Remaneo: a soul-search

I went back today. After what seemed like forever, I went back to the place I also call home. As I was traversing the same old roads, riding the same old jeeps, I felt nervous. I was nervous that moment I had to close my eyes because the wind was harshly caressing my face, because I was afraid of something petty like damaging my contact lenses, but really it was more of because I was scared. The music was playing loudly in my ears, and the air was strong and cold. And I? I turned to a visitor and no longer a resident. I was nervous of what I’ll come to see. I was scared of who lives there now. I was scared of the changes I’d witness when I arrive. All because I had to leave.

I had to leave. I had to move on.

Today, someone asked me why I suddenly left. She asked me not because I didn’t come and “visit” (when in fact, it was for me, going home), but because she noticed I stopped communicating. I cut ties for a while. I paused.

I had to find myself.

If you remember me writing about paper towns, that was it. I decided to take a break from the life I had lived. I wanted to leave the paper town and find my niche. More than that, I wanted to find myself. I used to believe soul-searching was just an excuse people come up with when they want to go missing in action. I always doubt if people really even know how to soul-search. I doubted myself too. Did soul-searching involve going to far places I never visited? Did soul-searching mean opening myself to people I barely know? How was I supposed to fix myself? How on earth was I supposed to find myself?

Many people try to move away from where they are in order to find themselves. I didn’t do that. I stayed. I stayed and not moved an inch. I stayed in the paper town and waited for it to burn. I stayed, waited, and observed. I wanted to understand why I was put in a situation I’ve been resisting. I want to understand why I was being miserable where I was. I wanted to know why where I am didn’t feel right.

I’ve often complained how I was stuck in limbo. Life didn’t seem to offer me anything new. I was able to leave where I came from but, the journey to my destination seemed impossible. It was similar to riding a boat to go to an island they tell you is paradise but finding yourself lost in the sea, unable to see the port from which you left and the port to which you are to arrive.

Let me tell you now that that isn’t the case. I was stuck in limbo not because I was lost or because I did not have a destination — I did. Limbos make us feel that nothing is changing or flowing. I realised now that I was the one who did not bother to change. We often leave places. When we go back, we feel different. It’s not because of the change in scenery, but because of a change of soul. After what seemed like being forever stuck in a paper town, I bothered changing so that when I once again arrive, everything would be different because it was I who changed.

So I stayed. But I moved forward.

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For all you who have no idea what this is, it’s my batch name when I joined the Adelfe Enu Crea Sorority. In plain boring words, it means “to remain”. But if you contextualise it, it means to stay but be able to move forward. I did not write this entry thinking of my batch name. (Trust me, I had to change the title too after writing “So I stayed. But I moved forward.”)

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