The other week I got an email. My application for an apartment in Redding, California was accepted.
The idea of moving out permanently is accompanied with a strong feeling of nostalgia and sadness wrapped together in excitement. For the past nineteen years, I’ve been living with my family. The last 5 months I’ve been living mainly out of a suitecase, not being at home often, and although it wasn’t always easy, I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything. But now…It’s different.
We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. My family went through a lot. And I suppose these things have brought us closer together. My two sisters and I had a lot of differences. Personality clashes, I always say. But I can’t imagine my life without them.
My sisters and I always had movie nights together. We would drag our matresses to the huge living room, and cover the entire floor with them. Blankets, pillows and more blankets followed. We would order too much pizza and eat so much chocolate we felt sick the next day. Those times are the times I remember the best. Falling asleep beside each other, with the dogs under the covers and a movie playing in the background. Then the next morning our dad would come wake us up by opening the curtains and joking how we looked like zombies. He was usually right. He would bring us coffee in bed, and there we would stay until we felt like being decent human beings again. That point was usually reached by midday.
Another one of my favourite memories was when we were washing dishes. It was during the time the dishwasher was broken. My mum was washing dishes, and my sisters, dad and I dried them and packed them away. So we’re drying the dishes and obviously the more we dry the wetter the towels become. What started as a simple chore, turned into a full on wet towel war. Spinning the wet towels, then hitting each other on the legs while trying to run away from someone else’s towel. The hilarious battle of trying to dodge hits while trying to smack someone else moved outside. There were no lights on, so you had to be careful of the pool, the excited dogs and whatever else may be waiting for you outside. The night ended with lots of laughs, purple marks on our legs and something I will always remember.
If I have to think of all the things my sisters and I did, I could write a book about all our adventures. From the times we stood in the middle of the street trying to hitch a ride as a joke then freaking out when someone actually pulled over, to building hammocks in trees, and a stage that toppled over and nearly left us with broken arms.
We would tell each other scary stories before bed, then be too terrified to go to sleep so end up cuddling to console each other. Which would end in the one kicking the other in their sleep. Or we would lie on the trampoline under the stars, and talk about life.
Now my older sister is all grown up and living on the other side of the country. Studying and following her dreams. My baby sister is not a baby anymore, and heading to grade 10 next year, and myself, I’ll be in America.
Life is changing. I’m so used to myself growing up. Growing older. That sometimes I forget everyone around me are also growing. Learning. Getting older. More mature. Wiser. Everything is changing. And it’s also difficult. It’s difficult to leave your home country. Especially one that is so beautiful and diverse as South Africa. It’s difficult to think you’ll leave behind your entire support system. People who have always been there. Everything will be different. Everything you’ve ever known and come to love. But perhaps, change may be a good thing
Love and Blessings