In both places we ‘enjoy’ a status that is simultaneously hypervisible and invisible
Technically, I first left home at the age of 10 (for boarding school, not a celeb-style, court-mandated legal emancipation) and I have been “leaving home” in some fashion ever since. In the 90s, I lived between Lagos and London (heavy on Lagos). When I landed back in London permanently, I was itching to leave again. First California, teaching little girls art and horse-riding (never at the same time). Then Berlin. And, as of two and a half years ago, at the grand age of 33, I made my biggest, and most taxing move yet, swapping my east London postcode for a zip code in Brooklyn.
Ah, 2016, that seemingly cursed year, which started with the death of David Bowie, continued with the Brexit referendum, before culminating in the demise of George Michael at Christmas. When I left England, we were still part of a (barely) united Europe, and the US president was an erudite black man with a spouse who retained an uncommon grace in the face of hostile conditions. Things aren’t so simple any more.