There is something about time lately that just messes with my head. I keep thinking of the song by The Steve Miller Band Fly Like an Eagle. “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future”.
I came back to Ghana in January with a bit of a heavy heart, looking out at the months I had ahead of me away from my home. I missed my family terribly but I was determined to finish what I started. This will come as no shock to my husband, no doubt, but I can be rather hard headed when I choose to be. I really prefer the terms determined or tenacious but the gist is when I put my mind to something then…watch out. This particular trait that I have, like many of our best traits do, has historically, worked both for me and against me. In the context of Ghana, it is no different.
I have to admit that this entire experience has somewhat consumed me for nearly two years now. This is probably an understatement. First it was finding out that I could actually participate in a study abroad program, then choosing one I wanted to apply for. From the moment, I picked this country I have immersed myself in everything Ghana that I possibly could. In anticipation of being accepted into the Ghana program I spent an entire semester integrating various aspects of this country into as many research papers and into as many classes that I could (I have had very understanding and patient professors). In typical Theresa fashion, I became obsessed. My family tolerated it probably because I was so passionate about it. And I had not been this passionate about something in a very long while. I know this because my husband told me before I left that he was ready for a bit of break from the Theresa/Ghana show. Honestly, I do not blame him.
This seems like a non-sequitur but I promise to tie it all together in the end, so bear with me. I grew up watching Wile E. Coyote cartoons. I loved them! Probably because my father loved them so much so therefor I did but regardless, I especially loved it when Wile E. Coyote interacted with the Tasmanian Devil. I bring this up because I have realized that the swirling dust devil that was projected in that cartoon is a great analogy for trajectory of my life these past two years., I have been focused and single minded and determined. Obstacles be damned! And I have had many. But like the swirling tornado of dust that picks up particles to suck into its vortex, as I have over that last two years, this too will pass. As quickly as a dust devil stirs up and travels across the sand it ends in much the same fashion…. particles of dust scattering across the wind, dissipating to nothing more than dispersed matter. I am keenly aware of this as my time in Ghana draws ever closer to an end, as time slips away.
I downloaded the British Airways app to my phone when I got my ticket to come to Ghana last summer. This is the airline that the CSU-International Program uses so it will be the airline I fly home on. The app has a feature where you can look at the timeline of your next departing flight. My next flight with them will be my flight home from Ghana. I took a screen shot of that the other day and sent it to my husband. It said 51 days, 4 hours and 55 minutes. A very specific and concrete point of departure on this life changing journey I have been on. Both my husband and I have been talking about our life in terms of when I come home. This will happen or life will look like such and such. Now all of the sudden the end of this journey feels much less abstract and very real and I am not sure that I am prepared. This is where time seems to be messing with me. Wanting to come home so bad it hurts but also wanting to do so much more here.
All of the energy that has sustained this whirlwind experience is about to disappear like a dust devil in the wind…. then what? I honestly have no clue. I expect that this will be the challenge I face in the upcoming weeks.
This is what I do know to be true. I do not for a minute regret coming here. I will forever be changed and hopefully a better person for having this experience. I know that without the support of my husband and children, then this would have been a much different (probably not in an entirely good way) journey. The people of Ghana are lovely. Getting to know many of them and having a deeper understanding of the culture here, will forever mark my soul. Getting to come somewhere and get to know myself in a way I could never have done at home has been life-changing. And lastly, life is truly too short to not do what you love. Fly like an eagle and let your spirit carry you.
I have been blessed to have this opportunity.
Peace to you,