First of all, I would like to say a big sorry to those of you I should have reached out to and haven’t. Hopefully once you have read this piece you will know where my head has been at and know that once I am in the right mindset I can speak to you with a happy tone instead of the miserable old bag that I have become, something that is easy to fit in to when you live in a country where the people are as grey as the weather.
I have never had a child, so I don’t want to make light of post-natal depression, but in this past month, it really feels that I have something quite close to it, with England being that child, that I have gone through lots of pains for and now that I am back, feel no connection to it and it has no connection to me. The only shining light is that I remembered why I left in the first place.
I have to admit, with the constant power cuts and with my house, car, and me, falling to bits, I was in the frame of mind to come back, but now that I am here, it feels like I have gone back in time. If not for the fact that my birthday next month will add a years on this earth, the last 6 years seems to have meant nothing over here. I even decided to go and claim those national insurance pennies that I had amassed over the 10 to 15 years as a British national, and was told that just like the French, the Dutch and whoever else decides to make claims in this country, the fact that I stepped out for a while means that I have to sit here like a fig for 3 months and only then, if I am not in employment will they give me a bit of pocket money to live with. I am not surprised though. At the age of 60+, smother, who has contributed to the national coffers for 40 years of her life is only entitled to a mere £100 a week for her troubles. £1 up from last year, and with that she is supposed to pay her electricity bill, council tax, gas bill etc, oh yes and eat…, at least if she took that to Ghana she would have close to one person’s salary over there.
Things were looking bright when I came back, I knew that it would not be easy slipping back in, but I didn’t know that it was going to be 10 times worse, I spoke with some agencies, and they said I had a great CV but a month down the line, not even an interview and the agencies are realising they will not getting a commission out of me, have gone cold too. Apparently, even though I was working at the number one multinational known in the world, because the experience was in Africa, I might as well have been a cleaner. In fact, had it not been for the British Passport that everyone seems to want to have proof that I am “one of them”, I would probably be on the lookout for David Cameron’s immigration bus to take me back to where I came from.
It’s the same problem that has reared its ugly head once again. I have enough certificates and qualifications to cover my bedroom wall, yet even after I had accrued a mountain of qualifications, I never quite knew whether I wasn’t selling myself well or if my name read like a Nigerian fraudster in the eyes of the white folk. This is why I left in the first place, if I went to where everyone looked like me, would I have the same problem? I found out there, it was a bit of both. However, I got opportunities that I don’t think I would have ever got here. When I was here, I did a law degree, not because I really wanted to be a lawyer, but because I knew I was greater than my environment. The block was though, that I was on step 2 of a 3 step ladder, and well unless someone died, had I stayed and not taken control of those surroundings, I would have been waiting every year for one extra pound on my salary if that. I went to Ghana because of a desire to succeed, and for a while I did. Even with the epic failure that was Olam, at least for a while I was able to pay my bills and enjoy a kebab from DnR once a week. Whatever the mistake, at least I was in control.
Now, however, the control went to my family and forced to hear smother telling me what’s best. I can’t even get a job doing the shit that nobody wants to do, I am a legal, illegal immigrant you could say.
But it is ok, I am Efia, a grafter and a fighter. I did it once and I will do it again, at least when I go back I go with a knowledge that I need solar panel for my house and an income outside of a regular salary. As a good friend of mine said, it’s just a short break while I figure it all out. My mission for the right now is to ensure that I am never dependant on anyone, I need to take back control of my life and my finances, because I am obviously too big in my shoes to continue to be a humble employee. So for now, I may have to take that travel back to 6 years ago, while I build up some capital and plan my next move. However, if this one month has taught me anything, it is that smother definitely doesn’t know best.
So now that I know what I am going to do, just need to figure out the how I am going to do it….and that’s where my story ends for now, but I’ll keep you posted….