IS IT TIME TO MOVE HOME YET?

Lately the past 6 years I’ve been pree-ing. Okay fine, I’m always preeing. But recently when you’ve seen me looking as if I’ve just smoked something juicy – I’ve been pondering the question we’ve all been wondering since we were 16 and first found out what frostbite first really meant “IS IT TIME TO MOVE HOME TO MY PERFECT ISLAND PARADISE YET”. Because really –  How many champagne brunches and fusion restaurants can you really attend to fill the fact that nothing beats a Jamaican box lunch and chillin beach flex. 296383_1659944950256_491353297_n

Recently I’ve been wondering like a girl 2 days late: IS IT THAT TIME OF MY LIFE THE MONTH YET.  The choice is like an episode of Bachelorette, do you give the rose to the sauve-talking-international-slick-hair-New-York-accented-hipster THAT CONSTANTLY ABUSES ME BUT IS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD FOR ME SO I PRETEND THAT I ACTUALLY LIKE LIVING IN THIS HELL HOLE.  or is it that wonderfully-warm-sexy-soca playing-Appleton rum-smelling UNAMBITIOUS MOBAY DRUNKARD THATS STILL COMFORTABLY LIVING IN THEIR PARENTS HOUSE.

le sigh.  the options are thrilling.

tim-seggerman-nyc-tiny-apartment-2

True Life : My NYC Apt is the size of a boat cabin

The question essentially boils down to – is moving home giving up or is it being smart.

Lets just quickly run through the :

PROS. Being near family. The beaches. Family connections. Being a part of and supported by a community. The beaches. Bigger living spaces.  The bitches beaches. Lower cost of living. fresh coconut water. Being surrounded by entrepreneurs, role models, shot callers and people who know how to have a good time. Being able to actually speak the way I want. music. Am I abandoning a culture I should be promoting, nuturing and celebrating?

Jamaican_Food_Ackee_Breakfast_Family_Style-357x243

The only PRO you need. (No but really.)

CONS Less job opportunities. Jamaican men. Judgmental small minded people. getting stuck in a rut. its hard to move back out. Jamaican men. Some unreal levels of sexism. Minimal access to different view points. Less variety of things to do. museum, cultures. business opportunities. VERY limited dating pool. Jamaican men.

What I’m really wondering is : Is home just appealing because my helper knows  the exact the degree of temperature I like my rice and peas heated to. and my rum and ginger is always mixed to the same proportions?BASICALLY Is it just because we are disgustingly indulged island princes and princess and our pride can’t take being treated like commoners?

And really and truly how much of the Jamaica we know is the real Jamaica and how much of it is because a socio economic divide has left our families at an advantage.  Are we just so spoilt because of a 3rd world economy that we can’t manage life anywhere else? Would the Jamaican people and culture we love be so nice and funny and lovely to us if we weren’t light skinned and had money? Or am I over analyzing and Jamaica is simply and straightforwardly the best place in the entire universe and we’re being fools by wasting our time anywhere else. Idk help a rude gyal out.

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18 comments

  1. i just love all your posts keep doing what you’re doing. You make so much sense and hopefully more people start thinking the way you do (Intelligently)

  2. Hilarious. It’s all of the above. And I love it anyway. Could live elsewhere but if I’m princess in my own country why not stay a yaaad. Just met.sure set huh work covered as well as your man options. Great blog. Love it

  3. I really do agree with you on a lot of levels and this is clearly a hard choice. I honestly believe that there’s no real way forward if our people who have the privilege to go away to various schools and get a different perspective don’t return home at some point to build this country. I know a lot of people really can’t afford to go off to college in the States and so I think unfortunately going to college with all of the people you went to high school with doesn’t really help you learn new perspectives and if a lot of people are going to either UTech or UWI, I mean how are these people going to be able to greatly different opinions on how to approach the economic crisis, for example. (Not to shit on the UWI experience because I’m secretly jealous of everyone who gets to live at home)

    I personally think that Jamaica has given me so much and it truly has a lot of potential – let’s take a look at how many people steal electricity and bleach their skin with curry powder and toothpaste. Look at the innovative minds that surround us and weren’t properly nurtured because our politicians from way back failed us. It’s not acceptable for us to have such few desirable public schools.

