Make that ever-mythical 'one day' happen today

It took a visit by two friends to push me out of my comfort zone to explore the city

In Summary

• It’s too easy to complain about there being nothing to do in your city, town or country, when you don’t bother to find things to do.

Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa
Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa
Image: SATourism

I’ve been living in Cape Town now for nearly seven years, and I am well aware that I have allowed myself to get stuck in a groove. Meanwhile, there are many aspects of the city that I need to discover and in some cases, rediscover.

It is so easy to get stuck in a groove and take for granted the idea that you will get around to visiting that museum, theatre, library, art gallery, restaurant or tourist attraction “one day”. The problem with that sort of thinking is that you wake up one day and it is a number of years, maybe even decades later, and “one day” still hasn’t arrived.

When I started out as a journalist 30 years ago, my beat included reporting on and reviewing theatre and art. So when I moved to Cape Town, which has a vibrant arts scene with several theatres, museums, art galleries, and so on, I should have been in seventh heaven. Actually I was, and I hoped I would get around to being fully immersed in it, but life happened (as it so often does), and I never got round to enjoying these pleasures, putting them off to “one day”.

Recently, however, I had a couple of visitors who pulled me out of my comfort zone — some might call it a rut — and they helped turn the now mythical “one day” into today.

My first visitor is a remarkable storyteller and theatre-maker, who got me to go out and rediscover my love for all aspects of theatre. I went and watched a reading of one of her works and was immediately swept up into imagining how it should be produced and that it would make a better radio play than a stage play, but also that it might even make a short story or a short film. I know it won’t be long before my next visit to the theatre. And for that, I am grateful to my friend JC.

My second visitor is essentially a techie, but one with a love of art. He made me go to First Thursdays in Cape Town for the first (but not the last) time. First Thursdays is a public event and free to attend. Art galleries and cultural events around Cape Town's central city stay open until 9pm or later on the first Thursday of every month, allowing anyone to explore the city on foot and experience the cultural wealth the city has to offer.

I had to admit that despite having worked for a PR firm, where one of the clients was a promoter of First Thursdays, it wasn’t until now, four years later, that I made my debut. So thanks again to my friend OO.

The point I am trying to make here, dear reader, is that you, yes you, must stop procrastinating and make that mythical one day happen today. It’s too easy to complain about there being nothing to do in your city, town or country, when you don’t bother to find things to do. You never know, you might enjoy it more than a night at the pub or sitting on the couch in front of the TV. I sure as hell did.