Although no one knows exactly what the future holds, I always had a vague idea that I would get married in my twenties, have children and work in some corporate enterprise or other. And even though my family is Nigerian, I figured I would always live in the Western world, after all I've live, and have spent most of my life in England. But, that said, I'm old enough now to realise that no matter how much planning you do, life does take you by surprise every now and then.
My Dad wanted me to be a lawyer, and for as long as I can remember that was the plan. I was the one who knew how to argue my point and therefore, had a bright future in litigation. The first surprise was that I didn't study law, but linguistics; worked in Administration for years and eventually (another unexpected turn) fell, quite accidentally, into the field of technical writing. I've been a technical writer for over 10 years and in my mind, I'm a technical writer, living in London. Yep, that's me!
One of the constants in my life is my love for the written word and my vivid imagination. Through the years, especially during my 'wilderness' experiences, I buoyed myself by imagining a much better life, to the point where I couldn't wait for night time when I could 'travel' to my much 'better' life.
Through it all I never imagined living anywhere but in an English speaking country in the West. Again another surprise, but then again, maybe not. You know how sometimes you find yourself in a situation and like a slight teasing breeze on a very hot day, something within the deep recesses of your mind you recall saying something without realizing the consequences, until that very thing is upon you. I came to the awareness that I had actually said that I would go anywhere my husband needed to be.
So here I am, living in London, while my fiance is in America, with plans to move to Cameroon! In the throes of love, moving to Cameroon didn't seem like a big deal, after all, we'd be together! Plus, Cameroon is just next door to Nigeria (in fact it used to be part of Nigeria until..., but that's another story.
The thought of moving to Africa initially sounded so adventurous and exciting. Don't get me wrong, I am still excited, but as the time gets closer to move, I must admit I am a tad nervous. I am looking forward to it, but there are times when I think about my last few visits to Nigeria which, while thoroughly enjoyable, were just visits. I wasn't part of the day to day grind. I didn't have to deal with the things that people who live there deal with from day to day. If I wanted anything, the house-girl would get it. I didn't have to go to the market, I didn't have to do any housework (unless I wanted to), there was always some else to do it. If the power went out (and it frequently did), there was someone to power up the generator within minutes. I didn't need to deal with driving in crazy traffic.
Living in London, I am totally independent. I can go anywhere I want, when I want. Plus I can drive at night and feel safe. All the modern conveniences are available, that I take them for granted. I'd have to curtail one of my biggest indulgences - Internet Shopping! Well, maybe that's not such a bad thing. I'm sure my savings account would breathe a sigh of relief, if it could!
I trust God to take care of me and give me the wisdom and grace for each day. Despite these big changes (which I have been praying for for a long while), I am so thankful for the relationship I have with my fiance and his family. His mother has been an absolute treasure and has shown me so much love, as have his siblings. So all in all, I'm starting at a good place.
Yes, Cameroon will be different, but it will be good by God's grace. Plus, I'm sure many stories will be borne out of the experience.
Although she is a techical writer, Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is currently a Training Manager at Reuters and trusting God for connections leading to publication.