When Life Back Home Moves On Without You

Joyce Ogbonnaya
April 3, 2018

It's hard living away from your family and friends during important life transitions.

My sister graduates’ college this year, my baby brother graduates high school! It's crazy because he was just a rambunctious kid in middle school a couple of months ago and now he's going to college? I won't be there to see them take these important steps in life and that bums me out, but I knew beforehand that this would be the case, so I am prepared. What I didn't prepare for was my best friends having huge birthday parties that even with Skype and Instagram live, I can only participate so much in. I hadn't prepared for my university to experience one of the largest student protests in over 50 years that's garnering nationwide outrage and support and the only support I can offer my friends and fellow peers is money for pizza so they can continue to occupy the administration building. I hadn't anticipated my friends needing my support in situations that I couldn't physically be present in and how that would feel for them or how these situations would shape them and their outlooks.

I hadn't anticipated life changing.

For me it was never a possibility that the place I left wouldn't be the place I would come back to. I was the one who was supposed to change. I was the one who would come back and see everything in a new light, not everyone else seeing me through their own different lenses in different places.

For the most part, I believe I have handled certain changes quite well. Best friend has a new boyfriend - Call and scream your head off with questions about when, who, where and why? Check. Little brother gets a prom date - call and give him the prom talk as was given to me by my older sister. Check. Calling home university about lost paperwork. Check.

I anticipated FOMO- the feeling of missing out. What I hadn't anticipated was that sometimes it isn't just a feeling or something I could get over with hibiscus tea and a chocolate bar.

In high school the band Paramore came out with a song "ain't it fun". I remember singing it in the shower before school with a wide grin on my face because I thought I was so "wordly" and my frienemies would soon be in college, and see that they weren't "wordly" and that earth didn't revolve around them or their problems. Here I am, years later singing the same song in the shower, but about myself this time. I thought I knew what it meant when Paramore said:

Ain't it fun
Living in the real world
('Cause the world don't orbit around you)

Ain't it good, ain't it good
Being all alone

Don't go crying to your mama
'Cause you're on your own, in the real world

But I didn't know then what I know now. 

I am learning that you can't hold the world in place, it moves and I don't just mean rotation.

If you are familiar with Greek mythology, then you know the Titan Atlas who is condemned to hold the world/sky on his shoulders. Maybe I should scream at him and tell him to hold it a bit tighter!

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Joyce Ogbonnaya

<p>I come from a large, loud, and loving family. Growing up my siblings and cousins were my bestfriends. My mother would drop us off at the library most days of the summer so she could get time to go to work or just be alone at home. By doing this she unknowingly created a love for reading within me. Reading is my hobby.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2018 Spring
Home university:
Howard University
Hometown:
Houston, TX
Major:
Biological Sciences
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