My dad taught me to try everything at least once. He said that if I did not like something then at least I would know it and in the process I would experience life. He told me this while I stood at the bottom of the flying trapeze, at the Zip Zap Circus , crying because I was afraid to climb up what seemed to be the highest structure in the world and swing down to what I thought would be my certain death. I cried and climbed as he looked up at me and patted my little trembling legs. He said, “Try it and you will no longer fear it.” He said it with such confidence. His face gave no hint to his ( now that I’m older and know how he felt) obvious horror. He looked calm and brave and angelic with his hair and beard holding his face like a wrong-way-around halo.
A few weeks ago I decided to contact Dr Mamphela Ramphele and tell her about who I am, what I do and why I want to do it. It has taken me 2 weeks to pluck up the courage to send the e-mail to her. I have sent it 4 times but the address was given to me incorrectly and so obviously I took this as a sign and told myself that it meant that her team had no time for me. Today I noticed the mistake in the address and corrected it and some grammatical errors that I found in my original e-mail. I then sent off the e-mail. Within seconds I had a reply explaining that Dr Ramphele was away at the moment but that my e-mail would be kept for her and handed over when she returned. My message was forwarded to another woman in her team who swiftly responded to me, telling me that my message was inspiring and that she would love to meet me and speak further about our similar ideas.
Oh my goodness me. I can’t believe that I actually contacted Dr Ramphele and that someone actually replied to me and that someone actually thought that what I do and want to do was worth considering.
Thank you dad for forcing me to jump off the flying trapeze even though I was convinced that I was going to die. Today reminded me that trying everything at least once makes life worth the tears and fears and smiles and happiness.
Now feels like a good time to say YOLO. YouOnlyLiveOnce.