In one week, I leave for South Korea again. I write with a heavy heart. I want to avoid the thought at all costs. I’m finding it so hard to articulate how I feel. I think it’s hard for those important to me, to understand how meaningful my words are. That, I was barely living for almost my entire life and that, everything changed while in Korea. I finally give a shit about… everything. I love my family, I love my friends, I love everything that surrounds me in my beautiful city, the mountains, clouds, blue sky, birds, stars, rain. everything. These things meant nothing to me before. Spending time with my family was sometimes a chore.
At the end of the day, my philosophy while being home, has been to be as kind as I can. That giving is the most important thing. I want to thank the people that give me life, make me happy and do so much for me. Having 3 blissful months of happiness has been elating. I forgot how it felt. I spent a year being miserable. I fear my misery will return in Korea. But, I hope my new attitude follows me, instead. I know life will change, once again.
I realised that everyone has taken their own path in life. Whether it’s marriage, travel, studying or something else. When I left my friends last night (my farewell dinner), I never thought that ~I~ would be the friend that was brave enough to see the world. I always felt so inferior at home, as if I wasn’t capable of doing anything by myself. For that moment, I felt proud of myself.
As my beautiful journey back home is almost reaching an end, I’ve found myself bursting with happiness. The last two days have happened for a reason. I was leaving work and the security guard stopped me. “Aren’t you a past pupil at this school?” he asked. “Yes, I replied.” After 9 years, he remembered me. Irrespective, we spoke for a bit. He asked me what I had been doing since High School and I told him I studied further and went to South Korea for 3 years. Now, I am finishing my teaching degree. He told me about the every day struggles that he and many other South Africans face, pointed out the fact that I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to study, travel, make money and be safe. He was right. Reminding me to thank God for this fact, we said goodbye.
Today, a guy came to talk to the students about drugs. He finished school a year before I did. When he announced his name, I was certain that I recognised him. His speech was utterly inspiring, shocking and wow! It made me feel weird afterwards, for a while. He stressed the fact that it only takes one choice/a split second to change your life. Be it, that split second that you decide to drive home drunk or anything else. After the talk, I went to chat to him and yes, it turns out, I did used to drink heavily with his circle of friends when we were about 14.
Sitting here, I am made aware of the people, some acquaintances and some best friends, that I surrounded or surround myself with. People that I grew up with, joined in with their shenanigans – yet, I didn’t go down the road to hell which they endured. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. He is now a motivational speaker and perhaps, that was his calling.
Going on about these two events, it’s as if the universe is sending me signs to be grateful for my life. This time at home has been magical. I have never felt as close to my family as I do now. I have never walked around my childhood city and thought “I am so privileged to see the mountain everyday.” or to see the stars at night, to hear the birds sing, to see a rainbow. Seeing Table Mountain on almost every drive.
Just like fear overcame me before coming home, so it is starting to creep its way back again. This time, I am afraid this happiness will disappear when I arrive back in Korea.
My heart is so happy and full of love it is as though I’m about to burst. My time at home has been the most magical and soulful experience I’ve ever had. My work and progress I made in Korea towards becoming a better person has just been illuminated here. I feel free, I explore, I love passionately and I live.
I’ve always described myself as someone that feels deeply, but despite that, I always felt kind of apathetic when it came to most areas in my life. I didn’t care about myself enough to care for those around me or appreciate them. Seeing my family has been the best thing that could of happened. Taking these moments to be with these people I love individually has just been so amazing.