I have been wanting to write my part 2 for some time now. And every time I begin, I hit a wall. Until now, a song came on, a song that takes me back to a time when I was in high school, in love and terribly naive. A time when you had to run to the call box (ticky box we call it in South Africa) to call someone, a time where there was one landline in the house and every time it rang, both my brother and I would run to pick it up, me mostly because there was someone I really wanted to speak to, my youngest brother purely because he was very entertained by irritating me by listening in until I screamed at the top of my lungs for him to hang up the phone in the next room.
So what is the song you ask that has opened the flood gates to record the next part of my journey, legendary Tina Turner singing with all her might. I followed her closely growing up, her story, her music. She resonates loudly with me. Sadly, I have never been able to see her perform live. I probably never will. But I still admire her from afar. Her strength to pursue through struggle and hardship, to chase her dreams, and achieve them! And as I sit here the business day closing around me, Tina giving only her best through my Samsung headphones, the sun already set (days are crazy short in the USA this time of year, a little creepy at times, but trying not to let it get to me) and the wind is howling with an icy wind and pummeling against the roof and windows, I can hear it through the music now and again, I sit and take collection of where I am and when it is, one week before Christmas.
One week. Already? There are decorations on every corner, at every home, and admittedly I am not quite feeling the spirit this year. Not because I am sad, or feeling down, just not feeling Christmas I guess. Not going to lose sleep about it, just good to remind oneself what part of the chapter we are in, and where we are going. Perhaps it is because all friends and family are now enjoying a very sunny South Africa, winding down for the year, businesses shutting down. Everyone is heading to the beach, having a braai, and of course good food and good wine. Man I miss Ostrich biltong! Let me just put that out there, not to mention Bovril. Earlier this year a friend sent some over, needless to say, the pots are empty and the cravings are kicking back in.
Having said all that, let me tie it all up for relevancy sake. Yes I may be sitting here, reminiscing, in some ways, longing. But at the same time, I am very excited to know that when I pack up here tonight, and I climb into my car and head home, I am proud to take a moment and reflect back to the frightened woman that arrived at JFK with nothing but 2 bags, my partner and 2 dogs. I have been in the USA for 19 months, and working for 17 months. We now have our own little place that we call home, we don’t own (yet!) that update will come sooner than later (I hope!), we have some furniture, and we both have cars to get around in, licences to drive them, we have traveled every spare moment we could (collecting fridge magnets and photographs as our trophies) and bank accounts that we are furiously working to save into, to be able to put a deposit on a home that we are yet to find. We have been searching, a lot. But with 2 dogs admittedly, we are finding it difficult as we are wanting to find something that they call a “condominium” here, which is really just a fancy name for a townhouse complex, the benefit being they take care of all the snow shoveling and landscaping. Having spent a full year here now, let me just say, keeping the yard tidy between snow, and the excessive leaves that come down at the end of fall (Autumn) is tough work, something we are not terribly keen on at this time. Not now. No thanks. So a free standing house will be a last resort for us.
Any way, the fun is in the journey, and the reward is in the accomplishment. We have achieved many of these over this time, some smaller, some much larger, but all with the same amount of excitement and appreciation. Why? Because we truly, deeply appreciate the opportunity to both live and work in this great country, that has embraced us with open arms. And we are now starting to slowly but surely reap the benefits.
We have always been very hard workers, sometimes juggling multiple jobs just to try and get ahead, or keep up, but truly, now for the first time, we can see the benefits first hand, which becomes a positive cycle for us, because it spurs us on to keep going. We have opened our own Personal Training business (Yes I am going to punt it now http://www.everactivetraining.com), early stages, still have no idea what I am doing administratively or how we are going to grow this (that’s my part of the job, guaranteed I am going to make some mistakes, but hey, who cares, that is how we learn)
Onward and upwards professionally for us in 2019 in the USA, we have all the want, overflowing with desire and certainly no fear of pulling up our sleeves and getting stuck in. Merry Christmas everyone.
Keep the faith.