It was the first day in February, the sun was out, the sky was clear but the wind picked up as the morning went on. The roads weren’t as busy as we expected them to be but that was because we left the house at a well enough time, 10am to be exact. We left with my sister’s boxes filled with clothes and shoes packed in the trunk of the car as we drove to Stellenbosch.
We took the less scenic route to her new place, the route that had robots at every turn. We drove for an hour, if not more, with Google maps directing my father. Small conversations were held while the radio played in the background, making the drive seem bearable. As we drove pass Stellenbosch University my sister told us about her plans once her classes started, the excitement was evident in her voice. My sister was happy she was doing what she had always wanted to do and that made me happy.
Soon enough we approached the house in which she would be staying for the year ahead. Everyone got out of the car and she unlocked the gate for us to enter her new place. My mother and I walked behind her into the house, both of us feeling the exact same emotion: sadness. She showed us around and told us about what she had prepared for her new place. I stepped outside feeling overwhelmed and stared into the distance admiring the beautiful view of the mountains and trees, thinking about how her mornings would be on her way to campus and how proud I was of my sister for breaking generational curses. With the sun beaming down I walked back to the car to help unload and unpack the boxes.
After helping my sister unpack, I spoke myself out of expressing any sadness because she was happy and I didn’t want to ruin it in any way.
“Ons moet nou ry, (we must leave now),” said my father.
I dreaded those words because that meant I had to say goodbye, even though I would be visiting my sister as often as possible, I was still going to miss her. I put a smile on my face, held back my tears and hugged her tightly covering her face with kisses as a goodbye. She hugged my father and brother goodbye but when it came to my mother, tears started rolling down both their cheeks.
“Come back home,” my mother said.
“I can’t I have to do this,” she replied.
We said our goodbyes one more time before promising that we’d fetch her to come home for the weekend. We all got into the car and waved goodbye. On the drive back home we took the scenic route, the straight road with vineyards on the side of the road and the beach heading into our area. The car ride was quiet with only the radio playing, my mind drifted off to what my future might look like. I had no plans but my sister inspired me to plan and secure my future.
After that day I decided that life is too short to be stuck in a small town and that there are so many opportunities out there. Every single person, no matter their circumstances, is destined for greatness. My sister going to university changed the way I viewed life and because I view life differently, my life changed. I no longer doubt myself or my capabilities. It amazes me that such a simple day could change my perspective on life and my unplanned, yet bright future. I am more determined than anything to do something meaningful with my life.
Tell us: Do you have someone in your life that you admire?