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I eventually willed myself to get up, shower and drag my aching body to the store downstairs.
I've been running a slight fever since last night and my body aches from the intense coughing. This morning I got ready for work at snail pace. What was I thinking? I could barely hold my head up.
As if they knew, my colleagues sent me strict instructions to get back into bed and not go to work. I stubbornly gave in. My body needed to rest and I finally listened to it.
I can't count how many times I've been ill over the last few years while living on my own. For those who have no idea what this is like, take my word: It's awful...
When one is down, we're most vulnerable. We regress to being a child and many of us don't mind being pampered. Even if it's someone bringing you a glass of orange juice or passing you a tissue, we long for a caring hand.
Granted it IS my choice to live alone.
For me, this means that my family lives over 1000kms away.
I liken my story to that of my students. Almost all of them have left their home countries and families and made South Africa their (temporary) home.
For a better future. It's as simple (or complicated?) as that.
To achieve one thing, you have to be willing to give up something. This is how "sacrifice" can be defined.
I'm no different, really. I have laid out my provisional life map and every now and then I reflect, plot and plan. We all have secret ambitions. Mine is no real secret. I want to excel in the field I'm in. I want to be a known and respected figure in the TEFL community - far and wide.
When I moved back to South Africa after three years in South Korea, it wasn't a very difficult decision about what the next chapter of my life would entail. Whether I would pursue a career in Journalism or TEFL, I knew I'd have to leave my parents nest. Either way, I was venturing out into the "grown up" world once again.
There are many moments where I question my choices. Why on earth am I depriving myself of familial care? I could very easily be in the comfort of my parents home right now. And I'm pretty sure that if I was under my parents roof right now, I'd be chatting to my mum in the kitchen over a steaming cup of tea. Instead, I'm in bed. With my electric blanket. Just a lamp on. Background noise of the TV.
I long for many things. Like you, I also have wants and needs. But at the end of the end of the day, I'm pursuing MY dream. I have daily validation that I'm on the right path. I got at least a dozen calls and messages from my colleagues and students today. Some noticed that my car wasn't in its usual parking spot, others noted my absence. For this, I am grateful and feel blessed by the love and concern.
So when you find yourself doubting your motives, especially about sacrificing...take a moment to reflect on what you're sacrificing for?
Sometimes, the road to success tends to be slightly lonely...