Written by Cheryl Khuphe
If someone at exactly this time last year had told me that I would spend my next birthday in Harare, I would have looked at them, furrowed my brows and told them to crawl back into whichever hole they came from.
That’s how mad the thought would have made me.
While I am definitely not attracted to easy – I like comfortable.
I was so comfortable in Bulawayo even high water would have cascaded with me to another part of Bulawayo.
Simply put I was not moving!
Until life happened. 3 days after my birthday, my work life changed. It felt like everything, I had ever known or held dear was dead.
In one day, I lost my innocence and realised that life could change in the blink of an eye, but sometimes even a blink is too long a wait.
In two days the faces in the office changed.
So there I was looking for my sanity, grappling at anything that would give meaning to whatever I was feeling, it was as if I were carrying a torchlight looking for a needle in the dark.
As I turn 26, young to some and old to some, I now know that sometimes we have to be uncomfortable to make life changing decisions.
Sometimes the rug needs to be pulled from under our feet for us to realise we were standing on a thin sheet of ice the whole time.
So it was during that week that I had a light bulb moment.
I realised that I could be comfortable but unhappy.
Does this mean happiness is in far off lands, God forbid!
Happiness is the state of your heart anywhere and anytime.
But my heart wasn’t really pumping in earnest; it was just pumping so that I could exist.
I had no new dreams and was simply immune to the ambition bug.
With no child, no love life, no business, no school I decided to grab life by the horns and move to Harare.
Of course I had to get a job first to make the move. I wonder how I must have looked like, checking in to the bus.
Multitudes of bags, teary eyed and continuously giving long hugs to my mother and brother but oh well, it’s not every day you realise I am leaving everything I know to everything I don’t know.
Months later, while I don’t have good days all the time, I don’t regret moving. Not because everyone says Harare will give me new opportunities but simply because I took the opportunity.
Simply because I folded item after item of clothing, neatly packed it, loaded my suitcases and presented myself to the City Link bus on a Saturday morning at 7.30am.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I know whatever challenges, obstacles and triumphs come my way, I will not shy away from the challenge.
I don’t have it all figured out but if I did then I wouldn’t need to wake up every morning.
I realise that I can’t have made the move, endured the uncertainty and made it through each day without the love and support of my family and my friends.
Since this is women’s month I will roll out the thank yous to the females that have been especially instrumental in the last 8 months.
I am a little apprehensive to do this in case I miss any names but it’s my birthday, forgive me!
Thanks to my mom (who loved me a whole 9 months before I took my first breath), my aunts (Sikhumbulani Mangena, Thabani Siziba, Thobekile Siziba, Medury Siziba, Noma Mangena, Leticia Siso) who never go a week without checking on me.
To my granny who keeps me grounded, my youngens Charlotte Khuphe, Charmaine Mhlophe, Shirley Khumbula and Tabita Dube who make me smile always and to my cousins Cindy Siso, Mpume Siso, Sandra Ndiweni, Khule Siso, one of these days we should all be in a room together mncwaaah.
For my older sisters from other mothers Mucha Ncube, Nhla and my mentors: Lucy Gimane and Karen Kelley who believe in me.
And to my gals: Chele Sidambe, Snqoe Ndlovu, Sile Mathe, Gracious Ndlovu Gumbo, Petronella Nyathi, Nothando Ndlovu, Buhle Maphosa, Nozie Mlalazi, Rorisang Tlou, Wendy Mutema, Snokuthaba Ndebele (lol Snowy), Claire Jones (haha), Sibongiseni Mthwazi, Tapiwa Malaba Ncube – I might be blowing my own horn but I know you will never think twice about picking up my calls.
You have been there through this challenging phase of my life.
While I didn’t really state it outright – my 25th was the hardest year I have ever had to endure!
Thank you God, for all these lovely ladies, in blessing – bless them indeed!
And note to self: have faith, live, laugh, be kind and simply be!