The moves

2014-10-03 00:00

A s complex, inconsistent and contradictory as I am, I only have a few personal opinions, and those are: I know what my ultimate goal in life is, I do not appreciate being forced into anything and I resent change. I am what many call a stubborn girl with ambition, although I’ll argue that growing up in a thriving city such as Johannesburg does that to you. You’re exposed to what success smells like, looks like and what it all feels like, and you realise that you will do whatever it takes to become what you see: another soul lost to the concrete jungle of wealth and prosperity. The view from my bedroom window had always been of city lights, the vivid colours of the runway of traffic lights. I could always hear the roaring engines of German cars boasting of their power. I was blessed with panoramic views of what a city that never sleeps looks like.

Surrounded by people of different ethnicities, beliefs, religions and cultures, I was amazed by the diversity and I took pride in knowing I was a part of this vibrant giant community. I could never get enough of what my city had to offer. My life was a series of never-ending events, adrenaline constantly passing through my veins. I lived for the ambiance that the City of Gold oozed and I was in love with this city because it was all I knew.

Then suddenly, my life came to a standstill and I went from being an only child to “the one with five brothers”. I wasn’t fatherless anymore, and my life was a slow and silent movie disappearing in the rear-view mirror. It only seemed right that my vision became weak and any prospects of a bright future were behind me on the N1 and the earth mourned with me as the heavy-hearted clouds released cold and colourless raindrops. I mirrored the windscreen as a single tear made its way down to my lips and I could taste the salt water. How ironic that my new view would be of the ocean.

KwaZulu-Natal, the province I only knew as an area to be driven past on my way to more fascinating destinations. I was not intrigued by the endless gardens and the lack of movement I was passing through. It seemed as if I was moving to a lifeless place posing as a city: Durban. Being surrounded by a mass of water is thought to have a soothing, serene effect on human beings, but I remember thinking that if a tsunami were to hit, the house I was now moving to would ensure that life would no longer be an option for me or my family. The hot air of the north coast hovered around me, irritating my body, shortening my already short temper and draining all my energy.

One night, I woke up and found that my earphones had escaped their permanent residence and I was forced to listen to the sounds of the notorious waves, nothing but the oscillatory rhythm. And although I was snug in a heap of blankets, I couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of being struck in a routine, a never-ending drill of what you already know.

Was this my new life? Was I about to become as insignificant as a drop in the ocean, doing what everyone else was doing?

Durban did not represent its physical attributes anymore; Durban became the birthplace of all my sorrow, pain and anguish, it became the reason for my withering confidence. Insecurities I might have had in the past revealed themselves from the cracks of my heart and voices that never had a place in my head acquired the highest volume. The ocean became a symbol of my fear of settling down, being ordinary and conventional.

Nostalgia consumed day and night, convincing me life was better than it was.

All in all, the move humbled me, and it was the province and city I was in. It was the first time I couldn’t ignore my problems because I wasn’t in the fast lane anymore. I couldn’t distract myself and all I could do was listen to the constant rise and fall of the blue waters with my thoughts as my only company.

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