It was meant to be a quick year off work- away from what had quickly degenerated into a morale sapping, five-year-plan derailing slog complete with over-paid and over-pampered expat bosses more keen to leave a boot in to demonstrate their continuing relevance than develop fresh graduates. That year’s appraisal was the final straw – the spiel about the ranking process being an assessment of the best and the brightest and the slowest driver in a Formula 1 race being a darned good driver somehow put the lie to being ranked firmly in the middle percentile AND yet being offered a position of greater authority.
I took the first opportunity to bail – grad school, pipelines and the prospect of a study leave for it all seemed a good safe bet. All unpaid, but with an almost iron-clad guarantee of a return to the very well paid job I had, or so I thought.
All that was not to be, the official company line was they couldn’t find a role that fit my skills and experience.
At first the lostness was intentional, a purposeful forgetting of the past and its accoutrements – an attempt to isolate myself from the longing and nostalgia for dirty, rowdy, yet loveable Lagos. And I didn’t go back for the first three years.
These days, it’s more a case of never quite fitting in – neither in Nigeria, nor in the cold, wet and windy corner of the world I have squirrelled away in..
It’s been 4 years, 7 months and 17 days but yet there is no abatement of the inner lostness.