I’ve been promising (myself and others) to write about how things have been since arriving back home.
One thing is for sure, I’m seeing my home in a different light. There is much that floats about my mind, but here I will list the top 5 things I have noticed, felt clearer about or experienced.
- Everyone says South Africa is diverse, I’m not convinced about how diverse we really are, the most clear distinction I feel, is a class distinction which is upheld by our past (offcourse) but more than racial and cultural diversity, I see the most powerful separator of our nation being class.
- Cape Town is a difficult place to live if you are goal-less. The parties are many and varied, the liquor is constantly flowing and the bubble is vibrant. If you don’t know where you are headed and you don’t know what you want, you may be in trouble. At high risk of floating about, indulging in that which does not propel you further. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol. It’s been 3 months now and I’m so happy about my decision. I save money, I remember everything everyone says and does and I don’t suffer hangovers and memory black outs – yes, I’m patting myself on the back right now.
- South Africa is a difficult place to live in general. I speak solely for myself here. I feel like I’m constantly needing to prove myself. To strangers. I feel judged for every aspect of myself. My skin colour (how boring), my language (how backward), my “accent” (how annoying), where I live (I’m a succesful bargain hunter, my living on Kloof Street means nothing of my financial standing), what I’m wearing (I like looking good, who doesn’t?) This has lead to my defensive self being awake at all times. Exhausting.
- How free are we really? As many of you know, one of my passions is exploring the question “what is true freedom?”. South Africa is a particularly interesting place to transport my life-long question. Since arriving, I’ve not been feeling very free. Things have been tough. Seeing my family and spending time at home has been the sweetest part of being back. Re-connecting with old friends and faces has also been good. However, I am in shackles, invisible ones. I am not financially free and therefore am extremely limited in what I can and can’t do, where I can and can’t go, who I can and can’t be. My freedom of choice is intensely limited. I know I am not alone in this. I have come to see that financial freedom is a huge portion of my overall freedom at this point in time.
- The Natural beauty of Cape Town makes everything okay. There isn’t much to be said about this, if you have ever set foot in Cape Town you will be nodding in agreement at this statement. The majestic Table Mountain – the backdrop of everything, the endless ocean a 5 min drive away, forests available to cleanse my soul, the harsh breeze coming in to sweep away the polluted air. If you have never set foot in Cape Town, you need to come and see it for yourself.
My last comment is this – it doesn’t matter where I am in the world and what I am doing there, I have full control over how I will feel about being there and doing whatever it is I am doing. I need to learn how to allow my internal well-being overide what my external is influencing or attemtping to force upon me. I can manage and control my internal but not my external. These are things I learn along the way.