Returning Home and Finding Purpose

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
George A. Moore

June marks my 6 months being home. What a whirlwind it has been; from finding a job to adjusting to living under my parents’ roof again. Returning to Johannesburg has been the easiest and also the most difficult transition I’ve ever had to make. This post is all about me, guys so if you’re not intrigued then stop reading here 🙂

Citylife

Johannesburg has undergone a bit of a style makeover! By no means is it as “cool” as the mother city, Cape Town, but since being back there have been a lot more options of things to do. I’ve been away for 4 years; I met Joburg for the first time with fresh eyes. You know when you think you know someone but turns out you know sweet fuck all about them? Yeah, it was like that. Concerts and “lit” bars, places to hike and hipster streets to walk around.

After finding a job (I’m currently working at Wits university), I had to readjust to needing a car again and that has been the biggest pain in the arse. Even as I write, I don’t have my car because my Golden Girl (she’s gold and old) decided to die on me. Insert “frustration emoji” here! But hey, at least we have Uber now – Jozi has become fancy af. Not even my city in Spain had Uber.

Unfortunately I’m just not brave enough to try public transport like buses and taxis here. More and more women are reporting of being raped by taxi drivers; majority are young black girls but a rapist doesn’t exactly care about skin colour – power is power. Sadly though, race is still a thing – I try to be aware of my white privilege and keep myself in check from bitching about how hard I have it here. Truth be told, I have a better advantage than most people and I mustn’t forget that.

Living At Home

From being alone to living with your parents has been the biggest challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family but they were a continent away. I remember my first week home when my mom was very patiently explaining how to hang the washing…  🙂 I love you Mom, but really? Like I haven’t domesticated myself. 🙂 I’m not saying that I adult well, but I can adult a little bit!

I’m also not used to sharing my space. My anxiety picks up when I can’t satisfy my OCD. For example, things not going MY way at my MOTHER’S wedding just didn’t work for me. 🙂 But we live and adjust and that is called getting on with it. 

Half the reason as to why I came home was because my gran has dementia and I wanted to help my mom look after her – living at home is a must right now. I should tell you though, there is something humbling about helping loved ones. It’s not easy but it IS a choice and there is freedom in that.

For those who don’t know, my grandmother is a WWII survivor; having survived Russian labour camps at the age of 7. As her short-term memory worsens, nightmares from her horrid past torment her and I try to be there for her; letting her talk it out. I’ll be putting her story on here quite soon. History should be shared. 

Making a Difference

2016 was a hard year for many people, including myself and I questioned what I wanted from this life I have. Was I living my truth; was living in Europe really what I wanted? I was surprised to find that the answer was no. I was drawn back to South Africa and many friends and family didn’t get it at all. “There’s no hope left for white people in South Africa, the country is going to the dogs, why would you want to go back to Africa of all places, but so many South Africans are leaving the country – you should stay away, bla bla bla…”

To all the South Africa haters out there, both local and abroad, both foreigners and born ‘n bred South Africans, here’s what I have to say to you:

We all belong to South Africa, and South Africa belongs to us all.
Oliver Tambo

I respect your opinion but it doesn’t sit well with my integrity. Negativity and an unwillingness to fight for what is good and right in this country is what has caused an infection in the heart of us all. You think that the grass is greener on the other side but it isn’t. And I can say that without being a silly naive little girl; I have travelled and I have seen. People see what they want to see. You will be just as disgruntled with stupid shit going on in England or Australia as you would here. It’s also about race that side. So instead of gossiping about the way things are and shaking your head at the news, why don’t you pluck up the courage to do some good?

Last week, I gave an old black lady a lift to her house; no more than 10km out of my way but it made all the difference to her. Why was it that so many cars passed her, did they not see the 3 heavy bags in her hands? I stopped and asked if she needed help – she couldn’t believe it. She told me her story and invited me into her newly-bought home. So proud that she had earned it herself and welcomed me into her home. I carried her bags for her and she kept telling how god had helped her by bringing me to her and how he would be good to me too. Kindness conquers all.

Change doesn’t happen from the top dogs in government. It starts with us and what we decide to do and how we continue to think. We always have a choice. You do or you don’t and whatever you decide, that is your fate.

Finding Direction

I joke with my friends that I’m going to be the next Gandhi. 🙂 Guys, I’m obviously joking; I’m not that narcissistic. I don’t have “white saviour” syndrome. However, I do feel that there are no current leaders for this generation to draw inspiration from. No Gandhis, Mandelas or Luther Kings. Those are big shoes to fill and we think that we can’t, that things are too difficult or it won’t make a difference. But if we all just gave a shit about something important, we could, as a whole, bring about change. We don’t need one man, or woman, to lead us – we need to inspire each other. We’re all made of the same stuff and we’re capable of doing extraordinary things on epic proportions. I commit to being that source of inspiration; doing my bit from the side lines.

I stand by my Word to create awareness where I can and promote unconditional love in this world.

I waffled on a bit here and I see how that might irritate some people. Who do I think I am and all that 🙂 But I’m just doing my best to be better than the person I was yesterday. Aren’t we all?

South Africa gives me a perspective of what’s real and what’s not real. So I go back to South Africa to both lose myself and gain awareness of myself. Every time I go back, it doesn’t take long for me to get caught into a very different thing. A very different sense of myself.
Dave Matthews

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4 Responses

  1. Dewald says:

    Liked this life-true story with references to Tambo and Gandhi. Sorry about your grandmother. Hope you become a next ‘somebody’. Mooiloop.

    • Aurelia Waliszewska says:

      Thanks Dewald! 🙂 My only wish is for us all to be the best that we can be. I hope you and your family are well! xoxo

  2. Kim says:

    I didn’t know your grandma was in a camp. If she doesn’t mind it being told, I would love to hear her story.

    • Aurelia Waliszewska says:

      I hope to write publish it here in sections, with photos of her and her family… Hope you’re well my friend! xxx

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