The Imperfect Reality

DISCLAIMER: This post contains many, many clichés. The reason being – they’re true. Deal with it.

I spend the majority of my waking life dreaming about the future. It is something that people around me have gotten used to; it is something that is positively labelled as ‘ambitious’. And most times, it is: my dreams of the future keep me focused, and make me work hard. However, I’m beginning to realise that there may be some unintended harms of this future-dreaming; of this wishing.

Aside from the fact that I often lose the time I have because I am not present in the ‘present’, a lot of my dreams, I realise now, are wrong – are unrealistic. I am a typical case of the ‘when x happens, things will be better.’ However, as we get told, that isn’t always the case. However, I don’t think we are told it enough.


Oh, if people could understand the truth in that statement! We are bombarded with messages that lives outside of ours are better than ours – the beauty of reality in movies, the dreams we create for ourselves in our heads. However, no one ever reminds about the ugly parts of those realities – that we will still have that annoying neighbor, or worse – that evil voice of self doubt within ourselves.

The past year has been a case and point for this. I spent about four and a half years looking forward to my first year at university. Towards the end of matric, I just couldn’t wait to move out – to get a fresh start. It was my time! I would find the cool, intellectual people who could finally understand me. I would be able to finally expand my mind with no challenge. I would be sophisticated; and I would have fun. I built up expectations.

However, it hasn’t been all sunflowers and daisies. While I was wishing to grow up, warnings didn’t really express to me the reality of it all: how facing a huge group of new people hella intimidating, and how university makes you question everything. That’s been the biggest thing for me: uncertainty. The past year at UCT, with RhodesMustFall, and student activism in general – as well as my courses –  has forced me to question myself; how I am problematic and how nothing is certain. I have realized how greyscaled the world is, and that has resonated into a shaded reality. I haven’t really known who I am, which has made finding friends who understand ‘me’ hard, and I guess, my reality isn’t as crystal clear as I thought it would be.

I can’t help but look back on last year, and the years before, and realise that although I was wishing for a better future, that reality was pretty great, despite it’s imperfections. And maybe, as hard as the last few weeks have been, I need to start doing the same for right now.