About a week or so ago I was chatting with my close friend and old college roommate Aley about life here in Ghana. I was telling her about the adjustments in life and everything going on. Then we got to talking about transitions in life in general and maintaining relationships and balance in our lives. I realized during our conversation, and expressed to her, that some days are just going to be harder than others.
It truly is just the nature of the type of things that I am currently doing with my life. When you are somewhere new, without any of your usual familiars around you, even when you start to have firm footing on where you are, those days still come. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t remember why it is that I am here. Nor does it mean that I feel like I have no friends or family here. This is just life. Wherever we are, we are always missing someone or somewhere, even if we are not always actively in our minds dwelling on it.
Some people tell me that they bet I am so busy that I have no time to think about feeling homesick or miss things. I do keep busy, but life here is a much different pace. In much the same way that my hometown is a place where time does not reside, life takes place at a slower pace here in Ghana. It gives you the time to appreciate the people and things around you, but it also gives you time to think about those things that aren’t around you as well. When you move around a lot, when you love to travel and meet new people, you leave a little bit of yourself in each place—bits of your heart. Not to say that it becomes impossible to be wholeheartedly in one place, but rather, it’s almost like magic: the lives you have added to your own, in all the different places, call you into mind, and you in turn feel those connections from wherever you are, and you miss them. We feel most life-like when people remember us.
The most important thing is to not ignore those moments that are harder than others. I’ve learned to acknowledge them, assess what it is that might be triggering them, then dealing with the emotions so I can move towards the effortless and easier times here. And there are so many more of those. Last Sunday when I felt this way I was surrounded by my friends from church and they understood the mood I was in. They just made sure I was included but did not press me to talk or interact more. They just let me sift through all the feelings, and I felt myself come alive again in my present setting. And Emma bought me ice cream. Not much a little bit of ice cream can’t solve for me at the end of the day.