So I decided to listen to Drake’s album, no, not Views (from the Six?) but Take Care and all of a sudden, I found myself listening to a lot of the “old Drake”. Man I have to say, I used to die for Drake. I remember finding his Thank Me Later somewhere in my older cousin’s stuff (yes, I used to snoop through her stuff sometimes). I asked her what kind of music it was and it turned out it was one of her friends’ CD’s so she said I could have it because her friend would probably not even miss it. And I fell in love at “first listen”. Since then, I’ve kind of grown up musically and veered a bit off from the Drake’s brand of hip hop into other genres but that is a story for another day.
Fast-forward five years later and I’m listening to Take Care spontaneously because I was overcome by nostalgia. On my Drake binge, I also listened to ‘Club Paradise’ and the lyrics had me clutching my chest- the usual manner of “draking”. “Draking” is a term used to describe a person who listens to so much of Drake’s music that they start feeling miserable about life in general. In my case though, I became homesick. I’m due to go home in a few weeks and I haven’t been sleeping well because I’m just too excited.
Some of you probably won’t understand. “I grew up at home” has a different meaning for me: I was at home ninety percent of my schooling. I didn’t like going out. I had friends, sure, but I was, and remain, a self-proclaimed introvert. A hermit. Here’s a Warsan Shire quote that describes my kind of introvert ways well: “my alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” So basically, I’m a homebody.
How many introverts can say that they chose to leave their hometowns in order to go to somewhere far and new as soon as high school was over? I’m probably not the only one but I’m sure the numbers are not that high. There’s something comforting about being at home right? It’s just so effortless to always be comfortable. So there I was fresh out of high school and I still had all of my limbs intact, my mother expecting me to go to the university town that was two-hundred kilometres from my own town. The ironic part though, is that I also thought that that is where I would be going for three years but we all know that life is not that predictable. Instead, I’m more than seven-hundred kilometres away from home and the land is as foreign as Wonderland was to Alice. A few months ago, June seemed eons away. June meant exams sure, but those exams were the bridge that would help me cross to the other side: home. Now that June is finally almost here, I’m still happy that I finally get to go home after months in this land that sometimes still feels foreign, no matter how many friends I make or how many places I see. However, I did not expect to also be dreading going home. Let me explain.
The town I come from is a small town (not on the coast unfortunately) where nothing happens but everything feels like it’s happening when you’ve been there for your whole life. Many people who stay there describe it as stagnant, not going backwards but not moving forward either. My friends and I used to joke about how people become attractive and somehow better when they leave the place. But now that I’ll be one of the people who have left and are on their way going back, I can’t help but wonder how a stagnant place reacts to those that refuse to stagnate with it. You know the people you leave back home when you go somewhere and they say “you’ve changed” with that tone of voice they use to describe someone that they don’t like? My town has those people too.
Trust me though; I’m okay with hearing that because for me it means I have grown away from the stagnation that I am seemingly not allowed to grow away from. Here’s a lovely picture that illustrates what I am trying to say:
Somehow, the world has made normal things seem strange and strange things seem like the norm. I have never understood why inner change that gives an individual greater depth is not celebrated. We are not in this world to stay stagnant. I love my town. I’ve been in that shell for nineteen years and it was comfortable, yes but as the smarts of this world like to say: a comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there. Certainly not the flowers on the above picture. Here’s something that we should all do best to remember at the moments we refuse ourselves the opportunity to veer away from comfort:
There’s nothing wrong with change (with exceptions of course) but, in each case it is crucial how we choose to that particular change. There have been days where I felt like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, as though a constant raincloud was following only me. I had an ache in my chest that longed for one thing and one thing only: the comfort zones I chose to leave. There are still days where I wonder if I made the right choice by deviating from what was expected of me, what I expected of myself but I’m so glad I am here.
There’s this quote I have a thing for – sorry, I love words – it’s always been an analogy for me, mainly about waiting for what you deserve and the change it will bring. It’s a quote from Beginners, a film by Mike Mills.