Updated: Jun 27, 2019
When I came back from Johannesburg to start my 2nd term as a middle school science teacher back in the UAE, I felt a heaviness I thought I would never feel again. Then that heaviness literally manifested in my lungs in the form of bronchitis. I thought it was just a cold but boy boy boy I was wrong. My immune system was in for helluva ride. The welcome to Dubai’s ecosystem roller coaster. You get some irritants! You get some irritants! and youuuuu....
The physical illness just highlighted my mental and emotional dilemma. I was super depressed over my teaching experience overseas and perplexed on what I could do next to alleviate this.
Not to say I didn't love the kids and seeing their growth in science AND literacy. I just felt a boulder of stagnancy weighing down on my shoulders. I felt stuck in a career rut that looked like the ultimate Glow Up to everyone else in my IG and FB highlight reels.
I was traveling elsewhere in the midst of residing and working in the UAE but I didn't like coming home to MY mundane process of going through the motions during the week just to look forward to a weekend that lasts as long as the blink of an eye. Everybody was living for the weekend out here but that lifestyle is not my cup of tea.
In January 2018, while riddled with bronchitis that wouldn't go away, my kind friend invited me to an Emirati wedding (blog coming soon) and during that time she spoke of her brother's in-laws living in Ghana and inviting her to visit during our spring break.
Something in me, I call it my Young Fola mode, shifted into gear and when I tell you...I booked that flight at the reception table with the quickness (thank you Emirates app).
The anticipation of our trip to Ghana literally kept me sane through the weeks leading to Spring Break. Preparing to get stationary items for the school kids we would meet in Accra gave me joy.
We landed in Ghana on a Saturday. Walked through an entrance boldly titled "Akwaaba" which means Welcome in the Twi language.
I remember feeling the Sun shine warmly on my skin! As my friend's kin picked us up, I felt immediately welcomed and excited.
As you may know, Depression tends to rob you of enjoying what you normally do. All that however seemed to reverse when I stepped foot in Accra. I will save the vivid details of my 7 day trip in Ghana for another day. But I will visualize the multifaceted way in which I got my groove back.
I got my shopping/market groove back!
I got my beach bum living her best life groove back.
I got my African homecooked meal groove back.
I got my touch a tree like in Avatar groove back.
I got my Over The Meadow And Through The Woods hiking groove back.
I got my spend the night off the coast of the beach in a Tropical Groove back.
I got my self care groove back.
I got my community service groove back.
I got my artsy fartsy museum groove back.
I got my fashionista groove back.
And I got my ancestral storyteller groove back.
When I got back, I still struggled with the heaviness of depression manifesting psychosomatically but I also had a quiet determination in my gut to make it day by day. I was starting to determine myself.
Looking forward to the day I return back to Ghana (December 2019!) and groove my roots into its beautiful land. Telling that heaviness, Dont Disturb This Groove.