The calm before the storm | Migration Tales

The calm before the storm | Tyranny of Pink

I haven’t felt like writing lately. Truth be told, I haven’t felt like doing much else other than cry. It feels somewhat ridiculous even putting this out there – the fact that I’m crying over the loss of a thing. A thing with no meaning more than memories attached to it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself

As you may know if you read this blog regularly, we are moving to New Zealand. Well at least that is the hope. So far, there have been steps taken towards that move but without actual visa’s, I can’t exactly say that we are moving without feeling a little twinge (okay a huge twinge) of panic.

We decided we need to move for various reasons. One of them being that jobs on that end are really so much better for people like me. People like me being people who work in Community Development. Over here, it’s not a field that is given much respect. Right up there with nursing and teaching I’d say.

The salaries are dismal in the NGO sector over here and the work is probably more draining than any other field. You are faced with so much poverty and inequality coupled with the lack of resources in the country for actually making change happen and you’re left with a country that just becomes more unequal.

In New Zealand, things probably aren’t perfect (I’m not naive) but the population is a lot smaller and the budget is more easily allocated towards making real change. So I find myself getting overly excited over each job advert I read. REAL JOBS that I could do in a heartbeat. I can’t wait.

That really helps considering the fact that I NEED to get a job over there. Here I work for myself and that’s great and all because I love the flexibility of my time – it means I can be there for my child when he needs me. However, I’m not going to lie, I struggle with the full-time mom life. I NEED to be working to feel fulfilled in myself and I actually can’t wait to get back into a job. I never thought I’d feel like that to be honest. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a much-needed break. Maybe it’s because I feel like my real skills will be valued over there. Maybe it’s just the excitement of the changes. What ever it is, it has me on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

“Sometimes there is no time to wait for the sea to calm down! If you have to reach your target, let your voyage start and let the storm be your path!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

The waiting game

So that’s where things get fun. We can’t wait to move. Except we can’t move a muscle at all because we are waiting for the university over there to accept my husband for his PhD so that we can start applying for visas. Unfortunately the waiting period is about 6 weeks. We are currently half way through it and we are going nuts waiting for the news. We expect it will be positive BUT you can never be certain about these things.

In the meantime, we are doing what we can with what we have. Unfortunately migration is the bloody most expensive thing I have ever done and so that means we need money. And quite a substantial amount too!

So when I said at the start of this post that I had been crying over a thing, it was the sale of my apartment. And if this sounds bizarre, let me take you back to when I first became the owner of that property.

I was 19 when I moved to Cape Town. I accepted a place at UCT quite late after changing my mind about it (well, actually, after my dad decided I can’t go to University in Kwazulu-Natal anymore). At that point, all the residences were full and I had nowhere to live. So my dad brought me down to Cape Town from Swaziland and we went house hunting. After looking at a few places, he decided it might be a good idea to buy a flat. And to my absolute shock, he put it into my name.  I wasn’t expecting it at all. My father has four children from four different mothers and his wife wasn’t my mother so he thought it safest for my future for the property to be put into my name in case something ever happened to him.

Of course at the time, this seemed like nothing more than a gesture of love. A huge one no doubt but I didn’t realise back then just how real death and losing people you love could be. At the time, I was full of belief in everything in life turning out for the best.

So you see, that apartment was given to me by a man who loved me so much that he had the foresight to protect me even though there was at that moment no chance of anything going wrong. Four years later, he died. Unexpectedly in a car accident.

He didn’t know that the gift he had given me back then would carry me through my twenties. First as a home and then as an income and now, as the means to start a new life somewhere else. A gift to my son to experience life in a different country. One with so much potential. Making the decision to sell was so difficult. I have cried and I have grieved. Not for the building itself but for the love it represented. Now I need to look at the life we will all have because of my father’s love and generosity. A life in a new country. A life where I don’t dream of waking up with someone standing over my bed. I don’t know if New Zealand will accept us. I don’t know for certain, if we do get in, if it truly will be greener on the other side but I do know that this is the most important decision I’ve made in a long time and I’m really looking forward to the change.

For now, things are calm as we wait! As soon as that acceptance letter comes in, there are about a million things that will need to happen! I’m excited and terrified all at once!

I’ll keep you posted! 

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
― Vivian Greene

 

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18 Discussion to this post

  1. Antwane says:

    Remember its what’s makes you happy. After living abroad for so many years ‘better’ is such a subjective word. The most important thing is being happy. Whatever the cost of that happiness is totally ones own personal choice.

  2. Antwane says:

    You will never know if it’s the right decision unless you try it! We are going the opposite way and moving back to South Africa close to family and friends whom I miss dearly. Frankly I miss Africa so I’m praying our move back to SA will work out because it is is costing so much money to start again. Moving to another country makes one evaluate who and what you’re are. Leaving family and dear friends is one of the hardest things but you can always stay in touch. I wish you all the luck on your new adventure.

    • Thank you Antwane! Your comment is interesting to me. I don’t meet many who move back to South Africa and I can understand the heartache for home. There really is no place in the world quite like it and I know that I will miss it dearly. I know that if I didn’t have a young child, I wouldn’t be leaving but my life priorities have changed a lot since having my son. I think back to playing without fear and I want that for him. I know we will miss our friends and family dearly and my heart breaks at the though of my child missing out on growing up with a big family but in the end, I can only hope that this is the right choice for him. If not, one day perhaps he will follow his heart home. I hope your move home goes well, there really is no feeling like coming back after being away a long time. I agree, it’s all about what makes you happy and if you make your decisions for that reason, there can be no regrets! All the best!

      • Antwane says:

        There are many people moving back. I belong to a 2 groups of returnees with over 1000 members each. People don’t talk about it because they are fearful of the response of others. I have been abused online for talking about my experiences. Hence the reason my hubby has encouraged me to start write about it. (Watch this space) . I hope to start a blog soon of my adventures and trials. Thank you for your well wishes and all the best to you as well on your new adventure.

  3. I am literally sitting here trying to NOT cry…..urrggghhh…it’s not working! That’s probably really difficult to part with on a sentimental level…and then to know how it has carried you through life and given you these opportunities. Your dad is smiling wherever he is 😉

  4. ChevsLife says:

    All I can say is that I understand all of it! Cry for those walls that contained the foresight and love of your father, celebrate his wisdom which now allows you to explore a new kind of life. xoxo

  5. Asha says:

    Wow… this really hit me hard… Remember, you’re doing what your dad would have wanted for you – a better safer life. All the best!!

  6. Zoe says:

    made me cry with this. and yes, your dad gave you a gift that just keeps giving, now as a means of going to a place where you can make a better life for your family. <3
    ALL the hugs!!

    • <3 Zoe, you don't know how much I'm depending on you through this. I honestly think I'm stronger because of having you there - you're literally going through everything first. Thank you! Thanks for this lovely comment <3 xoxo

  7. Tamarah says:

    I think that extreme gesture of love is worth crying over. It has meant so much in so many ways. All the hugs!

  8. Oh man, that is so worth crying over. The apartment is really such an amazing gift from your dad. Wishing you all the best for what lies ahead.

    • Thanks so much Melissa. It feels a lot like #FirstWorldProblems so people will probably think I’m mad but I’m so sentimental and this is huge for me. <3

      • I watched a video of Gary Vee on The Breakfast Club yesterday where they spoke about how people are afraid to meet new people, thinking “what am I gonna say?” Gary said that each one of our perceptions are different because we are brought up different, each unique. So your perception is okay, it should be valued, it is enough. I think is so beautiful what your dad did. I can understand why you are emotional. So ja, don’t think you’re too sentimental.

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