There’s nothing more exhausting than keeping track of which parts of yourself you’ve shared or what you have approved others to share. Instead of all the tracking efforts, why not tell your story yourself?
Last December around the holidays, a friend asked, how did you get here? After a short pause, I started what seemed like a response only to have her interrupt my thoughts to ask another question. Have you ever told this story to anyone? No, I said, I have never told all of it. Only parts, and it was either based on the space I, or we occupied.
Since then, I have been working on the answer to the question, how did you get here? You can listen to the podcast series of the same name where I’ve shared the first three episodes or you can read some of it here.
This photo was taken in the early ’90s capturing a pattern of departure from home. The other photos are of my first home, a place of humble beginnings. My home is Dominica. My home is my village, Wesley. Home is my grandmother, childhood memories, friends, and food. Home is the freedom to be. My departure from home often occurs about three or four weeks after reconnecting.
The reconnection and the departure evoke extreme and opposite emotional responses. The reconnection is warm, its laughter, appreciation, joy, and a knowing that it won’t last but for only three maybe four weeks.
The departure is emotionally violent. It’s sorrow and tears. It’s leaving friendships, and family behind. It’s the reality that I may not see my senior family members alive again. It’s experiencing a headache, turned into a migraine from the tears I cry from take off until landing in Puerto Rico to make my connecting flight to Washington DC.
If you miss it so much, why can’t you go back or stay? That is often the question that is asked after I’ve shared the above. It’s easy and difficult to understand and to do. So how did I get here? It took the sacrifice of my grandmother and the appreciation of my village for fostering my formative years.