Just a little more than a year ago, I was saying goodbye to the place I had called home for nine months and to the friends who had helped shape the beginnings of my adult life and future career. Even though my goodbyes at the time consisted of me wishing I could somehow return to Durban and those around me assuring that I would eventually come back, I could not get rid of the haze of uncertainty before me. After months of planning, I still cannot believe I am back in this incredible city. In fact, I am not entirely sure that I ever left.
If you’re wondering how or why I have come back to Durban, I would have to say it is due to a bit of luck and a lot of support from many people that I was able to focus on the HACT children’s program me for my master’s dissertation project. While I had this project idea in mind since being accepted to my MSc program, I never expected it to come to fruition. I learned sometime in college, through the event planning frenzy that happened every spring, that while one may have the best ideas and plans, not all of them are truly feasible. Back in college, it never mattered whether an idea for a program actually turned into a full-fledged event since one failed idea would quickly be replaced by a seemingly more attractive idea. Once in the “real world” everyone speaks of, I realized that failed ideas had a greater impact on people’s lives, so to avoid failure you held onto your plans until you knew for certain that they would be successful. Unfortunately, this means living with the uncomfortable notion of uncertainty.
Looking back over these past many months of dissertation planning, the moment my uncertainty began to shrink was when I planned a meeting to discuss my ideas with one of my program organizers last October. I have learned this year that uncertainty lasts only so long as one lets it and all it takes is one small decision to make that uncertainty a lot less daunting. As I find myself (yet again) at the cusp of my next life transition post-graduate school, I have felt for the past few weeks that all I will ever have is uncertainty. But being back in Durban, reflecting on the time that has passed, and recognizing that just a year ago what I am doing today seemed near impossible, I am reminded that the only way to be certain of what will happen in the future, is to move a step closer to making difficult yet necessary decisions.