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.