Nine Years Later…

Getting home for the first time after almost a year was both exciting and nerve racking. Exciting, because I had never been away from home this long and I was happy to see my family again but nerve-racking because I felt like I had grown apart from my family.

Me, on my birthday in 2011.

Before going to school, I was in boarding school with my younger brother and we would go home to our siblings relatively often. But with me abroad and them in boarding school, we barely communicated for the entire period I was away.

Our communication didn’t improve much during their holidays either because my parents were not very good at making international calls and keeping track of the time difference yet.

So, while I enjoyed being with my family, it was mostly an awkward period of trying to relearn how to relate and communicate with everyone. The three months at home went by like a breeze.

Where it got interesting was coming back to school towards the end of August. In my mind, I was ready to take on the world and excel in everything but I had no idea I was in for a rude awakening.

First shocker, finding out that I had to take Statistics and Calculus after running away from it my whole life. I thought I had finally conquered it and survived after high school so you can imagine my displeasure.

Second, was realizing that participating in class discussions was integral to my academic success. Being very shy and reserved, asking me to speak publicly was like asking me to hang myself and I promise I am not exaggerating.

Third, and probably the biggest was self accountability. There were no more teachers, caretakers or supervisors making sure I attended classes, completed assignments or participated in other school activities. My success was entirely in my hands, save for a few mentors and my dear cousin and his wife who routinely checked in with me.

Thankfully, these things are now a distant memory and have become victory stories for me.

On the flip side, I learned confidence and grew not just as an individual but as a woman. I successfully finished my undergraduate degree, graduate degree and started working.

One of the best things that have also happened to me in this country is my local church family. It’s been 9 years since I first visited the church and 8 since I have been a member and I can that it’s been one of my life’s greatest blessings.

Frankly, with the pandemic raging, this has been one of my most trying periods so far. Since leaving my job in June, there have been some really down days but I know it’s only upward from here.

I am certain of that because life always looks up and besides, I have probably faced other trying times. I just don’t remember them because I have a short memory span when it comes to difficult times.

God has blessed me so much that the trying moments are just moments and quickly fade into a haze. When I look at my life over the past 9 years, it’s gotten better year after year and I know that this is only the beginning.

Cheers to the next 9 years. I can’t wait to actually see what’s coming.

Heart to Heart: I hope you enjoyed my little journey. Tell me what you liked best or what you can relate to. ❤️❤️

7 thoughts on “Nine Years Later…”

  1. The part I can relate the most is going back home and feeling kinda awkward; for me it’s not because we didn’t communicate but it’s mostly because in my head I still had this close knit relationship with my sisters but in reality everyone had their lives married with children (as was I) and it was a whole lot of relearning. I’m thankful for that first trip back after 12 years because after that I made it a point to keep more in touch Day to day not just a few times here and there. I’m closest I have ever been with my whole family now and it’s been a blessing honestly

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I can totally relate. Most recently when I went home after seven years, I thought my sisters and I would be so close since they’re now teenagers but although we were cool, there will still some blanks to fill. So, since last year, I have actively tried to carry them along and ensure that we are building a relationship.

      Thank you for sharing with me. Migrating await from family can be really tough.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What you and Cornelia said was also my experience. It was kind of sad that friends, cousins and family moved on without me but at the same time, I would have hoped they did if they had not..Definitely taking steps to communicate more frequently with them and visit more often. I feel like the longest I should be away at a time is 2-3 years…so much changes in that timeframe. Also the feeling of being a foreigner in your own land…foreigner abroad, foreigner at home..sighs


    1. Wow, I can totally relate with your last sentence. Foreigner abroad and foreigner at home. It sucks but life keeps moving. I feel like once you have your own nuclear family abroad, the missing of family reduces cos you now have your own family to care for. I wonder if Cornelia would agree since she’s at that stage.

      Also, I wish I could travel every year lol but getting time off and buying tickets plus the long trip just makes the whole thing so difficult.


  3. Another great piece! I truly relate with being shy do to any form of presentation for class work. That was a total shock from my previous education where people got marks for attendance, test and buying schooling here fueled a different kind of confident in me. I saw the individualism culture and people took pride in it. Even now l see that attribute in my kids they want to wear their dress, tie their shoes on their own, which l dont mind, lesser work for parents.

    I can also relate with failed communications with siblings but we have made up in recent times especially with invent of WhatsApp group.


    1. Haha thank you, the individualism is definitely a shocker cos back home, we live a very communal life. And yes to WhatsApp. I think every family has in eons. It’s such a life saver.

      Lol @handouts and tests. Just read and do theory but here, you have more demand to apply your studies. But we are definitely better for it.


  4. Honestly with every write up I notice how similar we are lol
    yo doing presentations and having to share during seminars was also hard for me. I am shy and public speaking is tough for me so I definitely had to grow in that area and get over myself lol
    I don’t know who sent me but I also decided to take accounting during my undergrad. I also tried to run from math as much as possible. lets just say that accounting course messed up my transcript *rolls eyes*
    it is well lol
    yo i would love to go home every year as well. its been a hot minute for me


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