There are rare moments in life when one is actively living their dream. Ever since I arrived in the United States I knew that that this was the place I needed to be, but I didn't realize just how much of a mental game it was going to be. Firstly I'm not even in the city I wanted to be so on most days I'm looking up to the Universe asking "what's the end game here?" and while I'm waiting to hear a response from the Universe I don't know what the next move in my life will be. I've worked so hard to get here, but to BE here is something different. It's not really that I'm fresh out of dreams, but to be thinking about your "one day" and to almost be living in that "one day" are exponentially different realities and this is why I call this place "the Wilderness".
I know it's odd to call a country such as America with all it has to offer, the wilderness, but in my mind I can't help but liken it to a journey similar to the one Moses and the Israelites had to go through to reach "the Promised Land". In fact I believe all of us go through our own version of "the wilderness". A moment in life where you find yourself disconnecting to the world, stripped of all your ego and you have to have faith that you will find out who you truly are, your own Promised Land. There are no doubt, great challenges and temptations in the wilderness and sometimes you can forget why you are there in the first place and during the worst days you may even want to go back to what you used to know because the Promised Land is "too far" and "too scary" and "what if this land is not even all that it's cracked up to be?" sound familiar?
The key in surviving the wilderness in your mind is to focus on your mission. I remember when I arrived at Wits (my first case of the wilderness) and I found myself incredibly overwhelmed I kept reminding myself why I was there "Khanya Modipa CA(SA)" that's all I kept telling myself. Here in America, the stakes are a lot higher, I gave up so much comfort and time with loved ones (the greatest currency) to follow something that I am yet to realize but oddly this is where my faith has been strengthened the most.
My wilderness has come up with so many challenges. I don't enjoy the comforts of a vehicle, I've already had my fair share of noodles and I've blown through almost all my savings just to survive here. Emotionally I've doubted myself a lot, I keep thinking some day they'll catch me out, "they'll realize you're not that smart" or when I look at myself in the mirror and think "but you're not even that pretty, what makes you think you can be a model" and yet as painful and cruel as I can be to myself, I'm eternally grateful that my mind expands further than my doubts. Even when I'm extremely miserable and I miss home, deep down inside I'm overjoyed because my struggle bears the fruition of my dreams. We all are going to suffer in life, some more than others but I'm just grateful I still have control over how I react to it. I feel like if I have to suffer, then atleast let there be a point to it, you've got to make every setback, a set up for your comeback.
I've never hidden the fact that there are no guarantees to this chase and I still can't tell you if I'll make it to where I want to be and I don't want to hide the fact that dream chasing is devastatingly hard (hence the blog) but there is so much gratification in the journey that I truly get that cheesy "its about the journey and not the destination" saying. Every single night I ask myself "has it been worth it?" and for as long as I keep saying yes, the good will outweigh the bad.
So as much as I wanna go back to a life of comfort and familiarity I know I would have deeply betrayed myself. There is much I need to learn here first before I can go back and add value to South Africa. I've always told young girls who look up to me that they can do whatever they put their minds to but I never want to tell people something I've never done before. How do I know deep down in my heart if this is true unless I test the limits? I need to know how far my imagination can take me. I need to know who I am when its just me and the vast play ground of this world. I need to dance around the edge of this wilderness. So no matter how daunting the journey may be if you want something in your soul deeply enough and you resonate this desire persistently you too will find your way to your Promised Land.