Today, I woke up with a good feeling. That feeling you get when something exciting is about to happen, whether you know it or not. The feeling of complete wholeness, where you are in total disregard of your own flaws, or those of the people around you. That feeling that gets you in touch with you, the real you. The you only you know. And it’s an amazing feeling, I’m going to live to see what the day has in store!
Over the past few months, I haven’t had many of the luxuries I used to enjoy in the States, the constant facebooking, web chatting, you tube surfing, gossip seeking, mall sprees, Haagen Dasz Dulce de Leche ice cream (oh that thing is proof that God really does love us), 4 hours on the phone at a go, GOOD ROADS, cheap movie cinemas, student discounts, baileys, 9 thanksgiving dinner offers, 4 of them from faculty members, victoria’s secret……and the list goes on. Living in Swaziland has definitely NOT been living in the States. But it has been a blessed living. I will admit, when I made the decision to come back for a while, I knew it had the potential to be one of the most frustrating things I ever did. Do believe, I have done many-a-frustrata in my life, and I know the “What was I thinking?!?!?!” feeling aaaaaaaaaaaaaaalll too well. Ya, like the time I thought neurophysiology can be studied in one night, and when I thought he was the one. But you know how God can sometimes put u in a position where that stupid thing yre about to do, is pretty much the only thing you can do? And when you make the decision, it comes with tears, curses and “I can’t believe I’m actually moving back under my mother’s roof” comments daily. (And yes, if you’ve lived on your own for a while, please don’t ever move back in with your mother).
But the truth of the matter is this.
I love it.
Even when I hate it really badly.
I can’t even begin to think how I could have ever been an effective, surviving, strong and appreciative individual without having this experience that I’ve had. I’ve attended more funerals in my few months home, than in my entire 8 years in the States. I’ve passed by a hospital highway, thinking people were queue-ing for a bus to Mbabane, when they had all been in line since 5 am, waiting for a doctor. I have visited children who have made their own toys all through life. PS2, anyone? I have met the selfishest of men, and the humblest of grandmothers. I have seen 13 year old teenagers on the laps of old, ugly married men. I have walked the mile, and felt it too. I have learnt how to walk to a friend’s place rather than give her a call. I have learnt that when you are excited about having just enough, you are the richest person on earth. I have loved and lived, and the living has been worth it. I have met Nonhle, who lives in a roofless house in Ngculwini. The first thing she said when she saw me was “I really like your hair”. I have jammed to DJ Fresh and Church Mass Choirs. I even went to a TD Jakes crusade the other day! Funny how that would happen to me in …. Swaziland? I finally find jeans that fit my bum. I have lived, friends. I have cried and laughed, and at the end of the day, I am still living. I live on the delicious mangoes on my backyard, and the addictive chips at Shoprite. I build dreams and create the ways to achieve them. Ive experienced more than one, or two, worlds. And that, to me, is living.
And on World AIDS Day, let’s remember to live. Live to see, to help, to conquer, and to become. Let’s live to be the change, and see the change. Lets remember that even after we’ve read all the statistics, they may tell us 1 in 3, 1 in 5, or 1 in 19 … but the truth of the matter is, whether or not you are infected, you too, are living with AIDS.
RIP Cousin G. You lived your life, and lived it well.