I’m currently sitting in the library of my old highschool, about to help my mother teach Macbeth to a bunch of kids from the rural schools in the area.
For now I’m trying to finish some marking for the assistant lecturing job I worked hard to get, at the table where I used to study for my matric exams, and where I wrote a bad poem about using sunlight to warm my soul when my highschool boyfriend broke up with me. I’m staring out the same window I used to stare out whenever I was stuck on a Math problem, or wondering why the dude whose locker was next to mine didn’t like me back (he’s gay, Harriet).
I just took a trip to the prayer garden round the back of the building that looks out onto the river. I sat there dramatically in a cloud of gnats, and reflected on how many times I’ve stared out into my life-shaped abyss only have it stare back at me and say “baby girl, you’ll be grand.”
“I know you think everything demands to be felt so loudly, but you always bounce back from adversity with this insane tenacity and defiance. You’ll be fine, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.”
I’m sitting back where I first started. And I’d like to think that the inner-me who is still sitting in her school uniform, staring out onto the river and writing bad poetry about quick-moving clouds and her sunlight-coloured soul, would be pretty proud of how we’ve turned out.
Because we were fine. We are fine. We will be fine.