You call it scary, I call it home

Yeah, yeah – I know. The Middle East is fucked up. And I live smack dab in the middle of it. I get it, I live a tumultuous country, especially now that there is currently a flood of news reports about the “Israeli Palestinian Conflict.”

I’m not gonna go on a political rant here (ok, maybe I will but I’ll keep it short) but what the fuck. Imagine that you’re on your way to work, minding your own business when suddenly you are faced with an attacker holding a knife. Your punishment is death – the crime? being Israeli. Obviously once an attacker is caught, he is shot (whether to be absolutely sure that he is neutralized or because of an eye-for-an-eye mentality I can’t say). Then the international news goes on to report that you, the victim were the cause for incitement and that the attacker was some bystander who was shot and killed. Not only is that false  reporting (looking at you, CNN) but it’s completely infuriating to see. Whatever, that’s besides the point. I’d also like to mention that I stay aware of my surroundings and have never once felt anything but safe.

On that note, I’d like to point out that life goes on. My cousin this morning told me that the news alerts of attacks are less shocking to her each time they happen – that you have no choice but to get “used to it” as much as you can.

I expected that moving here would be complicated. I never expected that moving here would mean that I would be put in situations where I am asked to give up my sanity, my livelihood and my sense of security. That is simply not an option. When you love something, whether it be a place, a person or whatever, you recognize the flaws. You accept them. Then you move forward.

Which brings me to my main point of this post: that throughout all of this stress, all of the turmoil, I had that feeling a few nights ago. That feeling you get when you suddenly realize that you have reached most of your goals and that you’re pretty damn proud of yourself.

Walking home from my second week at a new job, I realized that wow, I’ve really accomplished a lot. I moved to a new country. I learned a new language. I experienced real love with an amazing guy. I made great friends. I found a job, twice. I found an apartment, also twice. I found out who I am.

The past two and a half years have taught me not just how to get my shit together, but how to manage it too. And I never would have had the chance to experience these perfect things if not for me being in this turbulent and messy country that I love so very much.

beach

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An ode to my father

My dad is an amazing man, which I’ve always known. But I’ve never fully appreciated how strong and persistent he is, until now. 

Over 30 years ago, my dad moved from South Africa to America. He had no family, no money, and university loans awaiting him in Houston, Texas. But being the brave man he is, he flew around the world and started a life for himself.

Being so far away, and with international calls being so expensive, it was difficult for him to talk to his family more than once a month or so. I honestly can’t even imagine going that long without talking to my family. Just the thought of it makes me sand and upset. But my father, being the persevering and determined man that he is didn’t let that stop him from finishing optometry school and eventually settling into a new life that he alone established.

23 years later, I, like my father before me, moved halfway across the world. It’s hard growing up, regardless of where in the world you are, but this transition seems especially hard for me since I’m so far from my loved ones. Thankfully for me, I am able to call, text, facebook, and blog to keep in touch with everyone that I left back in America. Even with all of this new technology available, I am still struggling to feel like I’m not missing out on things back home.

I can say with 100% certainty that should I not be able to talk to my family at least once a week, I would have moved back to America by now. I have no idea how my fearless father was able to be so independent, so tenacious, so courageous. I’m truly in awe of you, Dad.