The other day while I was parallel parking in Somerset Road, I thought about how terrifying I found it when I first started driving. Then I thought about how hard I am on myself, and how often I overlook small victories in my life.
When I saw this on Twitter, I realised I am not the only one.
Follow Lauren here
So I decided to take Lauren’s advice and list the things I am proud of conquering over the years. You should do the same – it’s liberating.
I’m not scared of thunder anymore
I want you to think about someone you know who is scared of thunder. Now multiply that person’s fear by 1000. THAT’S how scared I used to be of it. In primary school I used to kak myself when I saw a minuscule cloud in the sky, because I thought it had the potential to multiply and cause a mammoth thunderstorm. And during actual thunderstorms I’d close the curtains and count Mississippis to calm myself.
Now I like to stand by the window and take in the splendour of thunder while pretending that I am in The Craft.
My English has improved exponentially
I grew up in an Afrikaans town, and even though I attended a bilingual school – I hardly ever spoke English. So, when I decided to study advertising in Cape Town, I realised exactly how Afrikaans I am. In my first month at varsity I stood outside our lecturer’s office for an hour, because I thought when she said to meet her at “half 3” that it meant 14:30 like in Afrikaans.
I never understood why people laughed when I said, “Don’t throw me with a ball.” Or that telling people I’m going to wear a “jean” is confusing.
Even though I am still very much proudly Afrikaans, I am chuffed that my English has improved a lot over the years. To such an extent that I am dating someone who doesn’t understand Afrikaans at all.
SO TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOOOOW.
When I got my driver’s license 6 years ago, I was TERRIFIED of driving in the city. I would literally rather jog from Paarl to Cape Town than ever drive there. The thought of narrow, crowded streets, parallel parking and hill starts gave me the creeps.
These days I do all of the above and still have a free hand to eat a packet of Nik Naks.
I have lived by myself for a year
I know I’ve mentioned this about 10000 times, but I am still so proud of myself for making it on my own this past year. Moving to Cape Town was incredibly unfamiliar to me (I wrote about it here) and I am proud of how far I’ve come. I’ve learned how to carry really heavy shit from my car to my flat without any help, to drive myself to the doctor when I am sick and to open mayo jars with my average upper body strength. (Okay, that last one I have failed at a few times.)
I know how to change jumpstart a car
At the beginning of the year my car gave me a lot of shit, and it turned out that its ECU had gotten extreme water damage – causing its battery to drain spontaneously. This meant I would often walk to my car after work just to find that its battery is dead again. I drive a Renault, and getting to its battery requires dark magic. You have to peel more layers than an onion. But I am very proud to say that I now know how to do it myself, in heels nogals.
I now know the difference between Austria and Australia
If you read my blog about things I used to believe as a child, you’ll know that this is by far my greatest achievement.
I hope this article made you think about your own growth and victories – it doesn’t matter what other people think of them, or if you feel that they are too small to celebrate. Be proud of how far you’ve come and the person you are today.