Jeanne and I had an incredibly holiday in Scotland over December. It’s always nice to be surrounded by family during the festive season, and there is always so much to catch up on, lots of family to see, numerous foods to indulge in and a so many places to visit. However, this time more than any time before, I find myself torn.
You would think after having parents who live on opposite ends of the earth from each other for the majority of your life – meaning you have had to travel between the two for, give or take, a decade – I would know the implications of leaving one behind by now. But instead of getting easier (like one might think), it’s only getting harder.
I am only 27-years-old but, as time passes and as I get older, I am finding it increasingly hard to be so far away from my family. Now, I know that I am never going to live close to both my parents because, well, they are never going to live on the same continent, never mind the same town, but I am finding that even harder to accept now.
It’s weird. Living in the UK previously – one instance being while attending university – there were numerous things that ‘bugged’ me, one of which included the cold weather. Living in Africa your whole life, you can imagine the cold weather being a shock to your system. The other thing that bugged me included being so homesick for – what now seems like ridiculous things – foods and other home comforts that I deemed to be important.
Although, I think these things bugged me more due to the circumstances. Also, being young, you really do not put the important things that should be priorities, first.
Now, almost a decade later, I could have almost just cancelled our tickets back to South African and stayed. And this is utterly confusing for me. Especially since Jeanne has been set on picking up and moving to Scotland for two years and I have been the one saying no (because I want to focus on my career and make sure that I have enough experience to set us up with a good future through my job when we do decide to move).
As I see my grandparents grow older, my mum settling into life in Scotland – as she has just moved closer to her parents – and I feel everything there is to feel being there for only a couple of weeks, I feel as though we could just fit right in. But I know it wouldn’t be that easy and this is where my mum’s magical wisdom comes in.
It won’t be that easy to pick up and leave. Jeanne and I will both need to find jobs. We would need to find a house. Things are just as hard in the UK at the moment as they are in South Africa with Brexit and a number of other issues rolling around. It just wouldn’t be that easy.
Just, that reality check is hard when all you want to do is be closer.
We leave each other every time saying “see you soon” because saying “goodbye” is just not an option. We leave each other saying “we are only a plane ride away” because it’s just too hard to face the fact that it is further than we would like. And we leave each other always searching for another date that we can see each other again because at least that would give us something to look forward to.
Please do not get me wrong. I am not ungrateful one bit when it comes to our life in Cape Town. We live in a beautiful place with beautiful weather, we have a home we are proud of and want to buy, we have three pets that have become our family, we have made friends I would miss if we were not up the road, Jeanne and I both have hobbies that have ‘saved’ us in one way or another, and we also have family who live in Botswana who we would miss if we had to move, too.
All in all, I just know that as I get older certain things become more of a priority and, like I explained in my ‘New year, new me? Na!‘ post, this year I am going to focus less on changing who I am – because I don’t need to – and change my priorities instead because, let’s face it, those special people in your life are more important than any job, money or posession.
To combat how I am feeling, and to make myself feel a bit better, I am just going to try to enjoy every day as it comes and those who spend them with me, and start planning all the trips we want to take throughout the year to visit or host our loved ones. Starting with seeing this beautiful face for her birthday in February…