Everything is falling apart yet coming together at the same time. These eleven words have been playing in my mind like a cassette playing the same tune over and over again.
Life is ever-changing. You never know what you might find when you turn a corner. And the road I took entering into October was full of surprises and I had no idea what it had in store for me.
It is time to say goodbye to my haven. I have to leave my childhood home, the place I have spent the last ten years in. Although I am excited to enter a new world of my own (in the form of my own room), I have to say goodbye to the one I currently live in and I am most certain that it isn’t going to be easy so I can’t help but feel bittersweet.
I remember stealing badaam (almonds) from the upstairs fridge with the other two musketeers and I remember being scared while watching Scooby Doo even though I knew that at the end of the episode, a person would be under the mask. I remember sliding down the rails on the stoep and finding scooters in the upstairs hallway from my grandparents on the 10th of Muharram many years ago. I remember eating in the dining room like the Knights of the Round Table and entertaining esteemed guests in our formal living area. I remember my grandfather giving me R1 or R2 every morning of my first year of school and my grandmother making me a bowl of original Pronutro for breakfast. I remember my mom and grandma bathing my little baby brother (who’s not so little these days) and my aunt coming to my first Sports Day because my mom had to stay home with the very same baby brother who was too little to come with. I remember finding out that my aunt was expecting and coming home to look at her with the wondering and excited eyes of a five year old. I remember the simplicity of life ten years ago. My memories are not what I’m scared of losing because I know that they will always remain with me.
I am scared of losing my life the way I know it because I know with leaving comes change.
I am scared that approximately three hundred and sixty five days from now, I will be writing finals and leaving my school and the safety net which surrounds the familiarity around me.
I am scared of life and how easily it can be changed. Houses, schools, people, things. I mean, I will easily trade in my iPhone 5S for an iPhone 7 any day. I am going to leave my high school and enter the great big world of tertiary education. I do not know the same people I knew five years ago and I know that in five years I will not know the same people I know now.
However, I intend to embrace the fear of the uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Because, like the earth flourishes and breathes whole and fully again after rain, so will I after change.
It may be the end of this era but it is also the start of a new one.
We may have many issues like the Rand equalling 0.072$ (my heart breaks every time I look at the currency), our President refusing to pay back the money and our education system allowing people to pass with 30% (how is it that they send us into the world NOT knowing 70% of the work we’re taught?).
But, South Africa has potential. Potential to grow into the beautiful country I see in the horizon because we are survivors, we survived 50 (or so) years of apartheid. Because we are nation builders, we hosted one of the best world cups the world has ever seen, turning 2010 into a year of celebration for South Africa. Because we are proud of our country and we sing our anthem with pride.
South Africa has landmarks like Table Mountain (1/7 Wonders of the World), Kruger National Park (which is just as big as Wales) and Cape Point (where the two seas meet side by side and between them is a barrier that neither transgressors).
South Africa has 11 official languages and we are home to the Big Five (the Mighty Lion, the fierce Leopard, the Endangered Elephant, the Precious Rhino and the Manly Buffalo). South Africa is a rainbow nation of 55,078,000 people who speak different languages, who eat different foods, who have different beliefs and who have different coloured skin. South Africa as large as its diversity is its unity, South Africa is filled with people whose heart beats as one.
South Africa consists of townships and suburbs, cities and farms. You will find gems like the Salvation Cafe at 44 on Stanley or Hennops Game Reserve in Hartbeesport and 10 on 2nd Avenue in Houghton or Parnassus Farm in Magaliesburg, if only you looked.
A trip to the Johannesburg Zoo or being amongst the trees at an Acrobranch. Eating Asian food at Simply Asia or eating Indian food at Bay Leaf. Having exotic popcorn at Maverick & Jane or sipping Bubble Tea in Sun City.
I love watching the sun set before the second last prayer of the day, I love hearing the birds tweet when I wake up for school, I love saying “Howzit” as a form of greeting, I love listening to my classmates describe everything as “lekker” in Afrikaans, I love eating Nandos, I love bunny chows, I love koeksisters on a Sunday morning, I love watching the Maankykers sighting the moon for Eid, I love screaming for the Proteas amongst a stadium packed with fans just like me and I love it when I see our country in Indian movies. I love it all.
South Africa is aesthetic. South Africa is bold. South Africa is young. South Africa is all we aspire it to be.
They call it South Africa but I call it home.
