Updated: Oct 1, 2018
Navigating life in this crazy part of the world
I can't believe it has been a year since I moved back to Nigeria, and what a year it has been. I always thought moving back home after 12 years of living abroad was going to be a struggle. Would I fit in? Would I be able to drive there? How about my shows and movies? Those were legit questions! I am sure if you are an avid reader of my blog, you will be able to tell that I love movies.
I lived less than 5 minutes away from the movie theater when I lived in the US. So trust that any movie that came out, that I was interested in, I was at the theater, front line, and center. I remember one time, (and I am sad to admit this) that two movies came out that I loved and I wanted to see them both in one night, and as a student, I wasn't going to buy two movie tickets.
So when I got to the cinema with my friends, and we were about to purchase the tickets, right in front of the person selling the ticket, I blurted out to my friend, "No, purchase this time for this movie, so we can movie hop to the next one, without having to wait." My friend quickly hit me, saying "have you forgotten where you are?" That was so hilarious because I wasn't thinking about where I was when I said that. Okay enough of the movie talk. As the months closed in of when I was supposed to come home, my heart raced faster. I didn't know what to expect.
Dancing in with my family for the wedding reception of my brother and his wife
Most of my friends are based in the US so how was I going to survive? I carried this burden on the inside of me and couldn't open up to anyone that I was scared, thinking about how I will fit in and go through the dreaded NYSC process. That was all depressing to me. Only if I could get all my friends to move back and also move my church back with me, then I will be okay. The time came around finally on May 6th, 2017, to get on the plane from Houston to Nigeria. I traveled with a friend, so it wasn't a bad journey at all.
My family was there to greet me at the airport; they were so happy to see me after all these years. My brother was getting married, so the excitement of everyone being around immediately kicked in. I didn't even have the time to get over jetlag. Each day was packed with activities, leading up to the wedding.
And once the wedding was over, I slept as I had never slept before (I love sleep). Then reality hit! What am I going to do with my life, and people wouldn't just let me rest. Everyone started asking, so what is your plan? Are you going to get a job? Are going to go through the NYSC process? When are you moving back to the US? I hated those questions but I knew they came from a good place.
My friends (Mekky, Ruthy, Veronica, Steph & Kate) and I at a dear friend's wedding in Dallas.
My Tos Tos & I
Bestie (Yvonne), Ify, Ruth and Udo at another dear friend's wedding
Mimi, me, Gina, Annette and Mekky, getting ready to hit the road to Pensacola beach, Florida
One of the many advantages of moving back home was getting to spend ample time with my family. I hadn’t seen people for years, and they made my transition back home very easy. They always drove me around if I needed to go somewhere and always provided food for me (my fave). They quickly became the tight-knit friends; I wanted to make after moving back. In addition to that, one of my very good friends moved back about two years, before I did.
So I was happy to have someone that close to me, living in the same city. I got to experience the Nigerian culture again, this time from the perspective of an adult. Nigerians can be one of the friendliest people ever, be sure to know that you will always have a helping hand on the street if your car breaks down, or if you need a good old fashion ride.
My brother, cousins and friend (Nomis) after a church service on sunday
My darling friend (Laeti) from Cameroon and I
Cuzzo's and I at my brother's wedding
As much as they can be very friendly, they can also be the most frustrating people on earth. You know coming from a country that works, and coming from a country that prides themselves on excellent customer service, Nigeria can be the direct opposite of all of that. I can remember one day, which I was so frustrated that I cried. Water wasn't running in my house, and I called those in charge to complain. They all gave me the runaround and eventually stopped picking my phone calls, with still no water.
I thought to myself, “What kind of country is this? Do I have to beg you to do your job?” But regardless of the day to day challenges, or lack of constant electricity and good roads and sometimes security, the country is not a bad place to live in. Another problem I face is finding a church to call home.
I miss my church so much, I served and attended my previous church for seven years, and it was the hardest thing for me to leave them. I was so close to my pastors and their family. It broke my heart to leave them after all those years. But I guess it was time for a change. I haven't still found a place of worship yet that I am quite comfortable with, but I hope to do so soon.
In a nutshell, it feels great to be around my family every day; it feels great to see my father more frequently and to have direct access to those I love without thinking about time difference and distance. I am grateful to God for this opportunity to be home again, and I am sure He has a plan to bring everything full circle.
Have you ever moved abruptly to a new place? How did you survive it? Comment below! Thanks for reading as always!!! Happy Independence Day Nigeria!!