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Dear South Africa, you’re breaking my heart

As I am sitting behind my desk my heart is breaking. South Africa, this beautiful place we call home, is falling to pieces right before our eyes and I feel so fucking helpless. 

I love my job so much (some would say too much). However, since I read about tragic and terrible things (and see horrible photos I wish I never had laid eyes on) that happen both here and around the world daily, I have had to learn how to leave it all behind when I go home in order to stay sane.

But today, well, I feel really sad. And I feel like my heart could quite possibly be breaking as I am writing this it is so sore.

Cape Town has been my home for the last 5 years. I have interned and worked for some amazing people, met friends that I know will forever be in my life and have discovered parts of myself I feel I would not have found anywhere else. And, even through all the kak, I have cherished every single moment of every single day we have lived here.

But…

South Africa has its share of ‘issues’, fuck, which part of the world doesn’t? The latest being a(nother) recession. However, that doesn’t make me feel as gut-wrenchingly heartbroken as the elderly being – quite literally – slaughtered in their homes, or the innocent children being kidnapped from the streets and found decomposing in a shallow grave in the middle of fucking nowhere.

It doesn’t make me as sick to my stomach as the land grabs or the farmers being murdered, or the racist and xenophobic attacks on people who came to South Africa to make their lives ‘better’.

To be completely honest, it is times like these when I could quite literally sell our shit, pack it all in and move us to the UK. At least we have that choice; that option. At least we fucking could.

And you know what, when we do eventually move, when we eventually take the plunge and uproot our lives and everything we have fought so hard for and built from the ground up, the sad fact is that I will miss this beautiful country so darn much.

I will miss my job – I worked so hard to get to where I am and I am passionate about what I do, so it will be crushing. I will miss all the friends I have made – all of which mean so much to me. And I will miss the family we would be moving away from because it will be harder to visit them, which will probably be the hardest for the both of us.

When it comes to the sillier things, I will miss the bright pink flamingoes in all their glory dancing in the vlei on my way to the office. I will miss Table Mountain standing so proud and glorious above Cape Town city centre. And I will miss the warm air on my face, the warm air that makes me so happy to be alive.

But I know I will find things I love elsewhere, too. I have to believe that, because, someday soon, none of that is going to be a good enough reason to stay. Our safety and our future are more important than being somewhere that could take it all away in one second.

Honestly, South Africa, I don’t know if I can make excuses for you anymore. I don’t know if I can ‘tart you up’ any longer because, let’s face it, you look so darn fugly from where I am standing.

The bottom line is, I will always love you. But I don’t have to like you.

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