    I’m really sorry I’m going off on a tangent here but it’s something I think our generation should address. And I know, oh trust me, I know it’s not for everyone, especially because as you rightfully said there’s a real lack of job opportunities and whatnot. But I just want you to picture this – we build up our credentials overseas (and bank accounts) and come home with that knowledge to produce diabetes drugs or that knowledge to produce electricity for a hell of a lot cheaper- I mean just come home and TRY do something out of the box (too many doctors and lawyers up in hurr that ain’t even want it). And honestly, if you’ve done something brilliant like make a shit ton of money off of making an elite Tinder or a geomapping map or something cool, come back and teach nuh! Now the impact that could have, not just on the economy but the mindset of the people – our beautiful, colourful and vibrant people.

    But we can stop things like the fire at the Riverton dump. We can give clean water to people so children don’t have to be worrying about carrying buckets of water to school to flush toilets and have them not worry about it. We can have professors at UWI/UTech with fresher perspectives like Dr Coore. We can have good teachers in all our public high schools and OKAY THIS IS HIGHLY OPTIMISTIC. Not all of this can happen in our lifetime but we can be a change, you know.

  4. Totally respect every thing @NEGUR_G said ……. Although I am studying in Jamaica , I have travelled quite a lot ….. I have seen the good bad and in between of the US ,England ,Haiti , France …. Just to name a few …. What all that travel has taught me is that although I may admire first world conveniences or 3rd world laid back culture and beaches ….. I will always be from Jamaica , in another country I will always be ‘foreign’ …. With that said I must learn from the first world experience and bring that home , cause ain’t nobody gonna treat me like an empress outside of the black green and gold …..in all I’m always up for learning about new cultures learning new things , it just helps me to appreciate my island home a little bit more ….

  5. Girl, let the Lord guide your decisions. I just moved from Jamaica because of all of the cons you listed…. And just like any relationship that gets boring and your just not finding any pleasure out of your partner, jamaica and I broke up. Leaving again (because i left before to go to school in canada) was hard….. But I don’t feel like I want to go back. Maybe I will return in a few years, because I will miss all the things you listed as pros, however none of those pros deal with self development or fulfillment….. They are just comforts… So the real question is…. What are you looking for out of life and where do you need to go to find that?….. Maybe you need to break up with NY, and the ex always looks attractive and is somehow always a good shoulder to cry on during a break up….. But we always move on to a new love interest……
    Wherever you go, make sure you are ready to fall in love with it…..
    Home is where your heart is, and my heart is inside me,…
    so wherever I am, I am always home…. Xo

  6. I agree with Traci’s comment above. Start with asking yourself what is it that you want out of life in the long run. I am very familiar with both sides of the coin. I know people who have American or British citizenship who have moved back due to weather or their disgust towards “Babylon” mentality. I also know people who are dying to get out of Jamaica due to the lack of opportunities or lack of decent men. My story starts when my parents decided to stay in the USA long enough to have me and my sister , but then moved to Jamaica to raise us. Best decision ever because it brought us the best of both worlds. I grew up like a little princess in Paradise. However it wasn’t long after, in my early teen years, that I realized there was so much that I LOVED about Jamaica but, for me, something was missing. I was an artist, a big thinker, and I discovered that I wasn’t attracted to Jamaican men whether they were white, black, brown or coolie. We just didn’t click mentally. Then as I grew older enough to comprehend the societal issues, I found myself asking “Was this really Paradise? And if so, for who?”. So at 16 I packed my bags, said goodbye and headed off to art school. Fifteen years later I am residing in NYC and living a very comfortable, jet setting lifestyle. In NYC I’m just another social security number working hard, toiling away, but that’s ok, as my hard work pays off. What you’ve described is what my Caribbean friends refer to as the case of “big fish small pond syndrome”. You have to weigh the pros and cons and ask yourself, would I be happier as the head of the mouse or the tail of the lion… Rather make a change on Page 6 or be featured on Page 2… Rather sell 100 bracelets to my friends on Facebook or roll in six figure numbers. Each choice will have its rewards or sacrifices, and neither will be wrong or right. You just have to do what works for you. For me, when I look at my instagram I don’t feel I am missing anything much in Jamaica. It’s the same parties, the same time of year. So what I do is plan ahead, buy my ticket early, get on a plane, pay my way in ( because I am in a position not to have to beg the promoter a ticket), have a blast and then head back to my reality. I have decided that as much as I love jerk chicken and there is no KFC like JA KFC or no party like a Jamaican party, Jamaica will just have to be my vacation, my home away from home but it just isn’t my final stop. I can’t live with the crime rate, the ignorance, the bad driving, the lack of quality customer service, the Stone Age banking system, the mentality of the men, the sense of entitlement and most of all the small mindedness. But on the other hand, despite the fact that people melt with my exotic background, foreign accent and terminology, NYC isn’t the final stop either. Winter is only fun when I’m snowboarding, I don’t like the fast pace of life with everything, the size of the apartments for what you pay is ridiculous and having to choose between cable and a full time helper is absurd. There is no perfect living situation and Paradise is only Paradise for those who can afford it. I am a beach girl at heart and I’ll move back to one other than the one I grew up in soon enough. Until then the city gives me my salary. So, Rude gyal, my advice, in short, is choose the place where at 70 you’ll look back and say you did exactly what made you happiest with no regrets.

