I just realised that I have not worn a watch for a decade now.
Or a school uniform (note: that’s not to say I have not since dressed up as a school girl!)
Not even had to curtsey and act colonial.
For ten whole sweet years now.
My fun-loving life really did only properly start after school.
Tomorrow I am going back to it all.
That good old first reunion
Of a bunch of people thrown together and forced to think we love one another.
Back to that white walled institution to… celebrate my ten years of freedom?
My dad and I still argue about the folks having decided on that school for my education.
I didn’t take to it.
I still get angry to think how they did their best to blind us to our South African reality.
We were too precious to scare with the world outside the walls.
Despite a five minute drive putting you smack bang in the most lawless neighbourhood of South Africa.
Did they mean to? Was it policy or were they reacting to hysterical parents?
I was in the rich world from Grade 1 till the end, and yet the whole time I never felt I belonged in it. Today I feel even less so. It’s a world I “just don’t get” anymore. So a whole day of tomorrow has me slightly anxious. (Although I have already promised a few more-anxiety-riddens that I’ll protect them. Ha!)
I always wonder how big a role the old school played in me becoming so self-assured and outspoken. So feminist in being. Loving a good argument and opinioned banter. Now having lost myself to the worlds of development and humanitarian issues.
It’s an age old argument. Hell, it’s resurfaced now with the UFS students and their racist acts – who has the bigger influence - the education institution or the family?
My mom says I’ve been confident since the day I was born. And growing up with more boys than there were pieces of furniture in the house made me learn to fight for my own. Get tough or get downtrodden (except in my household this often rather involved words, not fists). My dad encouraged me to be reading newspapers, watching doccies, and thinking for myself before I was on solids. While my maid had me chilling with her world when I still believed she was blood family.
So all in all, I lay blame for my reprobate self completely on the old folks. I blame the scars and night terrors completely on the school though.
Man, it’s gonna be fun finally getting boozed on school grounds. Bring the ten years on!