Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Old Man

While I was at the Blogger's LinkUp a few weeks ago I was told in no uncertain terms that I looked nothing like my picture.

Someone said that I looked like a "Big Man." Someone else said that I looked much younger in person.

So, I decided I had to fix all that by changing my picture to one taken more recently. Perhaps it might also reflect the overhaul I did with my hair, beard and glasses, starting with a nervous decision I made before Trini Carnival this year to "break away" and go bald.

So here is the new pic at right, a year after the prior picture was taken.

Of course, this has some connection to Moving Back to Jamaica. It must...

Oh yes, here it is -- coming back home after being abroad is an opportunity to refashion oneself to some degree. While I don't recommend flying out to buy the latest fashions in an attempt to impress the relatives and friends back home, I think that below the superficial clothes there is something deeper that is possible.

Simply put, a returnee need not be constrained by who they used to be when they left, and has tremendous freedom to define who they are in the eyes of others. This freedom is limited by what the returnee is willing to say and stand behind, of course. Without integrity and authenticity, this will fail.

The question is, how does a returnee think about what these new elements should be? The trap to avoid here is to engineer some kind of logic-based PR campaign that is likely to fail.

Instead, the focus should be on where one's life energy is flowing, and perhaps the new "refashionment" should be in the direction of one's dreams, and slightly outside of one's comfort zone.

For example, writing a blog for me felt like a strange, uncomfortable adventure of sorts, but right in line with my commitment to help others who are transitioning to live in Jamaica (or the Caribbean.) It was bit of a stretch but not enough to burst the rubber-band of my credibility with myself.

So was cutting off my hair earlier this year. It was definitely a stretch for me, as I contemplated the failed attempts that friends have made to go bald and look cool, only to end up looking like Chimps. But, it was not as crazy as getting a wild tattoo.

So, hopefully I look more like the new picture, less like an Old Man, and closer to capturing the "me" that this returnee has decided to become.


At 8/07/2006 6:35 PM, Blogger Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear Francis,
Give thanks for this post. Yes, it does take a lot of courage to become.
It is even more difficult in a conservative society like Jamaica where we have not yet fully articulated what we what to be. We only know what we don't want to be. I admire you courage for going past "the good opinion of others" and taking your friends along on that great journey to be
1 Heart,

At 8/10/2006 9:50 PM, Blogger Gela's Words said...

ooh, is that cutie above you? Man, you must have had plenty little girlfriends when you were a boy:)

At 8/19/2006 12:56 PM, Blogger fwade said...


Hmmm... looks like the "Old Man" ting is real, then?



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