You know that bubble of laughter that threatens to overtake you completely, especially when it’s inappropriate? Like the fit of giggles you get during a funeral. I miss that.
Today I was hit by such an urge. Not at a funeral or anywhere inappropriate. My siblings live in the Mother City while I’m here in Jozi, a city I adore. But today we shared a ridiculously inconsequential conversation over whatsapp that nearly killed me.
Our conversation sparked laughter that started in my toes and overwhelmed me. And then I just burst into tears. I miss them so much. I miss being able to pop in for tea, to swap rapid-fire puns and become weak with laughter over stupid things. I miss being able to just share a look and know exactly what they’re thinking. They made me want to move away from my beloved city, to theirs.
Life can become far too serious and heavy sometimes. The struggle to get on with life and make money and be all you can be. The struggle to make everyone around you safe and happy. The responsibilities you pile upon your own shoulders to make sure the world doesn’t collapse. You can spiral into such seriousness that you forget how to smile, let alone laugh.
I’ve been longing to go on a road trip for as long as I can remember. Just hit the open road with some sort of destination in mind. Get one of those movie-like playlists going and sing loudly into the wind. Stop at pretty little towns and get drunk in a hotel bar. Get to know the locals before moving on again. Very American sounding, sure. But we’ve also got long roads. The N1, for example, goes all the way to Cape Town – over a thousand kilometres of open road.
My siblings made me sob today. Their ridiculousness made me remember that life’s not a serious thing. Or at least, it doesn’t have to be. They made me remember that every moment counts. That being who you are, not who you think you should be, is the most important thing in life. They also reminded me who I am.
We lose too much by trying too hard. So I’m going to stop trying. Today I’m going to let the laughter and the tears flow free. I’m going to wake up in the morning and just be me. More importantly, I’m also going to just let the people around me be who they are. I’m not going to try to fix them, organise them, counsel them or change them.
I guess I’m going to just let it be. And maybe I’ll also create a playlist for that road trip.