Today for the first time in over 20 years, I woke up to the reality that I am not a student, and I am unemployed. It has to be the strangest feeling ever. It is so surreal and so not me. I caught myself wondering how people who do not have jobs and are not studying cope every day. It has to be very stressful and depressing. On the lighter side of things, I feel free, and mostly I feel happy because I have a plan, my situation is temporary. I am also quite sad because Port Elizabeth or PE as I prefer to call it has been a big part of my life for the past 7+ years. I was almost 19 when I first arrived here. I was very naïve, to say the least. I come from a small town so living in a city was a big move for me.
I arrived in Port Elizabeth on a hot Monday, on January 18, 2010. Before that day, I had never been to PE, the only information I had about the city was through the internet and television. Perhaps the most stupid decision I made that day was to hitchhike to a city I didn’t even know, what the hell was I thinking? I didn’t know anyone, didn’t know anything, the funniest (only funny now) part of all is that I didn’t have a place to stay. If there is a day that made me believe in God and reassured me that there are good people in this world it has to be that day (maybe one day I’ll write a detailed post about the events of that day).
When I arrived at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) looking exhausted and very lost, a lady by the name of Mukondelile Matumba approached me. Her intention was to evangelise to me, but upon seeing that I was a lost puppy, she took me under her wing. She made sure that by the end of that day I had a place to sleep and a decent meal, she then spent the next couple days helping find a place to stay. She didn’t have to do this; she didn’t even know me; she could have just pointed me to other people and left me to figure everything by myself, but she didn’t. She was there every step of the way sorting out everything and that to make sure I was okay. I owe her my life. This story is a summary of my first three days in PE; they were not my happiest and brightest days.
I am happy that my last days are not as stressful but not the happiest either. I mean, it’s not easy to just pack up my bags and wave goodbye as if I almost a decade in this place but I’ve grown enough to establish my ground and independence. I’ve made a lot of memories, befriended many people, but most importantly I’ve grown. Today I’ve completed two and a half degrees, (lol the half represents the master’s degree I am yet to complete). As I stand on my window, playing back the last seven years in my head, everything brings on pure nostalgia, it’s been an incredible journey but comfort is a great thief of adventure, and I am ready for my next adventure…