Identity

I don’t know what this is about yet but I haven’t posted in a while so I guess I should write something.

Much of what this blog has been about is someone returning home and discovering that it was no longer what it used to be to her. At first, she blamed the misfit and discomfort on home but then she looked in the mirror realised that she was looking at someone different from what she once was. So, this blog started off with me trying to understand my new self in old surroundings (or old surroundings through the eyes of a new self. I’m not quite sure which it is).

The subject of identity has been dancing in my head for over a year now. For some reason, it has become more intense in the last couple of weeks. Actually, I know exactly why it’s more intense – Valentine’s Day. Despite all my I-am-doing-perfectly-fine-without-love talk, I must confess that the advertising and hype of that day always throw me off balance. And this year knocked me down badly. Not that I was fantasising about sunset walks on a beach and a glass of Prosecco. Somehow the atmosphere of love led me to ponder more deeply the concept of home and that led on to the question, “What is home?”. Then, “Where is home?”. And ultimately, “What am I?”. I am a black woman with afro hair and a difficult name to pronounce. Beyond that, I am at a loss.

Returning to Lagos confirmed that somehow, I had managed to lose that wonderful bubbly essence that makes Nigerians instantly recognisable. I had no idea how to converse with Nigerians and I couldn’t relate to what excited them. I was no longer at ease in my birthplace the way people are when they are home and relaxed. I am certainly not British either – on so many levels, there is absolutely no way that I am.  For one, I hardly ever hang out with British people. Most of my friends are fellow internationals. If anything, I am more Asian and South American than I am British. I love the UK; but throughout my years here, there’s always that lingering feeling that I am just a guest. This undercurrent was one of the many things that drove me back to Lagos. I thought I would be free of it and finally be able to exhale, kick off my shoes and bask in that magnificent sunshine. But no, in Nigeria, I was still a guest because “Moji, you are too oyinbo”. I am too white.

I am hanging in this weird limbo. They say that having an international outlook on life is always an advantage. But for me, internationalisation has created this ‘factionless’ person. Since Valentine’s Day, all I’ve thought about is a place I can call home and it’s been all I dream about whenever I go to bed. Christianity tells me that my home is in eternity. I know this and I wholeheartedly agree with it but it just doesn’t register. I am looking forward to eternity but I feel so lost in this life.

Woah, didn’t mean this to be so personal.

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