I get up at 4am every day. Partly this comes from my inability to find work. If I had found work immediately, I would have been forced into a particular routine. When I couldn’t find a job I started thinking. I asked myself what I can do to improve. I imagined that I had no education and began teaching myself things that I had never paid attention to before.

I don’t have a yearly plan, just the things I want to do this month. Then I make a weekly plan. And of course I have the daily to-do list too which I always write down the day before. Two days ago I started doing daily evaluations too.

I’m not young anymore. There’s no way I can return to my twenties and the years are moving really fast. When I look back and ask myself what I did in the past five years, I can’t really put my finger on anything specific. If I can’t see these accomplishments and where I’ve helped people, my life almost doesn’t really feel like its been worth living. Maybe I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself, but I want that pressure for now. I don’t want to reach a certain age and regret that I didn’t use my time well…

 

I think all this goes back to where I grew up. Uganda was the place where I opened my eyes for the first time. And that will always stay with me. I grew up in a small village and my parents were working really hard. There were seven of us children and then my Mum adopted two other girls too. We grew up in a system believing that we should all help each other. I like to be able to have a small impact in life, no matter how small that is. I don’t want to change the world but I want to do something positive.

People tell me that I’m working too hard towards certain things, but I really don’t think so. I don’t have the luxury of a long lifetime. In Uganda our average lifespan is maybe about forty years old, so you realise that you don’t really have a lot of time here on earth. Of course not everybody dies at that age, but you never really know.

The first time I went to church in Slovenia, everybody looked at me. I sat down next to some ladies and they all shifted and moved somewhere else. I was already prepared for this. My parents had told me that I am different. I’m black. They said some people will want to know who you are out of curiosity. And there will still be others who won’t want to see you at all. It took me two months for me to go back to the church after that.

Here I had to start from zero. But that was an advantage. It’s showed a different me. When you’re in a certain struggle, you learn to cope in some way.

When you don’t want to be stuck somewhere it triggers something and you realise how powerful you are.

I love waking up in the morning in a place where the lights are on and water is flowing. I can even leave the door open. I can walk on the street freely and it’s clean. It’s quite relaxing. And for me that’s amazing. In Uganda you’re not really sure if the power will be on or off and there is a lot more struggle. This is something I really appreciate. I enjoy every single day and I thank God that I have all this. I appreciate that I’m alive.

In 2013 I was in Austria asking for directions. I didn’t understand how houses are marked in Europe, with even numbers on one side of the road and odd on the other. I asked a lady for help and directions and she spat on me. I broke down into tears.

I’m excited about the person I’ve become. I’ve become more positive. There are certain things that I just don’t really care about anymore. Even if somebody calls me something about my colour it doesn’t even affect me. Before I would feel so bad that I’d go home and cry my eyes out. Now it just doesn’t matter. I’ve learnt that it’s not my problem, it’s theirs.

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