The most honest thing I can tell you about myself right now is that I have missed writing for you more than you have ever missed reading from me. The thing about inspiration is that it can desert you for days, weeks, months even and then like a long lost friend, out of the blue it will nudge at you again and nudge and nudge until you sit down and write and I have honored the nudge so here I am.
The first time I left home was in 2014. Officially, I went off to the university in 2005 but I was just two buses away from home so that didn’t really count till 2014 when I left for America to get my Masters. Back then and even more now, nobody truly prepared me for the surprising pain that comes from leaving my family. I remember crying from Lagos to New York, couldn’t eat nor sleep, I am pretty sure the guy that sat next to me thought I was a nut case. The first three months was hellish and the only thing that kept me sane was constant, relentless communication with my family and friends back home, my crazy schedule of work and school and the novelty of the new world I had found myself in. I did my time in America but after a few years, life took me in another direction and in April last year I found myself leaving home, again.
Nobody prepared me for all the things I would miss. As mad as my brothers sometimes made me, I miss them so desperately. it’s all the little things like reminding me to take my medication, warning me not to stress, running ALL my errands, gosh I miss that part. The every day fabric of my life is woven around my family and being without them is well, painful. I don’t think I have the words to sufficiently describe how I truly feel.
Nobody told me that eating alone would be sad. I come from a large family so all my life its been big meals, I actually had to learn how to cook in smaller portions. Cooking for my family and watching them eat was my happy place. I planned every meal and I was always in the kitchen at some point during the day. Living alone and cooking for just me is another story entirely. There’s something just sad about making a meal for just myself. Till this day, I sometimes catch myself calling out to my siblings that food is ready after I finish cooking, I just shake my head and smile and eat my meal in solitude.
Thankfully its not all bad, I am profoundly thankful for technology. Though phone calls and video calls put a band aid on my heart, it isn’t quite the same. Watching my nephew and my niece grow up into bright and bubbly toddlers is the joy of my life and the fact that my niece hasn’t forgotten me even though the last time I held her she was a little over a year old is a personal gift from God to me.
The upside though is that I have grown and still growing in so many ways, I am finding myself and made a family here for me. Some days are bad but hey, I always get through them. I doubt the holidays will ever get easy though, I don’t know how I cope year after year but the beauty of life is that things always get better.
Its painful to be away from home, but I am deeply thankful for a family that loves me and has never given up on me.
“I felt a pang, a strange and inexplicable pang that I had never felt before.
It was homesickness.” ― Alan Bradley