There are certain dreams and memories that will forever imprinted in who who we are – for me a defining one has definitely been to go to the country that I’m from. So as I sit here a whole 25 years old about to move to country that I know nothing about besides the nostalgia that has come with being the daughter of immigrants, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t an emotional wreck the past couple of days. I mean yes listening to Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’ is doing absolutely nothing to help balance the tears but I really have never felt anxiety like this.
I’m the self-professed ‘Child of the World’, packing everything into two suitcases and moving onto the next place has kinda been the story before I even had the motor skills to sit up on my own. So why is it that I’ve had panic attacks and random outbursts of tears for the past three weeks? I haven’t slept well and like in true fashion I’m compartmentalising to cope. I mean I’ve never been to Somalia, so how will I fit in? Will I? Am I Somali enough? I have had so many questions circling my mind the past month because I really just want to be accepted, to be embraced you know?
I think there is a natural anxiety that comes with anticipation. It’s the roar of rainfall that you hear past the mountains coming to relieve the drought. It’s that rumble on the plains during migration. Both examples of natures course of action for a renewed state, a balance. My parents left Somalia before the war and I now return to do my part…it’s like a prophecy of sorts. Isn’t that what it’s meant to be?
For the past 18 months I’ve been trying to reconnect to the things that make me me. In a world so hurt, in a world so unfair, I many times was like “I really don’t care anymore!”. To keep faith when you’re constantly being faced with rejection can really humble you at first but then it just gets really annoying. One of my biggest fears in life is becoming the person “that had so much potential”, because (I say this with humility) I have always had this gut feeling that I’m gonna do things that touch lives for the better.
I was about 10 when my dad taught me about Nelson Mandela (he had to fill the vacuums left by private British school education), which was then followed by a trip to Cape Town a year later and finding myself standing in the cell he occupied. That was the day that I wrote in my diary “I will never accept injustice”. Some years later we had to write an argumentative essay on a topic of our choice and I chose “Why Health should be a human right”, I still remember my English teachers circulating it through their classes – I didn’t think much about it though, I was just doing what I had always done, written down a vision for a better world. This is just a couple of examples of a kid who’s heart and mind were geared towards kindness and idealism.
I don’t care about being perceived as ‘woke’ because it seems that it’s more about fitting an idea or exercising your twitter fingers, there’s no action but rather a cool label to inject in social discourse to make yourself look like you’re really for the people…but you’re not are you. If I’m honest I find it an insult. I’m willing to give my entire life to make sure that we get an inch closer to equity, I think that part of my purpose on this Earth is to serve. I care about being fulfilled before I look at the money and I care more about justice and the greater picture than I do my own feelings.
I recently met with someone who I discussed this new job with and my fears of being consumed with such emotionally taxing work (I’ll be working in the area of child protection) and she said something along the lines of, “some of us are just built like this, you are built for this, but with growth you find the balance”. She’s right because I can not stop caring, not for lack of trying. I’ve tried switching it off, but a person is a person and when they suffer because the system is broken, we’re all suffering as a people. So to do nothing, to say nothing is not good enough period.
Every year of life is marked by some lesson or journey.
- 21: Burn out and depression
- 22: Healing (& I began a journey into grad school…)
- 23: Winning in true Jordan fashion.
- 24: The state of introspection and recalibration
- 25: The Homecoming
For every why, for all the stress, for the people that I had to part ways with, for all the times that I thought that maybe I’m not that great, for the tears, for the sacrifices…this chapter of my life is gonna be the most challenging, but the most exciting thus far.
This is the journey where I find out exactly who I am…and this is where I will be documenting it.