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.”