The year was 2005.
Everything that could go wrong in my life, did. I was a desperate eighteen year old who was in tertiary but struggling to find in-service training which I needed to graduate. I was going through a terrible break-up with my first boyfriend who had promised me everything but left with me with nothing. My ego was bruised and I felt not just lonely but alone.
My relationship with my parents couldn’t be worse (in fact, I was moving from home). I had lost all zest for life. It was like my world had come crashing down. All the friends I thought I had suddenly disappeared; I was the loneliest person on earth. I had nothing going for me, I thought. But I did have something going for me although I didn’t see it then (and honestly, most of us miss it most of the time), and that something is this: I was alive.
It doesn’t seem like much and it doesn’t sound deep because we take being alive for granted so often. Being alive meant one thing: things would change.
A few months later, my life got better. After many tears, my relationship with my parents was restored. My boyfriend and I never got back together again, but I realized that it was for the best because we weren’t right for each other to begin with. When I stopped panicking, I got offered in-service training by a company that was working with the BBC for 4 months. Here I was at eighteen, working for one of the biggest broadcasters in the world and working alongside the most experienced and friendliest crew ever. To put icing on the cake, the project we were working on was about the history of traditional stick fighting. Therefore, we were required to stay in a beautiful town in KZN called Melmoth for a few months to do research and conduct interviews. It was the best experience of my life! Every day I woke up to a beautiful scenery at Simunye Lodge; I woke up to work I enjoyed doing, and people around me who were excited about life. I was alive.
Bad things happen. Strong people fall apart. People leave (or die). Plans don’t always work out. Life doesn’t always make sense. But guess what, we are alive. As bad as things may seem sometimes, there is always hope. The same way life won’t always be good; life won’t always be bad. In the midst of the chaos that we sometimes find ourselves in, have hope. Without hope, we cannot conquer.
When we hurt: we complain, we cry, we feel sorry for ourselves but the best thing we can do is to keep hope alive. As lonely as we can be sometimes, as “messed up” as our situations can be sometimes; let our words always be “Things will get better for me.” Let our words always be those of encouragement, those of hope, those of light, those of life because only then will we see a change in our lives. Being alive means holding on to hope because our story isn’t finished yet.
Remember who you are when life seems unfair, a conqueror. Everything that has ever tried to break you, hurt you, kill you, depress you and discourage you has failed because guess what , you are still alive!
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