An open letter to my hometown | A final goodbye

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Dearest hometown

I used to hate you, your predictable people, and unpredictable weather. The terrible roads, dim streetlights and palm trees in Main Road.

I couldn’t wait to leave you forever after high school. This ghost town, where everyone knew more about me than, well, me.

I couldn’t wait to go to a place where no one knew me. And then I left, I went to university, I started to miss you soon after, I missed the friendly auntie that always stood at Spar’s door, greeting me by name, the Samosa guy on his bicycle and his big smile, walks on your grey beach, and you colourful sunsets while sitting at Pearley’s. I missed walking to my best friends house, any time of day, and feeling safe. I missed spring, when the daisies made fields white as snow. I started to miss home and that feeling of belonging. That same feeling you get on Christmas Eve, when you’re surrounded by family, realising how utterly crazy they are, but loving them nonetheless, and feeling like you belong.

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You captured my childhood. You helped me to be who I am today, everyone saw me grow up. From riding my first bike, my first kiss, my first heartbreak. You gave me my best friends, my favourite teachers, my favourite pizza.

I’ve come back for a short while, and I got married here, I started my life here. But even though you captured my childhood, you have no part to play in my adulthood that lays ahead anymore, I know that now. You are too small for my big dreams.

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I am leaving you because even though I was shaped where you are, I am grown up now, ready to live those dreams I dreamt when I laid on your beach, looking at the clouds.

A few years have come and gone since the first time I left you, and I have packed up and unloaded my things, but this time they won’t land on your surface. Through it all, know that I appreciate everything I learned from you. My roots will always be planted here, and you will always be home to me.

Goodbye little Langebaan.

Love,

Your friend,

Esti

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