Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home is where the heart is?

I used to argue furiously with anyone who expressed the least bit of doubt about living a successful life in Ghana. From where I stood, I grew up in Ghana, reasonably comfortably, didn't die of cholera or dysentery or some other infectious disease, went to good schools and really, had no notion of extreme poverty or hardship. True, things might have been a lot worse if my parents didn't make the sacrifices they did, but I figured, if they did, then everyone else should be able to.

These days, I don't really care what who says. Part of it is my apathy showing, but part of it is also maturity in realizing that life happens. People start out with great idealistic plans and then realize that things aren't as easy as they seemed to be from afar. Some people left Ghana under terrible conditions and so really have no desire to return; others haven't been to Ghana in about 20 years and have a very warped view of what Gh is like.

Either way, whether or not someone returns to Ghana/the land of their birth/ancestry to live is a very personal decision- not one to be made by consensus or by some 18 y/o idealist who thinks she has all the answers.

Why do I bring this up, because it was an old post I started and didn't get round to finishing till now. But also because I found that priorities and ideas change with time. My desire to go back and work and like in Gh is no longer driven by some idealistic ideal of saving Gh from itself. Nah, its based in a very selfish desire actually. I want my kids, if they ever get born, to know their family and to be close to their grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and all the craziness that is my extended family.  I want my kids to grow up in the secure way I did, and to know what it is to be surrounded by family and by love. I want to live a comfortable life, knowing that with all its good and bad and ugly, I'm in the place where I feel most comfortable and most confident. In effect, I want to maintain what I had growing up, and the best place I know to do that is home.

This is me at twenty something. At 18, I sounded very different and had very different ideals. Somehow, I suspect that at 30, my priorities and outlook will have shifted again, perhaps become more clarified. I don't know. All I do know is that I have a dream and a goal, and I'ma keep working towards that. Let me do me and work towards what works for me. As to what decisions other people make about where to settle or with whom or how or if........that's their business, not mine.

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