A Message to My Younger Self…

The latest instalment of our series of anonymous monologues, on the difficulties of uprooting oneself from one’s home culture and trying to grow up in the process.

Hey buddy.

I know a lot is going on right now… some would probably say, things that no one your age should have to deal with.

Mum’s left for the UK and as you can tell by now, it doesn’t look like she’s coming back. You noticed Dad hasn’t been the same the last few weeks: growing worried, skipping work a lot more, drinking more often and saying a lot less. When you finish your school term, he will leave too – Don’t worry, it’s not permanent. He went to go find mum and bring the family back together.

I wish I could say things get easier but they don’t. You’ll have a great summer though; bonding with your sister, the house maid, even the gardener who used to take you to school every day. But from now, your life is about to change quite drastically.

You’re going to live with your uncle for a year until dad can try and sort things out. Being the charming little boy you are, you manage to swoon a catholic nun, who also happened to be the dean, into giving you a last minute place at the best private grammar school in the country. Never thought you’d be able to charm any females at all, did you?

Living with your uncle is okay at the start and your older cousin Mikey is pretty cool. You’ll look up to Mikey a lot and pick up quite a few bad traits but make sure you listen to him; you’ll learn a few things about girls and how to be ‘cool’. They’ll help you overcome some of your social anxiety and be a lot less of a helpless nerd. On the other hand, the usual bullying doesn’t stop. It just follows you from your old city to your new one. You’ll be forgotten to be picked up after school a few times, you’ll be collectively punished for other people’s mistakes by teachers and you’ll even be teased by the president’s son (In case you ever want to use that as a claim to fame).

A year goes by and you will arrive on foreign soil; welcome to England. You meet your distant family for the first time and you see Dad but Mum is still not in the picture. You’ll have many questions, and rightly so, but don’t worry you’ll learn a lot in coming years. Just be prepared for whatever is about to come because it’s going to be hard and some experiences still haunt you till this day.

Keep your head up. God will always be looking out for you. You’ll see.