I’m slowly recovering from strep throat/tonsillitis. I haven’t really done much of anything in the past week, except drink copious amounts of water and moan about trouble sleeping. I guess I was so focused on just getting physically healthy that I didn’t allow myself time to mentally readjust to living in the developing world. Coming back from South Africa was difficult to say the least. But it hadn’t hit me until yesterday.
And then every emotion known to man hit me at the same time. So what did I do? Something incredibly stupid.
I watched scenes from Oklahoma! the musical and part of the Lion King (before my power went off).
I’ve known every word to the song Oklahoma! since I was in third grade. Every time I hear the song it reminds me of my childhood growing up in Oklahoma. I think about waving wheat, my best friend Martha, elementary school, Land Run days, spending lazy college afternoons in the grass in front of my dorm, and summers spent being kids with my neighbor Chris. It reminds me of my favorite parts of Oklahoma, the long drives through farms, the motorcycle trips with my dad, the back roads I used to take home from school, the long summer nights. It reminds me of laying down in the front lawn with Martha discussing religion on Thanksgiving, going to get snowcones with Jessica and Andrew, and all the crazy adventures I would have with Daniel. It reminds me of lunch dates with Megan, and the first time I met Audrey. It reminds me of Ellen’s laugh, taking Charlemagne to the dog park, and gossiping with Alice. It reminds me of trivia at AcrobatAnt, young love in high school, and skipping school to go to Arby’s with Allie.
Listening to that song made me incredibly homesick. And last time I checked I didn’t even really like Oklahoma. The weather never knows what it is doing, the politics are atrocious, most people who don’t live in a city are just plain weird, and the job opportunities are lacking. I didn’t want to live in Oklahoma anymore, but no matter how much I wanted to leave – it will always still be home.
So here I am, balling my eyes out, singing along to Oklahoma!
Then I decide to watch the Lion King. I really wanted to watch 300, but turns out I don’t have it. I felt like “THIS IS SPARTA” kicking something. Two seconds into Lion King and I’m crying again. “It looks just like the sunrise from my treehouse! Waaaaah!” Here I am yelling out “BLACK RHINO! Bushnell’s zebra! Ostriches have bigger wings!” I wanted more than anything to be back in South Africa, to be on safari again. I kept thinking “why am I here?! Why am I in Ghana! What’s the point?!” I had a genuine moment of weakness. I hadn’t taken any time to mentally readjust to life in Ghana. I had a taste of the good life and I wanted more.
So what did I do? I called my mom and she made everything better. She reminded me that what I had was the vacation of a lifetime. It was magical, wonderful, and fleeting. What I have right now is the job of a lifetime. I love what I do and I really do enjoy it.
I guess that’s just the circle of life. Hakuna mahtata?