  7. The dilemma of many a Jamaican displaced seeking or having found better opportunities abroad. Then to top off the guilt, “Protoje – JA” plays on your carefully manicured playlist of songs you chose to remind yourself of home!

    I used to struggle with the choices I’ve made to remain away from Jamaica until I met people that didn’t (struggle that is).

    Person A was like a flower away from sunlight, starfish out of the sea. They didn’t gasp and writhe for home, instead they slowly faded away without it. There was no dilemma, just a need deep in their heart to return to “yaad”.

    Person B was detached. Jamaica was a relaxing vacation to visit family and maybe a business opportunity but they had found a comfort in fireplaces, coats, opera and ballet. Jamaica “was” home, “had been”, “previously”, “did used to be” etc etc.

    My viewpoint now is that I’m lucky I feel conflicted because when it’s time, I’ll know. I still love the sea breeze and the shade of almond trees but in the meantime imma love these <£100 flights around Europe more.

  8. The dilemma of many a Jamaican displaced seeking or having found better opportunities abroad. Then to top off the guilt, “Protoje – JA” plays on your carefully manicured playlist of songs you chose to remind yourself of home!

    I used to struggle with the choices I’ve made to remain away from Jamaica until I met people that didn’t (struggle that is).

    Person A was like a flower away from sunlight, starfish out of the sea. They didn’t gasp and writhe for home, instead they slowly faded away without it. There was no dilemma, just a need deep in their heart to return to “yaad”.

    Person B was detached. Jamaica was a relaxing vacation to visit family and maybe a business opportunity but they had found a comfort in fireplaces, coats, opera and ballet. Jamaica “was” home, “had been”, “previously”, “did used to be” etc etc.

    My viewpoint now is that I’m lucky I feel conflicted because when it’s time, I’ll know. I still love the sea breeze and the shade of almond trees but in the meantime imma love these <£100 flights around Europe more.

  9. I don’t even remember how I came across your blog! But I love it! I’ve been asking the same questions every time my friends post a beach picture or when I have to go outside in a big heavy winter coat. I’m now a fan! keep it up!

  10. The world is your global village. Make it in the First World, and you can make anywhere your home. Make it in Jamaica, and you may still slightly be lacking. You will want to send your kids away, because the reality is that “home” is poorly run, and you want better for your kids.

    So, face the struggles in the First World because the rewards will come. And if it doesn’t, at least you gave it a fair chance.

    Turning your back on an opportunity too soon can be a regret later on in life, so endure the struggle while you’re young and able, and see where that takes you.

  11. Hm this is a revolving topic in everyone’s head. It’s even worse when you’re a dual-citizen and you’re not necessarily being kicked out of a country. Let’s not forget the guilt that’s thrown at you whenever you choose to live somewhere else or move north.

    I moved home within a year of graduating from my undergrad and I was supposed to stay for 3 months ended up sticking around for 3 years :S To make a long story short, I’m glad I did it because it allowed me to experience Jamaica outside of my high school experience. The 3 years affirmed my pre-existing feelings about not wanting to live there forever and ever. I find that lots of friends who haven’t moved home are constantly thinking about it. You may as well do it now before you have a baby or mortgage lol.

    I think the concept of moving back home simply depends on the personal vision you have for your life and the vision that’s sitting in your heart. Your gut already knows where you should be, but sometimes it’s good to test the waters.

    I do love Jamaica but I know it’s not where I should be right now. I can’t tell you the amount of times I tried to re-motivate myself to have a vision and passion for being there. I just don’t. But I do love the nation and I’m working on creating ways to have a positive impact on our country through my career by tapping into the resources I have access to here.

    Its a very individual choice that I think we have to intrinsically make…..despite all the pros/cons, it’s ur gut that tells ya.

    Hope this helps and I like your NYC space haha

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