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Showing posts from January, 2013

What I loved about living in South Africa, pt2

Following from my previous two blog posts in this mini-series about my recent decision to leave South Africa, country of my birth, and return to Australia where I had lived for many years... Here is the list of the main things I loved about living in South Africa (again).
The first three are also the reasons we decided to move back there in the first place....
1. Family and friends
Of course. It goes without saying that it’s much nicer to be closer to family and friends and have the opportunity to see them more often. The opportunities I had to reconnect after 10 years living out of the country I grew up in were much treasured, and I have so many happy memories – including our wedding on Noordhoek beach; my best friend from school days flying down to help before my wedding, and again to meet my newborn daughter a year and a half later (this could not have happened if I was still living overseas); my surprise baby shower with family in the Eastern Cape; a Christmas in our rambling Muizenb…

What I loved about living in South Africa, pt1

After my last blog post, it might seem as if the decision to leave South Africa was an easy one. It seems I have only criticism and scorn for the country of my childhood and family. This really isn’t true. I do believe you should be able to honestly critique your own country, your own background and origins though.
It’s like being able to love your family or friends completely, yet still see them for who they honestly are – imperfect, fallible human beings. Sometimes even downright annoying... as we all are. And yes, sometimes we even need to head out into the world, leaving them behind for time, because we need a bit of ‘space’ to grow (this usually happens after leaving school).
In other words, I am not trying to say that one country is better than another, just different. Since countries are made up of people, it’s not surprising that they will not be perfect either - and anyway finding your way in the world is a constant negotiation between your own needs, and those of others around…

Brick walls, culs-de-sac and closed minds

I can’t say I am sad to see the back of 2012.
One absolutely mind-blowingly amazing thing happened – I gave birth to the most gorgeous little girl in the world (and I am not at all biased, of course).
Other than that, however, and even in part due to that, it was a very difficult year – stressful, tiring, challenging, demanding…all those sorts of words. And at times heart-breaking.
Why? Well, a few reasons – some of which were simply the unsurprising results of being a new mum: adjustments in my own selfish little world, and my marriage (reasonably new, at 2 years); sleep deprivation; various anxieties (big and small) about whether I was doing the right thing; and often feelings of isolation and loneliness (despite having a loving, involved husband to share the journey with).
But we also packed up our lives of over 3 years in Cape Town, South Africa, to move back to Australia, via 3 months in New Zealand. With four animals and all the logistics that involved (quarantine arrangements, i…