I’ve read many, many novels and seen countless films wherein the living space of a character, occurring in the dingiest neighbourhood, is portrayed very romantically. Loft conversions reached from street level via roll-up on-street steel doors, industrial spaces converted to sumptuous apartments are revealed after an arduous trek up a steep staircase, handsome men brush their teeth at kitchen sinks …  These scenes are, admittedly, usually set in London or New York where, apparently, the dictum of “worst property in the best location” does not apply as importantly as it does here in Johannesburg; a dictum which I ignored when I bought my flat.

In defence of my bad judgement, I was numb at the time: my circumstances were so inconceivable to me that I didn’t even bother to shop around; I bought the second flat I viewed. It didn’t matter to me that my friends would be too afraid to visit me; my daughter had cut me out of her life, what did I want friends for?

When, three days after moving in, the building’s hot water supply was cut off by the city council due to misappropriation of funds by the body corporate management company, I accepted the inconvenience with dumb stoicism and an unhealthy dose of self-pitying martyrdom: surely I deserved as much hardship as was thrown my way?

And then the delightfully unexpected happened and my daughter slowly came back into my life. She was careful not to let her distaste show when she visited me but, once she came to live with me, it soon became apparent that she was deeply embarrassed by our address. Weekend after weekend she chose to stay with friends after a night out, rather than be dropped outside our building by her friends’ parents, lest they be hijacked or harassed by the junkies camping out in the park across the road.

I’d more or less made up my mind that we would have to move, when South Africa awoke one morning to a wave of xenophobia. The news reports were nauseating beyond belief. My neighbours in the building were made up mainly of North Africans; they stayed off work, too frightened to venture out into the threatened violence against them. I myself felt fearful as I drove home every day.

As is often the case, a final sign came to me in the form of a routine bi-annual courtesy call from the estate agent who had sold the flat to me! Yes, I decided, it was time to get out of there.

The flat went on the market on Saturday, hopefully it will sell quickly. It has been a holding space for me during my darkest hour, but that hour has passed and it’s time to go out into the sunlight again. Louise Hay says to release your space to the new owner with love and that love will, in turn, await you in your new space.

And, as my wise friend Charlie always says, so it goes …

ive learned


34 Comments Add yours

  1. suzicate says:

    Best wishes to you on entering new territory! Many blessing to you, Cindy!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Suzicate, from your lips to God’s ears xxx

  2. How wonderful you are moving back into the sunshine Cindy! Wonderful! Your flat will sell quickly, I know it will and you will be moving into your new home sooner than you think.
    Beautiful post!
    Have a happy afternoon.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Mandy, hope your afternoon is beautiful too 🙂

  3. I wish you all of the best Cindy, you deserve it! Hugs.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you so much. Hugs back at you xxx

  4. Arkenaten says:

    I was surprised when I first read where you had bought, I’ll be honest. This SA Utopia is still a fair stretch away in the distance, Cin.
    We used to live in Bez Valley – similar story, I’m sad to say.

    I hope you find you little slice of heaven.
    Any idea where you are thinking of ‘parking off’ as we say down here! 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hi Ark, yes, it was a misguided move. I’m looking at Norwood Garden Village; a stone’s throw down the road, but worlds apart.

      1. Arkenaten says:

        Norwood is a cracking suburb. And you’re right – world’s apart.
        Have fun searching!

      2. theonlycin says:

        I will have fun, Ark. Seems I already have a buyer 🙂

  5. slpmartin says:

    Ah…I will have to send you a house warming gift when you get relocated…sadly xenophobia is everywhere these is part of the world’s history…best wishing my friend and do keep me posted on your move.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Charlie, will do xxx

  6. Dee says:

    Oh Cindy, you warmed my heart today with this post. I am happy for you, moving forward I know all things will fall into place. I will be praying for just that and I too think Charlie is wise. There is much wisdom in the words of Daniell Roepke, loved this post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for always popping in to read and leave lovely comments, Dee xxx

  7. colonialist says:

    Hope something perfect will come up as a replacement!
    It has a bitter irony that it takes the suffering and hardship of others to provide the first step in lifting you out of yours.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, Col, it is bitter indeed.

  8. Colleen says:

    Somewhere in the sunshine awaits my precious friend. I am so grateful for that space where you have had time to heal….time to move into the light now. Love you and praying it sells well at a profit for you. xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Colly, you know how important your support and constant love is to me xxx

  9. hotlyspiced says:

    You do sound brighter and happier having made your decision. I do hope the flat sells quickly and how fortunate that the agent who sold it to you phoned you giving you the push you needed to put it on the market. I think when you are choosing your new home you should take your daughter with you – it would be lovely to get her input. Looking forward to seeing your new home xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      She’ll definitely be with me every step of the way to our new home xxx

  10. Sparkle says:

    LOLs @ OBunns reaction to your flat. Children can be mean and she was protecting herself.
    Best of luck with your house hunting mem. We do better when we know better, You needed a place to stay then and you got. Glad that you will soon move to something more appropriate for your taste.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Not moving too far away, Sparky xxx

  11. Nelle says:

    Wonderful, wonderful news Cin. I am feeling so very happy for you right now. Sometimes, in life, the space we find ourselves in is exactly what we need at the time. Happy too for the mended relationship. I wish you blessings in finding just the right space for both of you. Love, hugs and sunshine sent your way.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you so much, Nelle xxx

  12. Mbini says:

    All the best Cindy. Hope the flat finds a deserving person.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m sure it will, Mbini xxx

  13. The perfect buyer is out there waiting for your flat Cin, and the new home will be just that, a home xxx

  14. theonlycin says:

    I think I may already have a buyer, Tandy 🙂

  15. nrhatch says:

    Glad to hear that you may already have a buyer. Keep us posted as to your progress and transition.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The deal fell through, Nancy, but I live in hope and the belief that everything happens for a reason.

  16. Sparkle says:

    Hi Cin, just checking up on you 🙂

  17. nrhatch says:

    Happy (almost) birthday!!! Miss seeing you around the blogosphere.

  18. It's only P! says:

    Such wonderful writing. Stumbled upon it how…? After much hyperfocusing, I guess. From Cranks restaurant, a cold murder case, learning that Cranks has been closed for years already and then onto a food post by Cindy, ah now I get it, about Cranks. I lived in Jo’burg for 19 years and left in 2002. There’s no place like Joeys and I miss the people so, so much. But not the forever threatening violence and in any case, everything must change (good song by Karrin Allyson on youtube, if you care for it). Finding out that Cranks in Rosebank closed was a massive reason for me not to miss SA so much anymore. Reading about the B-BBEE amendment bill on Cindy’s blog was another wake-up call: I really rather am glad I don’t live there anymore, but three countries and 13 years later I still feel out of place! Mama Africa… she can do that to you. I heard it decades ago, and now I know.

  19. Sheryldene says:

    Hi Cindy, I have stumbled upon your page by accident. I just want to say that I really love the way how you portray your messages. The one above struck a very significant cord with me. Please may I share this on my Facebook page? Be Blessed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s