From Cape to Cairo, or rather for me, From Ballito to Cape Town
I tend not to write anything unless I know that what I write will matter. This post is essentially to collect my recent events and what I am keeping myself busy with.
The year went its course and at the start of 2014 I never would have thought that I will be in Cape Town by the end of the year. I mean, I was getting itchy to keep an eye out for a place to buy in Ballito, but knew that my budget isn't reaching yet, so I had my hopes up.
Unfortunately life throws doge balls around and things went sour. I can not say that the months leading up to me starting to open up the possibility of a new job was an adventure. It was filled with frustration and hard work without reward. You know, sometimes a simple 'thank you' is going a long way, but that did not happen often. And the point came where it was expected to work even harder after 4-and-a-bit years of running at maximum capacity. I just couldn't go on like that for much longer, I am sure I would end up burning up.
So when shit finally hit the fan, I knew that it was an indication to broaden my horizons. At first I did not know what to do. I mean, I have been stable in my job for a long time, and change is not easy, but apart from the work habitat, other factors had to be taken into account as well. I started building up my CV, updating it with the relevant information, doing research, asking for help, put it in a nice format and then redo it. That took several tries before I felt confident that with what I have, it is time to move on without looking back.
In the meantime I had thoughts about going to Ireland after someone suggested that, and it looked very appealing! Quality of life seems good. It is a gateway to Europe. It's not in Africa. And there seem to be a lot of benefits with having that association once you get into Europe.
But I could not leave my family behind, totally unreachable. It's not cheap to travel. It's not a joke to travel that far. And for people like my mom and dad, the physical separation is really bad. I've noticed that with my sister and brother-in-law that emigrated to Australia. It took its chunks out of my mom's heart, and I could not do the same.
Eventually Cape Town just fell onto my radar... That was about the time that I realised that there is no freaking way that I am moving to Gauteng, and it is quite clear that there is nothing that I am interested in, in Durban.
It was a long process of planning. It is not easy to look for a new job in a different province. Well, it's not easy looking for a new job. Period. I knew that finding one available job and going to Cape Town is quite risky and I held off for a while. Working with Career Agencies was no easy task either. There are mountains of paper work before you actually get anywhere. And the phone calls. Oh the phone calls during lunch time. I felt so dirty. Not sure if it feels the same being in an abusive relationship and you still want out. I imagine it to be something similar. But it all got better, and once I saw the possibilities out there, everything started coming together.
I had my flights planned and took leave for 2 days to travel to the Mother City after I secured 5-and-a-half interviews. Luckily for me, I had a good friend in Cape Town that offered to be my Chauffeur over the 2 days. And it was a blessing in disguise in deed. Had I taken the rental car option, I would totally be screwed!
All my interviews went beyond my expectations, and it was a proper indication to me that I did make progress and that I should not be as worked up about inferiority as I were.
After a successful trip and one week later, I ended up with 4 job offers and I was over the moon. That gave me the freedom of choice, to make a good decision depending on what was available, although you just have that feeling of 'The One' that attracts you the most. The fortunate decision fell on a company called Afrozaar which has a very well knit-together team of passionate experts. I still recall the morning I went for the interview. I was psyched up and excited, but still had my nerves rattling.
I got in and was greeted friendly by someone and then we proceeded to priorities - coffee. It was a lot more informal than I expected! And my boss-to-be (by boss and who I report to is not the same person. It is a me-thing, in that I feel my boss is the one who I work with and communicate with mostly) was busy setting up a multi-player game on 3 devices. I wasn't sure that that was going to be part of the interview... but it was!
So basically, this game tests communication and listening skills. Each player is part of a team that controls a space ship. Each player has some controls, and an instruction screen. Don't be fooled to think that the instructions are only for you... they might be, but it's not guaranteed. As you get instructions and see that it's not your own, you need to indicate to the others what action is required, AND you have to be open to interpret incoming action requests, because you don't know who has what controls. And then the control panel degrades and you have to repair it in order to get back in the game.
It is so quick-paced and you have to really focus to get anything done! It was a very joyful experience in the end.
Eventually I ended up in Cape Town. It was as beautiful as I remember it to be. Actually even more beautiful. I'm in the Southern Suburbs in an area called Bergvliet. It is incredibly beautiful around here, with a view of the mountain - not the classic Table Mountain view, but still a majestic mountain view. I still appreciate it every day.
It was hard leaving my 2 social circles back in Ballito - the photo club, and the radio control club. And I have not found a replacement for it yet, but something changed for me. I do like to get outdoors a bit more. Not full blown outdoors and activities, but just not staying at home all the time. Currently it's not happening during the week, only on weekends, but I do try to get out.
I used to be quite happy on my own, and had no issue spending long periods without interaction from other life forms. But I definitely reached a stage in life where I need to pave my own way. Make my own decisions and get involved. Get involved with anything. Doing your own thing is tiresome. It becomes dull and predictable. I developed the need to be in contact with other people. I have the need to get friends that aren't guys. Lady friends. It's still not an easy task if you're not used to them but I am trying.
And there are also four-legged friends! I'm a cat person by choice, although I don't disapprove of dogs. I just feel like I understand and enjoy cats more. I have not owned a pet dog or cat before, simply because of my line of work and I'm single. I tried thinking of ways to get something, but no conclusions justified me getting a pet. And that is where someone convinced me of trying out volunteering. I had to do a little bit of research to find out where I can get involved, and I got a suggestion later on.
So this past weekend I went to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to attend a Volunteer Orientation. I had hoped to actually get down and dirty and be involved with the animals, but they turn out to be very strict! And the orientation was a 2-hour long session where the ins and outs of the SPCA were discussed. One walks out of there with mixed feelings. Hope, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Peace, Determination.
In the weeks to come I am going to try out helping at Lucky Lucy. Maybe I'm going to try the walk for some exercise or the cattery for showing some affection. This volunteering thing interested me a bit and I'm sure it will be a way to get to know other people :)
This, in a nutshell, is how 2014 turned out for me and where I'm currently at. I'm excited about the future and even though there are hard times, they also pass and things go better again.