I am sitting here with a heap of emotions that I cannot quite get to grips with.
I feel angry.
I am embarrassed.
I feel guilty.
I am excited.
I feel apprehensive.
There is deep disappointment.
My heart hurts.
After 4 years of living like a nomad, then like a financially strapped student, my worldly possessions might finally find me again and the whole process of organizing this from a different continent, different time-zone, caused a bubbling cauldron of different moods.
I’m questioning the lump in my throat.
Moving across the world was never something that I wanted to do. I was not like so many of my fellow South Africans that willingly said goodbye, packed my bags and went off to find greener pastures. I love my birth country and even after being in the states long enough to get a driver’s licence, I still think that Cape Town is the best place on the planet to live.
When I packed up my worldly belongings in October 2017, I shipped the absolute bare minimum. For the estimated 2-3 years that we would live here, I was going to get by with only the necessities. In fact, we were planning on renting everything or do without. That quickly changed when we realized our master plan of only living in ‘Murica for a short time, was completely unrealistic.
Although we started buying a few things, we kept the spending to a minimum cause we have all the stuff in storage already and again, bluffed ourselves that we will return to Cape Town sooner rather than later.
After spending a full 12 months stuck at home, (thank you Rona) we finally decided to ship most of the things in storage to the place we currently call home. Cause this hanging out in the Northern Hemisphere might just be a smidge longer than anticipated.
On a sunny Wednesday, an angel called Zoë, drove all the way from her fairy-tale castle on a country-hill to un-glam-gangsta-paradise to help with sorting of what needs to stay in storage and what would be loaded on a ship. A mammoth task indeed to sort through all our worldly belongings. And apparently, we have a LOT. She did a stellar task and managed to identify all the items on my to-stay list – basically all the electronic things that would be completely useless here due to the whole 220 vs 110 voltage thing.
It took the company that we asked to ship the stuff almost a week to the minute to come back with a quote….and I was flabbergasted with both the amount of goods we wanted here as well as the mullah we would have to fork over to make that a reality.
To add to all the conflicting emotions that I had to put somewhere, now I have a bottomless pit of disappointment that threatens to overshadow all the other messy feelings.
I’m not giving up though and am in the process of renting a rowboat for the next time I am in Cape Town and dammit, row the friggen possessions over myself. Might take me a few trips but imagine the size of my biceps and the spectacular suntan I’ll end up with.
I suspect my initial anger was aimed at the situation that I find myself in and the fact that I never anticipated to even consider bringing my favourite art, reading chair and mixing bowl over to America. That by now, we would be making plans for our return to Cape Town and possibly start drawing up plans for the dream house in Prince Albert.
I feel embarrassment coupled with a healthy dose of guilt that the thought of having my belongings around me filled me with so much happiness, while the rest of the world is facing actual issues. How delightfully shallow I am imagining sitting on my couch looking at my Hopper prints.
The apprehensiveness goes hand in hand with the anger – I have no idea what the future holds and even though I can plan my little heart out, my mantra remains true: It is what it is and what will be will be.
The best I can do is stay irritatingly positive and try my best to make my dreams come true. Not ask how or when but just build my sandcastles in the sky with intent.
Some days are just harder than others to remain in a positive state of being. But that’s also okay – I’ll revel in my sadness and wallow in my disappointment for a while before I yank on those big girl panties…again. I suspect the elastic is worn out and I might have to replace them sometime soon.
5 thoughts on “Suck it up, Buttercup”
Oh Lani!! I know all to well of what you speak. Been there, done that and AIN”T NEVER GONNA TO DO THAT AGAIN. Ottawa was suppose to be a 5 year stint that turned into 14 years, a terrible divorce, taking the long route home through the US and living for two years with all my “stuff” in storage while I basically started my life over. Eventually you’ll look back on it with awe and satisfaction that you made it and how much tougher you are for having done so. Do hope your journey isn’t as long or as heartbreaking. Cape Town will be there when you “come home”.
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Well at least I’m not going through a divorce as well!!!! That will do my head in completely.
Thank you John.
Oh, that’s hard! Hope it goes as smoothly as possible. Your writing is gorgeous.
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Thank you Briony!!! It will work out….maybe not what I anticipated but somehow, these things always sort themselves out.
I feel the rollercoaster of emotions you describe, and it is perfectly allowed to lean into each and every one of them. They are real, and true and yours! Keep holding on to your humor, as well as your big girl panties. Sometimes the only 2 items needed in our survival kit! Vasbyt Laan, love you.
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