The calm before the storm | Migration Tales
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