1. My family means everything to me. Enough said. 💯
2. Currently obsessed with Cotton On and H&M. 👗
3. Harry Potter will ALWAYS be the best books I have ever read. 📚
14. My grand parents have 14 grand children and I’m the eldest. 1️⃣
15. I seek adventure in little things like, riding rollercoasters in Gold Reef City. 🎢
16. I feel incomplete when I’m not wearing my Nomination bracelet. 🌻
17. I love summer fruits and I’m eagerly waiting the return of litchis, mangoes, watermelon, peaches and plums. 🕚
18. I am always the one who makes plans in a group. 🙄
19. I love shopping so whoever said money can’t buy happiness clearly didn’t know where to shop. 🛍
20. I really, really, really want to go back for Umrah because home is where the heart is and I left my heart in Madinah. ❤️
To wander is to live.
I am waiting for a plane to fly me across the world to breathe the fresh air of a new place. I am waiting for the promise of adventure, of escape, of freedom, of diversity and of happiness. I am waiting.
I see a mother hugging her son. I see a father giving his daughter a kiss on her forehead. I see a couple embracing. I see a sister crying as she waves good bye one last time to her brother. I see a businessman carrying his briefcase like it contains the world and it does. It contains his world. An airport where teary “goodbyes” are said and enthusiastic “hellos” are received.
As a plane takes off, you leave your comfort zone. You leave all the you know to be true and you enter the horizon of the unknown. You are left to face the unexpected, to do the unexpected and to even be the unexpected. You leave the people who pick you up when you fall, who text you on your birthday, who remember to buy your favourite chocolate when they go grocery shopping and who make sure that you’re okay always. You leave your family and friends who love and support you unconditionally.
A gypsy, a wonderer, a hippie, a vagabond. To wander is to live. Embrace the lifestyles of others. Sing along to a foreign song. Pray in the desert and pray on cement, pray amongst the clouds and pray on land. Scream and listen to the echo shout in a cave. Hike to the top of a mountain with just your backpack. To wander is to live.
Reflect upon good memories and make new ones. Send a postcard home and Skype your little brother. Buy flowers from a cart and give it to the old lady sitting on the bench. Take long walks under green trees in a park and swim in a river. Embrace the sunshine and dance in the rain because to wander is to live.
New York City, the city that never sleeps, the surreal view from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building, the boat ride to the Statue of Liberty, the people that never stop moving and the desire to fulfill all of your dreams. London, home of Harry Potter and red double-decker buses that wind the busy streets of the central business district passing through Oxford Road after gazing at the London Eye. Paris, the city of love and lights illuminating the world as we know it, discovering the beyond through a telescope in the Eiffel Tower or the artistic splendour of the Louvre. India, the greatest concrete gesture of love in the form of the majestic Taj Mahal, the aroma of Indian spices and the freedom to spend money without worrying about the exchange rate. Deep sea diving in Costa Brava, painting the town red at the Tomatina festival in Bunol and screaming amongst a stadium packed with fans for Ronaldo in Madrid. They call it South Africa, but I call it home, the breathtaking view from Table Mountain, the roar of a lion in the Kruger National Park, the scream as your adrenalin races on a rollercoaster in Gold Reef City and the satisfaction after eating Dinky Donuts on the Durban beachfront. Experiance it all because to wander is to live.
Ultimately, we want our home. But home is where the heart is. In a seat of a plane amongst the clouds, in prostration in front of the Ka’bah, in my mummy’s hugs, within the pages of a Harry Potter book or in the words that flow through my pen. My home is everywhere my heart wants it to be.
We used to say the sky is our limit but now it’s our point of view. Everything I want to do, I can do. Everything I want to see, I can see. Everything I aspire to be, I can be. Fly high but be humble. Work hard and remain steadfast. Have courage and be kind. Live for every moment because tomorrow might not be. Forgive those that have hurt you and spread positive vibes only. To wander is to live.
As it is done in the airport, say every goodbye as if it were your last and speak every hello as if you are sure of the promise of tomorrow. And remember, to wander is to live.
This means that we should do things that make us smile, make us scared, make us excited or even makes us cry.
Life life to the fullest.
Don’t make other people your business.
Smile at strangers.
Laugh until your stomach hurts.
Breathe the air of new places.
Pray to the One who gave you breath.
Take long walks.
Share a kind word with your neighbour.
Watch an episode of Friends, just because.
Go shopping and buy something for someone else.
Create an evolution.
Destroy negativity. And;
Life is short, what you know today becomes what you knew yesterday.
Live to reminisce, not to regret.