Living in the Gray Area

There exists this place where you are neither here nor there. A constant state of transit with no real timeline. A world lost between extremes, cultures, and norms. This place exists only to confuse outsiders. You are both part of a group and a fleeting thought in the wind. You are only here for a short time, but you don’t know how long that time period will be. You are always just passing through.

It can be hard to reconcile the need to feel accepted and part of a group, with the desire to be constantly on the move. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, I’ve had difficulty leaving my Peace Corps family for my own. It has been over six months since I’ve returned and I still have trouble finding where I belong. People don’t understand Peace Corps, how can they possibly understand me? The people I knew before Peace Corps remember the old me, the person before I had this life-changing experience. The people I’ve met after Peace Corps only know this quirky person who went to Africa to do something in a village and who is now moving on to do something overseas again. I feel like when I say Peace Corps these days it’s a curse word. I’ve stopped trying to explain my experiences. I’ve stopped talking about them, period. I live in the grey area where I am both still here and moving away permanently at the same time.

Some days it feels like I am making memories, just have them slowly erased in a few months. An old school movie reel slowly starts to crank up. The black and white movie appears on screen after a few seconds. The sound is blaring and the picture is punctured with splotches where the reel was slightly damaged. As the movie plays, at first it is in bright contrast. As the movie progresses, the picture starts to wash out, to fade, until suddenly there is nothing left but reel after reel of grey tinged screen in front of you.

So I live in the grey area. A place where I try, but also accept defeat. A place where I am always looking forward, yet still peek backwards from time to time. A place where I am both a person and a job title. A place where I belong, yet don’t.

For the next few weeks I’ll continue to live in the grey area. I will transition to a new grey area with new contrasts. I can’t wait to see what shades of grey are in store.

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3 thoughts on “Living in the Gray Area

  1. Akwaaba! I have been reading your blog and I really like it. I read a few postes ago that you were having to give away some of your Ghanaian clothes. I live in the states and am always looking for more Ghanaian clothes as they are typically so expensive and hard to come by here. if you are still giving away your Ghanaian clothes I will be happy to take them off your hands providing they are in descent wareable condition. I wanted to contact you directly but could not find an email address for you on this blog. so if you still have clothes to give away please let me know and we can find a way to contact each other directly. medase and best of luck with your foreign service endeavors!

    • Hi Ademawu, unfortunately most of my Ghanaian clothes are no longer in good condition. I brought back mainly shirts. I tried to find out if I could salvage any of the fabric and there just isn’t enough. Have you checked out African Prints in Fashion? It’s a curated facebook page, often times she will post new vendors who sell Ghanaian styles in the states. I’ve seen her post a few affordable options. https://www.facebook.com/AfricanPrintsFashion

      Anyway, meda wo ase papapa for reading my blog.

      • Awww that’s too bad that they are not in good condition but i know how it is, tins dey ware out sha. anyways i will definitely check out the African prints and fashions facebook! medase papapa for the suggestion. make you enjoy your day and stay blessed mama!

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