Every so often I come across a familiar South African accent floating about and a little part of me feels reassured somehow- reassured that I’m not the only one who misses the little things that life has to offer back home. The little things (which you later realise) are the big things in life. Missing home has held me back from breaking through the barrier of self- discovery and moving away from home, to a different country, was one of my bravest moments in life so far. I took a risk, made a change and boy have I learnt A LOT!!!
I moved to England at the ripe age of just 18 years old – eleven days after completing high school. For many reasons of course, but mainly to find myself and realise parts of me that I never knew existed. Blah blah blah- how cliché. Yet it is the truth. And now eighteen months on, I’m beginning to understand the human being that I want to become. Before now, it seemed like I was stuck in a place of white noise- the kind you hear when holding a seashell against your ear while the ocean rushes in.
After seeing and experiencing things, I’ve learnt that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three situations:
A rainy day
I’ve learnt that making a ‘living’ is not the same as making a ‘life’.
I’ve learnt that the path is not always straight.
I’ve learnt that when you mess up, life gives you a second chance. And it’s called “tomorrow”.
I’ve learnt that it’s true how people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
I’ve learnt that you shouldn’t go through life by just being a doormat and when life throws you lemons, you need to throw something back at it.
I’ve learnt that when deciding something with an open heart, you usually make the right decision.
I’ve learnt that no matter what happens or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I’ve learnt that sometimes all you need is to love and to be loved.
I’ve learnt that I am stronger than I ever thought I’d be.
I am part of a really confusing and twisted family. Including me, there are six sisters and one brother. I don’t think anyone is entirely sure how we’re all exactly related, but that’s a different story all together :-). If any of you are lucky enough to have a relationship and friendship with a sister, then I’m sure that you can agree that there isn’t anything quite like sharing a bond with your sister…
A sister always “gets” you when no one else does and they always have your back. They can calm you down, crack you up with laughter and always know the right thing to say. A sister knows where you’re from, where you’re at and where you’re going- they help you figure it out when you get a little lost on the way.
I am very close with two of my sisters: Alex and Jen. They are a year apart in age and I am six years younger than Alex, and therefore five years younger than Jen. Alex and I live five minutes away from each other (here in the UK) and Jen is back home in South Africa. The three of us don’t have to see each other all the time to know how much love we have for each other, because we have all proven that distance is just a number. We don’t need to speak every day to let each other know that we care, because as sisters, we simply just know.
Now that I’m all grown up, I get to pick on my sisters as payback for when they tortured me as a child 🙂 Firstly, I’m taller than both of them, possibly even with them put together, and secondly, it’s only fair…
It’s their fault that I have a fear of plastic washing baskets- yes, I’m serious. I was around five years old when the incident happened. The kidnapping. The two of them tied me to a plastic washing basket, dragged me down the stairs, took me outside and… wait for it… tied me to a tree… NAKED!!! All in hopes of becoming serious bad-asses by demanding a ransom from the parentals for my “safe” return. They got something like R10 (about £1) to share, which was a lot for fifteen years ago for two ten-year olds. Terrible right?!!
They also used to scare me by saying that there was a really long snake living in the bushes in our swimming pool area… This went on for months and so one day, I put my brave pants on and went to find this snake… It turns out that it was just a green hose pipe. Duh!! Jen used to push me into the bushes… a lot.
They used to melt chocolate into moulds and sell them to people who lived in our complex. I was forced to clean up after them and didn’t get any profits! Admittedly though, I did get to lick the bowl and when you’re little, chocolate is way, way better than money. I think that’s still the case with me now 🙂
They used to run away from me all the time, lock me in my room (or out of theirs), allow me to eat crickets off the floor, call me “butt chin” (as in “arse chin”), dare me to suck my dad’s toes (I did it once for money. Once- I swear!) and let me roll around in my own nappy waste. I’m pretty sure that I had to dress up for Halloween and do all the trick-or-treating and was then forced to divide my sweets and it most definitely wouldn’t have been in three equal parts! They allowed me to watch all the Chucky movies and that horrific clown movie called “It”, instead of protecting me from what is now a true fear of dolls and clowns. Oh, and Alex once sent me to school with no panties on!
Despite all of those horrible things, well horrible at the time- HILARIOUS now… my sisters were sometimes very loving :-)… They used to sneak me into their bedroom at night time when I used to cry, or rather howl, because I was so scared of sleeping in my own room, as the tree shadows on my curtains were not so friendly looking. They used to let me hang out with them in primary school, thus making me really “cool” because I was friends with the seniors. They let me take my favourite blanky EVERYWHERE– not that they really had a choice and Alex once saved me from drowning. Thanks for that!
My beautiful sisters are clothes borrowers, fit throwers, duvet cover stealers, moody pants, funny rascals, advice givers, mad and mental, secret keepers, punishers, rewarders, fighters, lovers, sharers of dreams, jokers, dresser uppers, huggers, kissers and best of all… they are family!!!
Alex and Jen: We are sisters, best friends, other halves and soul mates. In the cookie of life, you two are the best part- the chocolate chips!!! I love you both always and forever!