Since arriving in Togo in 2010 I have had friends get married, friends get engaged, friends have babies, friends have miscarriages, grandparents die, parents divorced, family and friends move, and an ex-co-worker commit suicide. I’ve tried to stay in touch with my life back home as best as I could, but it hasn’t been easy and truthfully at times it was emotionally easier to not stay in touch than it was to stay in touch.
It feels like so much has changed, so much of life has passed during these two years. Yet somehow I feel like I haven’t aged a day or changed a bit. Everyone seems to think these two years in a different culture would have changed me, and maybe they have. But I still feel like the same person and now that it’s time to go home I feel like I’m heading right back to where I came from. And only now will I truly have to face all those changes that have occurred in my absence. Part of me wants to stay here, stay in hiding, away from life’s pains, sorrows, and even happiness. Part of me is anxious to get back and finally be a part of them.
I’ve had my own life here in Togo, one that I have never been ably to fully explain to anyone not living it with me. I’m not sure it’s even something I can bring back and explain to my friends and family back home. Now I’m torn with leaving behind what has become of my life to go back to the life I left behind two years ago. I wish there were some way to merge the two, but I have yet to find the means to do so. If I can’t merge the two, what was the point of coming and creating this life, only to leave it behind. I search daily for the ways to bring it back, to mix it with my previous life to create something even better, but to date I’ve come up empty handed.