Am I Happier Here?

Earth Hour and I am sitting in the dark. I have Norah Jones (my usual writing music) on to drown out the sound of an incessant barking dog. It seems the Gods of Internet in South Africa dislike WordPress and it’s been really difficult to load. I feel like my wanting to write has just been building up and building up. As my old flame said “That’s what a pen and paper is for.” 

Am I happier in South Africa? I don’t really know. I haven’t been happy in little over a year. I’m different. I am having new experiences and new challenges. I’d started living my life too comfortably in Korea, that I never had to feel nervous, excited or afraid. Every day poses a new challenge for me here. It leaves me with immense worry and I wished I didn’t have to do some of them but as my friend says “Just for today, do not worry.” 

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about people and how truly beautiful they can be but also, how cruel. There is an abundance of beauty in this world. I’ve witness so much of it since being home – my trip up Table Mountain, a pink sunset, the stars (which you cannot see in Korea), Chapman’s Peak, living alongside the beach as well as people. People that make me feel sad. A teacher at my school who is suffering from cancer and my heart sinks every time I see her. A man in a wheelchair whose body is disfigured being pushed on top of the mountain by someone. I stood on that mountain and I breathed deep. The freshest air I’ve tasted in a long time, if ever before. The clouds which left the atmosphere in a white blank and suddenly, the clouds parted and we see heaven. Vast ocean and mountains. Can life be anymore beautiful? I wish I was the only person on that mountain with nothing by my thoughts and my precious breath. I feel grateful.

I went with my best friend to her NA meeting this week. She’s been clean off drugs for more than two years and I’ve wanted to go with her for quite some time. As someone shared their story, It was so inspiring to see these people that WANT to make changes in their life. That care enough about themselves to commit to these meetings and other things, even after they’ve been sober for many years. I found myself feeling heartache of happiness when they announced the people who have been sober for xyz amount of days/months/years.

On the contrary, we visited the Holocaust Museum this past week. We watched a video called Hana’s Suit Case. Noticing that so many children were siblings made my heart hurt. Learning more about World War Two and the tyranny, it leaves you feeling sickened. I feel passionately that the two poles are so extreme. Good and evil.

I want to believe in this beautiful earth. I never took the time to appreciate how beautiful my home is, Cape Town. I never really take the time to realise how beautiful I am, too. Inside and out.I went to bed and woke telling myself that I am happy, I am beautiful, I am confident and I am capable. I joined Weight Watchers last week, and have lost 3kg in the first week. Losing weight makes me happy.

When I think of Korea, I picture a dark space. Being here, i think light. Does this mean I am happier here?

Now, as I am on a week long holiday, I can spend some more time with my family.  Below, a photo taken at a B&B in Camps Bay.

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Quiet Moments Hurt Me The Most.

I miss you. In the midst of chaos, I didn’t know it would feel this bad but finally the noise has stopped and my heart sinks a little more each day. I find myself in quiet moments of solitude where immense sadness overcomes me. I’ve always waited for you. Would something concrete hurt even more? We were probably toxic for one another, or maybe you were just toxic but now I wish we could rewind and have it all over again. I want to get inside your head and know what you used to think and what you think now. I want to know if you are full of potential and feelings, the one that I imagined. These quiet moments hurt me the most.

A Changed South Africa.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve felt as exhausted as I have this week. Everything’s changed. I think the last time I blogged was when I had just arrived back in Korea from my holiday in Thailand (about two weeks ago). After that return flight (20 hours), I was out of it for a day or two. But, I was only left with two/three days to pack up my life in Korea and head back to South Africa (20+ hours). Upon my arrival, it had been under one week, 40+ hours of flying and four countries. Yes, I was a zombie. What helped me immensely was the Xanax I got without a prescription in Thailand.

Let me start with Thailand – arriving there at 8pm at night, my hotel was about three minutes away from Bangla Road and as you can imagine, it was chaotic. I was tired, it was hot and my hotel was on the fifth floor, without an elevator. I was not happy. I had thought that things would of been better if I had of saved all that money and just stayed in Korea. However, I am so pleased to say that it turned out to be probably the best holidays I have ever had. I only spent three full days there, but I did everything I wanted to – played with the tigers, shot my first gun, did a day trip to Phi Phi Island by speed boat and met an Indian man who was at least 65 years old, now living in the UK, and it turns out, the odd combo that it was, that he was a lot of fun. I saw the bluest ocean, and felt the sun on my body for the first time in months. I saw Patong Beach, went out in Bangla Road and, of course, felt up a tranny. I spent about 3 hours in the spa every day – full body massages, manis, pedis – you name it. And on my last night, I met a sexy Italian who drove me around the island on his scooter and then we slept together at my hotel. It was so sassy.

Back in Korea, I spent my last few days sleeping, shopping and eating. I said about three goodbyes.

I arrived back in South Africa on Tuesday late afternoon, and I can honestly say that, since then, I have not stopped. I’ve been waking up every morning around 5am and every day included driving at least 45 minutes to do some kind of admin (renewing passport, booking a learners test) etc, and shopping for appropriate clothes for my teaching practical. When Friday came around, I just about had a panic attack, in tears, on my floor. But, I packed up my heavy suitcase once again, and left for my friends’ families house, over an hour away, because it is close to the schools. So, here I am staying for about three months while I am doing my teaching.

I arrived here last Friday, and immediately I was off again to my best friend of 20 years’ braai (South African BBQ). I slept there, and it was relatively relaxed. The Saturday, we went out. I was absolutely shattered on the Sunday, leaving me finally to feel the nerves of the upcoming practical. I spent the Sunday feeling regretful, sad and crying.

Monday came around and I started teaching at a private all girls school. I have just finished my first week there, and the school is amazing. The girls are so respectful, and the staff really treat you like one of the team. I have four more weeks teaching there, before I move onto a co ed school.

I have been overwhelmed, yes. Today, I finally got some time for a nap and I do feel better. My sleeping pattern is completely out of sync, but that is expected when I went from 40 hours of traveling, to a full time job in less than a week of arrival. I feel conflicted and I don’t know if I am happy. I hate that, but I’ve felt it for a while. I see the beauty of my country, but I see the faults, too. I see my country in a way that I’ve never seen it before. I spent the first 22 years of my life here, not knowing a thing about the world and thinking that this is how it was everywhere. I didn’t work and I had to work hard or commit to anything. Living here, with a job and having to use public transport – wow, different way of life.

The guy I had been seeing basically called me (and himself) out on our bullshit when I admitted that Korea was such an easy way of life. He likes the challenge and ambition, and doesn’t want to get stuck in a rut in Korea. When I admitted to going back in June (I got a job), he told me to stick it out in South Africa and make it work here. It’s what I had been thinking all along, but did not want to say out loud. It was something I was waiting for someone to mention, and he did. Almost running away or escaping hard, real life for an easy way of living with no effort and lots of money. But sometimes I think “who doesn’t want to live easy?” I am conflicted.

So, I have finally had a day time nap, and I feel a more energised at this hour than I have since being back in the country.

I’m considering visiting my family doctor about my anxiety, but the thought of it gives me anxiety!

I hope to blog more. My life has changed drastically in the last week or two, and I do want to share with you. I have plans to visit Weight Watchers with my friends mom as from this week. I feel this is a good and concrete space to begin a lifestyle change for myself, and improve my quality of life.