In my ideal day, the sun isn’t shining. In fact, it is a gentle Johannesburg rain that is warm and soothing- and instead of beating at my window, it caresses it and slowly wakes me up. It is not an ungodly hour, 8 is reasonable enough as I’ve gotten my adequate beauty sleep, but the right side of my bed is still warm, a reminder that my boyfriend held me through the night. I am in a beautiful apartment, it is not very large but it’s homey and comfortable and represents the quirky relationship we have. Piles of books on my nightstand, ticket stubs from the Rugby game we watched this weekend on his
I roll out of bed- not in the glamorous Disney kind of way with annoying birds ready and willing to help me dress- but that lazy, content manner. The apartment may not be living it up in Joburg North style, but the view is incredible- the clouds blocking the horizon, the grey and calming torrent of water slicing patterns through the trees, onto the asphalt.
Of course I am late for work as always, but it doesn’t bother me- or the traffic that I will be sitting in for the next hour because it’s the perfect time to listen to the latest Adele. And when I get to work, looking and feeling good- wearing ridiculously inappropriate high heels, I smile all day- dealing with random callers and watching the presenter run my show which I conceptualised and scripted. I remember something awesome to include, that I know our listeners will love and we are working in sync, the callers keep coming.
Show done, feedback and prep work complete I can swing by my sister’s school and pick her up- something I haven’t had time to do in a while. She’s going on about this insane design project of hers and her latest romantic problems, and it’s good to reconnect. We drive back to my place, and while she does homework I slip off my heels and get to cooking supper- imitating something I learned on Masterchef. I’m home early enough to catch the news, and I don’t have to download the latest Suits because I can watch it live- commercials and all.
The boyfriend comes home and over a glass of wine (I’m already on my second) we catch up on our days. He joins my sister in the lounge and I bring through supper. My mom arrives to pick her up- we make plans to go to the book sale next weekend, and I remind her that I owe her and dad brunch after church.
My day is not over as I pull out my books and read next to my guy, honours is hard work and I’ve got to put in the hours. He goes to bed, and I continue late into the night with my studies. Finally I’m satisfied I’ve made enough progress; I close my books and breathe in a deep sigh- taking a moment to myself. I head to bed, and snuggle under the blankets, enjoying the warmth. I realise that it has stopped raining. I smile.
This is obviously, just a fantasy- but what was so beautiful about the way I felt when I wrote it, were the potential reality and the deep yearning place that it came from. Nothing is stopping me from achieving this dream, and what it is even better is that I am frighteningly amazed at how on track my life is to achieve it.
This weekend I started thinking a lot, which is not unusual, but now I began to think about HOW I think. It started with talking about what kind of house I saw myself living in one day. I automatically went on about how much I hate clusters, because they are on top of one another, and how I always envisaged a freestanding house with a giant yard. My boyfriend was surprised as my dad had told him that I wasn’t much of an outdoors person.
This got me thinking; do I want a yard and a house because it was expected, because my parents’ opinions had passed down to me? Yes- I regurgitate a lot of what I’ve seen and heard from my family. And that’s ok, because I really do want a house and a yard- but what was now interesting was that I had to re-evaluate for myself why.
This may sound small and futile, but if something so insignificant could make me pause- how much of my truth and identity is regurgitated, how much do I need to re-evaluate about my life.
For example, it may surprise you to know that in my entire 23 years of existence, I have never drunk a full cup of coffee, and can in fact count on one hand the amount of times I’ve tasted it. My parents are coffee addicts- I think we have around 3 different types of machines and over half a dozen different canisters with words like golden, mocha, blend and decaf- which I can’t pretend to understand. But I have never been able to get used to the taste, from infrequent forays to inspect my parents’ cups to accidently chewing a coffee flavoured biscuit, and subsequently spitting it out. No amount of homogenisation by my parents could convince me that caffeine could go into my body without becoming a Coca Cola or Red bull addict. I can proudly claim that I truly loathe coffee.
Now I can spend the next few hours going into what I should do- but if I really wanted to do it, I would have done it already.
So this week, I’m going to do things my way, I’m going to do what I want (not irresponsibly) and more importantly the manner in which I want to do it. Although honesty to everyone is important, I’m going to try and be honest with myself first.
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be”- Mansfield Park, Jane Austen