I have had an adventurous life. Well that is to say the least! I honestly wouldn’t change any of it. It has taken me years to feel as though I have found myself and I strongly believe my roots and my childhood shaped me and my life today.
My childhood was spent outdoors in beautiful South Africa where I was born and raised. My family and I immigrated to Australia in 2001. For anyone who has immigrated or more so anyone who has ever left Africa, you will understand how gut wrenching this feeling is. Africa is not just a place, it is a feeling. It is a call to your soul and your very being. It is a smell of the dust and the rain and it is the passion of its people who fight everyday for freedom, and even for their lives. If it were possible I would tell you that I literally feel as if I have Africa in my blood stream. Africa is in my roots and has been the corner stone of all of my major life events.
From a young age my family and I spent holidays in the bush, following animals and camping in the high veld waiting for the afternoon storm to erupt and eventually rumble past. My dad taught us about the animals and about the landscape, all of which we share an immense passion for to this day. There is nothing quite like being in the middle of the African bush. It is indescribable, although I always seem to find myself trying to put into words in an attempt to express the magnitude of its beauty. I still feel an immense connection to the land and the people there and those ties have taken me back year after year.
Perhaps I hold an even greater love for Africa because that is where I met Gareth. First time around we were eight and spent our days climbing in the avocado trees, swimming or exploring. Fast forward 12 years and I met my soul mate. The blonde boy who grew up and subsiquently changed my life. Not only did he shake things up but he is the reason that I packed up and moved all the way back to South Africa in 2014, this time leaving my family in Australia.
If you had met me when I was 16 I probably would have given you a completely different view of how I envisioned my life. At 16 I was at more castings for shoots than I was at school and by 18 I had my debut at Melbourne Fashion week. I didn’t care too much about studying or about homework. I just remember having this incredibly feeling that I needed to find myself. And I guess I have. It wasn’t over night or even in the space of a year but in the last few years I have managed not only to accept who I am but to embrace it. Not an easy road to navigate but I guess all these things have played a role in shaping my life as I know it now. I regret giving up a career I had dreamed of being in for so long but perhaps I wasn’t cut out for the fashion world at a young age where a thick skin and an huge amount of confidence was needed – neither of which I had!
It wasn’t until I moved back to South Africa and started living with Gareth that I felt I had a true sense of identity. Not because I needed someone else to validate me but because I felt free to be exactly who I am. I also felt as if I grew a lot with Gareth as he constantly inspires and encourages me. I guess too because after years of a long distance relationship I finally felt like my soul was at peace. I am blessed to have supporting and loving people in my life, all of who have been fundamental to my journey. I found myself in a career as a fashion buyer and subsequently found my passion too, through long hours and blood swear and tears. I honestly believe you don’t know stress until you have worked behind the scenes in fashion and retail! It is a content thats for sure. The clock never stops in this 24 hour retail world. So in a way these past few years were by far the hardest and also the best. But you know how life is, as soon as you are comfortable you get shaken up again! And thats exactly what has happened.
I guess my reasoning behind this blog is because I basically love writing. I also love hearing other peoples’ stories. This is a personal growth project for me too. I have been threatening to write a blog for so long it is actually getting embarrassing now! There’s nothing worse than being proved wrong! So if you like, follow my journey as I explore my options and figure out what the next few months and even years hold for me.
This is also to help pass the time until Gareth can immigrate and we can start our lives together. I hope this blog serves a purpose in your life as I discover the purpose in mine.