Growing up, I didn’t have the perfect family or the perfect life. For starters, my father was absent from my life, only appearing when he was in town for reasons other than just wanting to spend time with his daughter. My mother had to raise my younger brother and I single-handedly on the wage of a housekeeper/babysitter, and up to this day, I don’t know how she got it right, but she did. We stayed in a bungalow at the back of my grandmother’s house with no water or ablution facility and sometimes hardly anything to eat besides bread and tea.
During high school, I figured that I didn’t want to live this way for the rest of my life, and I no longer wanted this life for my mother either. I knew that I had to continue my education in order for me to get a good job and earn a decent salary, because I wanted to make changes in the way our life was at the time.
After I completed high school, I applied to study education at various universities, but I got rejected. I then had to go work in a contact center as a customer service representative so that I could at least earn some money. I applied again to study while I was working, but sadly got rejected again. I fell into a deep pit of depression. Why wasn’t the Universe cooperating with what I wanted to do?
Finally, I got accepted on the third attempt, and I received a good bursary that covered almost everything that I needed. Being a university student was hard, and there were times I felt like giving up when things became too overwhelming. I had to figure things out and do everything on my own with little to no help or support from my family. But with hard work and determination, I successfully completed my degree in education last year.
It goes to show that regardless of where you’re from (and trust me, I live in one of the most poverty-stricken, drug and gang infested, and low employment rated suburbs in Cape Town, South Africa), what your domestic and financial situation is like, how much support you have from your family and friends, or even how many times you feel like giving up, life truly is what you make of it.
Although I had to work my ass off to achieve what was destined for me and came face to face with failure and rejection along the way, it had to happen the way it did. Some people’s paths in life are easier than others’, and some people just have it much better than others do. But I truly believe that no matter what your path is and how long it takes to cross that path, it is significant to you. It’s all about what YOU make of it.