Going “Back” Home

Valencia Meredith - India


April 8, 2017

A few days ago, during TS3, we were shown a Ted Talk. I do not remember the name of the Ted Talk, not even the speaker, but one message stuck with me- there is no going back. This speaker was a woman who stayed in many parts of the world. She is a Ghanaian, born in England, and lived in the US.

In the Ted Talk, she spoke a bit her relationship to Ghana. When asked about Ghana many people tend to ask when she’s going to ‘back’. Her answer, slightly witty, is “I can’t go back”. To many this may be confusing. How can she not go back? What’s stopping her? The thing is, what she experienced in Ghana is no longer the same. The people aren’t the same, the smells aren’t the same, the clothes, etc. That is why she can’t answer the question. Because she can’t ever go back to something that is no longer there. Her experience in Ghana then, will be completely different than it is now.

I recently saw a movie called Lion, starring Dev Patel. Lion is about a young boy from Ganesh Talai who lost his way from home and ended up in a orphanage where he was adopted by Australians. Dev (Sheru) made it his mission to go “back” to his homeland. He found his home through his memories. But, when he arrived everything was different. The area was still the same but his house was no longer his, his mom was a lot older and his brother died. He was surprised to see what he remembered as his reality is no longer true. The same can be said for all of us.

We left our homes with memories left behind. There is a reason why they are called memories. They are in the last and can’t be relived. When we return to our homes, nothing will be the same. No matter how stagnant some things may be, there is always a small change. Just as we grew and changed during our global citizen year, so did everyone and everything. So, we aren’t going ‘back’ to anything, but starting a new journey in a familiar place.

Valencia Meredith