It feels good to be back home in Manchester. Speaking of home, I’ve never really felt like I belonged or fitted into one set group or category. I remember very well what it felt like growing up in Nigeria where I didn’t conform to the norm. I was chastised for being too skinny (one individual even went as far as suggesting that I might have AIDS) and thought of as odd for not listening to mainstream Nigerian music. The truth is I can’t help it if I only love music that has a lot more depth to it or if I don’t think and act like almost everyone else. I am who I am.
I found that I constantly had to defend my weight and lifestyle choices amongst other things. The only time I felt safe and still do is amongst family and friends as they know and accept me for who I am. I guess that’s why friendships mean a lot to me. Building a bond based on acceptance and tolerance gives the feeling of trust and comfort.
Things weren’t very much different when I moved to the UK and being socially awkward didn’t help too. But that never stopped me from creating a safe space for me to exist. I’ve never been the girl to be described as the life of the party as I tend to sit in my own little corner observing everyone else.
I paid close attention to the people around me, looking out for traits they shared with close friends back in Nigeria. And soon enough it didn’t take long for us to connect. The meaning of home became very clear to me. It has nothing to do with where you find yourself but everything to do with the people you find that you’re most comfortable with.
Suddenly everywhere becomes home when you’re with the right kind of people. Nigeria is home as long as my family and friends are there, New York felt like home cause I was with Craig and Manchester is certainly home with friends like Mimi and more. Home is where my loved ones are. Home is here.
Home – wearing Craig’s knit from last Christmas.