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.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Musings on Getting Ready to Go Home to Jamaica

Please give a very warm welcome a new guest author on Moving Back to Jamaica: Susan Andrea Warmington.


I have lived as an Immigrant in the United States for close to two decades, and my heart yearns for my native Jamaica.

Very recently I made a concrete decision to return home despite fears for my future, and the future of my little island. This is not my first attempt to return home. In the past I made a feeble effort to go back, and was swayed by the discouragement of those who felt that Jamaica was too difficult a place to live in. The daily struggle of life in America quickly swept aside my hopes of relocating home, and it seemed easier at the time to just continue chasing the American dream. After all, I was already living here in the States.

In hindsight, I now realize that my first attempt to go home began imperfectly. Back then, I had jumped into job searching and apartment hunting without firmly wrapping my brain around why I personally needed to return home. I did not have as yet the answers in my own heart that could combat the unrelenting negative media about Jamaica, or continual warnings made by well meaning family and friends.

However, this time around I decided to analyze my life in America solely on my own terms. I asked myself why I wanted to go home apart from the obvious reason of missing Jamaica. When one is deluged by the insistent material hopes of America, simply missing home does not seem enough to warrant going back.

I looked closely at my achievements in America which are quite plentiful and look good on paper. I had graduated college and made a family here. I had successfully performed in regional theatre in Atlanta, taught theatrical arts in New York City, sang for the Mayor of Chicago along with a bunch of other diverse achievements. I have even been cited in a book or two for my musical accomplishments.

Yet, I did not have to probe too deeply within myself to get in touch with the feelings of loneliness, isolation, and sadness that is so commonplace in the life of an Immigrant. The separation from my family and culture is something that affects me deeply, and the accomplishments that I have achieved here are not enough to keep me from feeling that I am very much a foreigner in a foreign land.

Whenever I move house here, I always find myself taking a long time to unpack boxes, or put pictures on the walls, as if I am not staying. There is always a feeling of being unsettled. I would jump at the chance to relocate to new cities or States thinking that that might quell the peculiar feeling that something was lacking. But it has never helped. This uncomfortable transient feeling is more than enough reason for me to make my way home.

Yet, there is something weightier that pushes me forward than this consistent transitory sensation that shadows my life.

The clincher that has convinced me that there is no turning back on my decision is simply that I do not wish to get old in America.

And as my middle years hasten me to join them with the promise of experience, wisdom, and strength of character; I am depending on them to guide me home.

My cause now is to continue mentally preparing myself and my family before we start the actual physical activities of the move. I find myself becoming more cognitive all the time of reasons why I need to go home, and I find myself becoming more comfortable with my decision every day.

Now when someone questions my choice to leave The United States, I simply answer, “Because I miss home.”

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At 9/05/2008 9:16 PM, Blogger Fly Girl said...

What a compelling post. I can feel your longing through every word. I think it's much more than just missing home in general. There is a spirit to Jamaica that you don't find anywhere else, certainly not the U.S. It's calling you and you have to listen. I'm certain that you're doing the right thing and you won't miss the superficial lifestlye of the U.S. once you're back where your heart calls.

At 9/06/2008 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! While searching the net for sites with info on moving back to Trinidad I found your blog. It's full of thoughtful points to consider before the move. I attended university in Canada but most of my family is still in trini. Fly girl you are so right - it's the spirit of the people that I miss - warm, social to the point of being nosy, brave people. My MAJOR concern with Trini is the crime and the ineffective Government - hopefully that will get better :( I'll definitely be returning to keep reading! Anita

At 9/17/2008 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never left jamaica, but have brothers & sisters living in the state over 20 years. I wish they had that yearning that the family can be back together again.

Understand the jamaican spirit is calling especially after that showing at the recent olympics.

At 9/17/2008 7:18 PM, Blogger fwade said...

I wonder how many Jamaicans living at home are yearning for their family to return, and be reunited?

At 10/18/2008 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the SAME WAY i feel the SAME WAY I miss Jamaica oh so BADLY!!!!! I went back home for 3months during the summer and I tell you there's no place like home especially during the indenpence & the olympics was extra nice. Tired of living up here in the cold I wish i could go back I long for Jamaica but the sense of fear & doubt takes over for some reason!!!

To our leaders great defenders grant true wisdom from above justice truth be ours forever Jamaica land we LOVE...

At 2/12/2009 8:26 AM, Blogger OHTAHEITE said...

Hi, I'm in Houston too, now it's been 18 years an mi waan go home!!!

My hubby and I have discussed this at lenght having two kids 2 and under. We want them to experience a Jamaican childhood, too.

My mom is also moving back in a year or two and I especially want to be close to her. I have just got to go. We are going to make it happen.

And you are so right, we never feel settled no matter where we go, we can never feel like we are at home, and have finally figured out why. It's cause we are not home, quite simply. And it's time to end that empty feeling.


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