no more. Friends have moved, changed, gotten married, made new friends, created memories without me and plans I cannot partake in. Babies I carried are now on their way to independence and I have become the aunty that has to be introduced with “she carried you when you were a baby”. In my church, a place I spent three days a week, I find myself desperately searching for familiar faces and the priest is one I do not know. I find myself overwhelmed by the choices in the grocery stores and irritated by the chatter of sales attendants who want to know “where’s your accent from?” I did not expect to barely tolerate foods I used to love or be so irritated at having to drive everywhere. I recognise that three years is a lot of time, but it also feels like I blinked and it’s summer of 2016.
Let’s not get things twisted, I had an AMAZING 3 weeks, my loves are still my loves and I can’t wait to be back and see everyone again,including many I missed on this trip. Unfortunately it will be as a visitor because Atlanta is no longer home. I will always love the city that I spent my young adulthood in and shall forever rep ATL. I just have to accept that in this phase of my life when I go to the states I shall simply be a tourist and there’s nothing wrong with that. I have a new home now, one that requires jackets and light sweaters in early June and makes me long for hot hot sun.