Tag Archives: life

One year in Joburg

This Sunday marks one year since Alistair, Boo and I packed up our Cape Town lives for the bright lights and big city of Jozi. Well, bright lights isn’t completely accurate due to regular power cuts, although the spectacular sunsets more than make up for it.

The first six months were a bit rough on my Capetonian sensibilities, but I grow to love Joburg more every day. This city has tested and stretched me in so many ways. It’s made me tougher, more honest with myself and, oddly, less spoilt. If you’d told me in Cape Town that I’d have to drive 40 minutes to work every day, I would have said “Never!”

I’ve had a few unlucky experiences, almost like the city was testing me:

  • 1 x smash-and-grab
  • 1 x bribe request from JMPD
  • 1 x truck landing on my car with me in it
  • Really crappy summer weather

However, the good stuff has been really, really good:

  • Lots of amazing new friends
  • 3 x very close girlfriends who I adore
  • 4 x fantastic trips to Zim, Moz and Clarens
  • 2 x great jobs with super-talented people
  • Book launches, dinners, music and wine

I haven’t been to Cape Town since February and I think that’s helped. Living between cities may sound glamorous, but a little commitment goes a long way. In fact, after saying for the past year that “I won’t buy property in Joburg”, Al and I have now bought a beautiful 177m2 flat in Killarney.

Many Capetonians have blinkers on when it comes to Joburg. They want to stay where they’ve always been, whereas living in Joburg makes you want to go everywhere – and the rewards have been worth it. I feel like I’ve become a grown-up. I’m more confident, less melodramatic and stronger as a person.

We will return to Cape Town one day. If I have kids, I want them surrounded by family like I was. But until then, I’m really looking forward to three or four more years in Jozi.

30 Things I Know At 30

I turn 30 on Sunday. As great as they were, I’m quite happy to leave my 20s behind. Hallo new decade! And here’s what I figured out in the last one:

  • There’s no such thing as too many shoes.
  • People will disappoint you, but you’ve disappointed them too.
  • Marry the love of your life, the one who makes you laugh.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Your 20s are for being selfish and self-absorbed.
  • Don’t drink all night if you have a presentation the next day.
  • Nothing is sacred.
  • There’s a difference between being a friend and being used.
  • Macaroni cheese can cure most problems.
  • You should have got over your quarter-life crisis by now.
  • Sometimes love is not enough.
  • Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of energy.
  • Nobody has all the answers.
  • Use eye cream every night.
  • Taking responsibility for your actions is part of being a grown-up; blaming others is part of being a child.
  • Nothing is forever.
  • What seemed exciting or romantic at 25 was really just sordid.
  • The GHD is the best invention since mascara.
  • People don’t change, although they sometimes evolve.
  • Everybody hurts.
  • Nothing is what it seems.
  • Hey Jude is a great karaoke song.
  • There are three sides to every story.
  • Learn when to cut your losses.
  • Prioritise your time, it goes by faster every year.
  • Cheap make-up looks, well, cheap.
  • Don’t take stuff personally.
  • Never put anyone on a pedestal.
  • Don’t eat garlic the night before a job interview.
  • Life’s too short – and it goes on.

The birthday invitation my mom made 25 years ago.