Who am I?

I have no idea really. It seems to be an ever evolving thing. I am a sister, and a daughter and a friend. I am a teacher, a student, an artist, a writer, a creative. I am all of these things, they are all part of me. But they don’t add up to me.    

“Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, the you inevitably become it – that is your punishment, but if you never know, then you can be anything. There is truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.”

Stephan Fry

Flopping around for a bit…

Leaving school, they always ask you what you wanted to be like you are suppose to know at the tender age of 18. And I never wanted to choose a career. Ugh – doing one thing for the rest of my life?? No Thanks!!! And so I could never answer that question.

What did I want to be? I never wanted to BE anything. I wanted to DO many things, what could I choose that would allow me to do everything? I didn’t know.  

Of course I went to university straight out of high school, because that is what one did. After a while, I realised that that wasn’t a really good reason to study anything at all. That was not how I wanted to live my life!! So, I made my first step towards stopping doing things just because that was how they were done.

I became a drop out.

Everyone asked me “but what now?” “What will you do?”; “What do you want to be?”

I still didn’t having a fucking clue.

And alas – without a plan, or an underlining idea for my life… I ended up flopping around, uselessly until I ended up with a temp job. While I was working this job I would figure out my next move was.

I didn’t.  

I learnt a hell of a lot of cool things but, I got sucked into the world of work, . Then I became full-time. Then I applied for a promotion – because that is what is done when you are building a career.

And it sucked. I could no longer hide from the fact that this was supposed to be a temp job, I was supposed to be figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, and I had accidentally found an unfulfilling career.  

Running away…

So (quite reasonably) I quit my job; withdrew my pension and took off in a VW City Golf with my then boyfriend for a month across Southern African.

This was IT! I was going to have an epiphany under the stars in Namibia and come home with a new focus, and plan, a dream to chase. I was sure of it!

We drove 10 000km across Southern Africa partying, partaking in some incredible charity work, meeting amazing people, and getting really lost while hunting for dinosaur tracks….  

I got home, exhausted, dirty and having had the best time of my life. My savings was dwindling, and I still had no cooking clue what I wanted to do with my life. (Turns out you can’t plan to get slapped by the epiphany tree) . 

I went for a few interviews, and this my darling friends… is where the beginning of the epiphany started… it was slow, and unclear and rather quite hard to really capture.

The big AHA!

I realised the same realisation that so many before me have realised. One that so many still to come will. It is nothing new, nothing really all that revolutionary. But it was a deep inner shift inside me that changed my life.

I realised that I didn’t need to find the perfect job, the one that I would be doing forever. I was looking at my life in terms of decades, and that is where my problem lay.

I needed to be happy in the present, not some distant unimaginable future.

I needed a job that every day I would walking home with something. And I needed to be OK with not knowing if a career would happen from that. I needed to be OK with not having a plan. My biggest problem was always worrying about what would happen in twenty years. Where would this lead. And I can’t see the future. So I never committed to a profession.

This outlook changed how I experienced the daily things.

I suddenly didn’t need to worry about what my career would do. My commitment was to myself and my happiness. Not a superficial, instant gratification type happiness, but a consistent, deep, burning happiness that existed despite the external problems we experience in our lives.

I was still jobless, but I was no longer flopping around. I believed I was in the right place and the right things would happen if I only stayed open to the opportunities that presented themselves.

And guess what happened?

About two weeks from when I needed to start selling my body for money to eat – I got a phone-call that, with my old anxiety about the future, I might never had accepted. I was still developing this feeling inside me. Quite honestly, I had no idea what was happening at the time.

The phone call was to temp for two weeks at a school as an aftercare teacher.

Work with kids? I had never enjoyed kids, or spent time with them, or really given them much of a thought at all. I was skeptical… but the combination of running out of money and this new desire to see where the universe would take me. I said yes. I went with the flow.

Joke was on me!

Haha! Universe… you whiley thing! That small acted of letting go of control and worry for the future changed everything.

Now, nearly 5 years later, I still work with children.

I have taught all ages – 5 to 20. I have taught kids to read, write, do math, draw, act. I have taught Shakespeare, and poetry, and exercise, and how to deal with mean Susie. How to share, how to believe in yourself, how to see the bigger picture, how to wash your hands and wipe your bum, and well everything in between.  

And I have learnt.

I have learnt  how to listen, and to understand, how to believe in myself and deal with mean Susie (kids are mean!). I have learnt how to share, see the bigger picture, how to work hard, how to care so much it hurts sometimes, and how to let go. And I am still learning and growing every day.  

I wish I could say that in the past 5 years I always remembered to let myself go with the flow, and stay in the present. I didn’t. Leading to some of the hardest learning curves of my life (so far). I still struggle with letting go of control, surrendering to the universe.

But what have learnt about myself and life has been worth every moment.

The now…

I am now a home school teacher of a little school (8 adorable and horrible children) in the middle of the bush in South Africa. Surrounded by leopards, and elephants and hyenas, and all sorts of creatures and critters.

Trying my best to teach them something while I am in their lives. I have also begun the journey of studying to become a yoga instructor, playing with my creative side, and well… attempting to write about the wonderful thing we all share. Life.  

And I love my life!

I may not want to be a teacher forever. Or in the bush forever. I have no idea what awaits me around the next corner, but that’s the thing isn’t it? We can plan and plan and plan… and that means nothing because life has other plans for us.

We cannot tell what is going to happen, what kind of phone-call we will get today that will change our lives in so many ways!   And to let go of your expectations and plans and allow life to unfold in its own magical way; while focusing on making the best of every single moment you have. Well that’s what I advocate!  

“Life is a highway and I’m gonna ride it, everyday a winding road, yeah. My rollercoaster’s got the biggest ups and downs, but as long as it keeps going round it’s unbelievable!”

Kimya Dawson

So follow me along on my journey to appreciate the little things, learn everything I can about a ridiculously wide variety of topics, and see where this journey takes me next…   Who knows? Perhaps you could do with a little letting go yourself 🙂  

If you want to get in touch with me to ask any questions, or just want to say hi! You can email me at info@highwaycarnival.co.za 🙂  

“Life is like a carnival ride. You can play it safe and ride the merry-go-round, it’s predictable. But, myself  personally, I will ride the rollercoaster, for all its glory and thrills, It’s ups and downs, twists and turns.”