and ‘getting left behind’ are supposed to be feelings inculcated in your loved ones by your departure to (hopefully sunnier) climes when you move abroad. You’re off having the adventure of a lifetime and they’re stuck at home doing the same thing they were doing before you left, only with a new wound of your departure, and the salt of the tales of your adventures as you write home. The traditional postcard note ‘wish you were here’ is supposed to denote that you’re having the time of your life and you wish they could be sharing it with you. That’s what you tell yourself when you leave your loved ones behind anywho.
Alas that’s not really how it works. And I just got my first major sting.
When you leave for an extended period of time and are consumed with all the adventures you’ll be having, you can forget that well, life will continue without you. That is, your friends will keep on seeing cool plays, films, and bitch about how the Q & A person didn’t really answer so-and-sos question, without you to add your tuppence to the animated conversation. And your family will continue to have those love and laughter-filled gatherings that make black family parties so special. And that spot you always visit with the same crowd, will continue to be visited; unfortunately, the world as you know it doesn’t stop turning because you exit it.
You’re always prepared for the ones which will take place immediately after your departure – for me it was two 30ths and a 60th birthday (all taking place the same night, randomly) and knowing I wouldn’t be back for Christmas. But the shock came when an event a bit further in the distance happened and I was unprepared for the facebook onslaught; pics, tags, likes and comments all reminding me of one self-evident truth; I wasn’t there. Is there anything worse than seeing your raving crew all dressed up in their finery, looking gorgeous, grinning loads while you miss a key event in the soca calendar for the first time in years? Okay probably, but allow me, I’m still dealing with the shock of ptfb (post-traumatic facebook session) right now.
Luckily I can smugly say, well, true say I was at an outdoor rave in the sky-kissing Caribbean mountains, replete with free entry, a live band, free food, and plenty of kompa, soca, and zouk love to go round. I wore a pretty dress and danced and danced and danced! Despite my bittersweetness at missing the Calabash Awards, I did have a fun-filled night of Caribbean culture – and I was on location.
That said, I am not looking forward to the facebook aftermath of the christening of my cousin’s new baby next week…wow, fb really can be blamed for everything.