I sobbed this morning. Poor B, sitting in Sydney, could hardly hear the words between the gulps. And I have no real idea why. I’m feeling anxious. Not sleeping well. A little out of control and not in a good way. Very emotional. Very demotivated. And to be honest a little lost. I sat on my bench, regrouped a bit, got a little perspective and carried on. And that’s just life. Its not always a bed of roses, even when it is. I know how much I have, how much I’ve learnt and gained, and I am so filled with gratitude for everything and everyone in my life, but today I got lost in all I’ve lost. It frightened me how easy it is to do. But I had to write my grateful for yesterday. I had read about how a gratitude practice can open your heart and rewire your brain. It does. It really does.
I am very grateful to my niece Georgia who is doing an assignment on life changing experiences and is using me. I am grateful not because I think I’m worthy, but because it sent me on a trip down memory lane as I had to source photos for her. And it reminded me especially oh how much I love and am grateful for my never straight never curly hair, my not quite as thick as they were eyebrows, my sparse eyelashes. Oh, and my health. Thanks Georgie for reminding me how much I still take for granted and how much I have to be grateful for. And that includes you.
Mmmmm, this is quite a touchy subject. There have been a few moments lately when I have felt my hackles rise but true to the new me have breathed. Before responding. Also to be honest, the response might be seen in a very defensive light, and that is not intended. I am referring to the ignorant, misrepresented, without knowledge or understanding, generalised comments always levelled at South Africans who have apparently fled to Australia. I am over it. You don’t know me, or us. I do not need to explain myself to you or anyone else. But, my biggest failing in life is a need for fair representation for all, fair treatment for all. Failing because I always feel the need to speak up, I simply cannot let it be. So, don’t judge and don’t misrepresent and don’t hide behind your own fear. The fear that makes you ignorant and judgemental of others. The fear that makes you need to justify your own actions and denigrate others. The fear that makes you need to feel better than others. Because you are not. Nobody is. You may still be there but does that mean you are contributing to positive change. To a better future for all. No matter the colour of your skin. What difference are you making? We took up an opportunity. To make a difference. To our children lives and to the lives of those we left behind. And to those who suffer at the hands of prejudice. Yes, we sponsor families, we support and contribute what we can to Africa financially, we care. But the important bit, is the bit we are doing for our world. For a hopeful future. By bringing up children who are tolerant, who see equality in all, who are kind, who are charitable, who share, who believe in taking responsibility for their own actions, who believe in love, who do not judge, who do not believe anyone should be celebrated or punished for others misdeeds but that we should all look to the future and be the change we so desperately crave. For humanity. And that we would do no matter where we are. How about you?
At dinner last night a friend asked me where home was now. After nearly four years here. For all of us, here or there. I always hate those questions. I have since the day we arrived here. Are you happy. Do you miss home. The reason I hate them is because it is so hard to answer them. To be honest. To even know how you really feel, because there is so much stuff that clouds your honest assessment. How can I be happy here, even if I think I might be. Doesn’t that negate the relationships, the people I’ve left behind. How can I be happy here when they aren’t here. And if I say I’m not, what about the opportunity we’ve been given. How can we not put our best foot forward and embrace the adventure. What about all the fabulous friends who have rallied around us and supported us to find our feet here. And how can I not be happy providing a possibly firmer future for my kids. What am I teaching them if I’m always looking backwards. Where do the girls feel more at home? I answered that home for them, in fact for all of us, is where we are. And as I said it last night I realised I meant it. We are where we are meant to be. So, I guess that right now thats here. So, does that mean this is home now? Africa is in my blood and in my heart. It is the country of my birth. It is with me wherever I am. My family is in my heart and in my blood. They are with me wherever I am. I now know I don’t have be anywhere to be home. But I wondered if I had answered correctly for the girls. So I asked them. Jem said, well I was born in South Africa, but I don’t really have a home. Just as my heart cracked, she went on to say, home is where my family is. You, daddy and Kate. Kate didn’t want to answer, then said here. Here?, I said. Australia? She said, well, it’s where we live. So simple. Home truly is wherever we are. And I believe that can be anywhere now.