Growing up in the Free State and always having to travel for what felt like days to get to civilisation, was probably the main contributing factor to my love for the city I now get to call home. In the beginning, my reasoning was typical and shallow: anything I want and/or need is available at any given time and I can have it within a short period. In Johannesburg, where everything happens swiftly, one quickly gets used to life in the fast lane… but wisdom does not come in a day and the greatest lesson of them all: learning the ropes can take away from your character as much as it can add. The keyword, I’d say, is perspective.
After two years of living the dream, I can say (thankfully) that I’ve been around the block. From street art to fine dining, Joburg has so much to give and I’ve taken as much as I could carry… until I started to feel the weight. Tired and worn out, significantly unexcited about things that used to drive me, I became an observer – silently staring at the crowds who were indulging in the city lights and all that shines from it – no longer taking part, no longer being lit.
At first, the city taught me to be independent, responsible and confident; then all of a sudden it turned me into the complete opposite. I suppose that’s what happens when you forget that you are the one in control of your life. You determine who you are – not the people around you, the places you go or the clothes you wear.
I realised that I have changed since the day I first came here and that I needed to change my perspective, too. It’s not what you look at, but how you choose to look at it. Once I stopped complaining about the steep journey, I got to see the amazing view and (needless to say) I fell in love all over again.