Empath · Expatria · Istanbul

So This Is Home

Hokandara view.
Hokandara view.

After two unsuccessful attempts to post this, I am hoping the third time is the charm, as they say. So, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all y’all! And I say “y’all” the way Sri Lankans say it, not how Texans say it, just to be crystal clear.

Yes, back in Bakirkoy and back here. It has indeed been a while. And I think I have underestimated how much my writing here keeps me physically healthy. My stomach has been a mess in the month I have not written, and I have to wonder whether this simple act of releasing words into the cybersphere actually keeps my Chi flowing in a good way.

So, Sri Lanka. Amazing, weird, wonderful, unnerving. So many things happened, so much has changed inside me, and it is indeed bizarroland to be back in my BakirCave isolated once again from family and friends. I am coming to the scientifically proven conclusion that people who teach English abroad are extremely weird people and I am beginning to think of adding a third resolution to my list that would involve not hanging out with TEFL teachers on anything remotely like a regular basis anymore. With all the truly horrible shit going on in the world, people sure obsess and overly dramatise the boringest shit going on in their lives seemingly for the mere sake of being dramatic.

On top of this, two of my least favoritest people in this world are moving to Istanbul. “Why?!?” I have been asking over and over. Of ALL the amazing and glorious people that I know, why these two? Taken in tandem with my recent conclusion about TEFL teachers, I am getting the idea that our time in Bakirkoy is to be spent developing our marriage and developing ourselves. I am trying to see this as a good thing, especially in the face of my prayer while I was away that I would make new friends totally unconnected to Steve’s work. Hah! Thanks, Creator! I get the picture and I will just enjoy my life with my chubby hubby and my story-writing, tummy-aching self. While lovely sounding, it is a huge adjustment from my very social time in Sri Lanka, being flooded with invites to lunch, dinner, clubbing, beach-going, meeting famous Sri Lankan/German-Jewish poets and the like. Yes, indeed, Istanbul for me is time to be a turtle and turn inwards for inspiration and support.

No wonder I paint fantastical nature portraits on our apartment walls. I miss nature. I miss wild Asian birds and crocodiles and water monitors, buffalo, beautiful butterflies and elephants. Boy do I ever. Glorious candy-coloured sunsets over palm tree vistas. My parent’s house overlooks a wonderful marsh and coconut grove. To wake up each morning and drink my coffee to that was such a treat. Istanbul is gray and dull, and to see a piece of sky can be trying at times. The Stray Cats, while cute, do not come near to the loving huggabugs from my parent’s boxer dogs, Maggie and Fellow, who are the darlingest little people ever to walk the face of this Earth. I would choose boxers over kids anyday. In fact, probably I will.

I also spent some time reading old journals. Really really really old journals from when I was in 2nd grade and onwards. It was strange/sad/ironic to read how, even then, I would take a whole lot of shit for trying to help people that didn’t want to be helped. This prompted my second New Year’s Resolution that I will no longer try to help people who need help, unless they specifically ask for it because, A) You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, B) Any help given is wasted because people who don’t want help don’t listen, and C) They will shit all over you for trying.

After last year, I have realised that there are even people asking for help but they don’t actually want to be helped and trying to help them is the same as trying to help someone who is not asking, i.e. yielding the same results. I am getting better at sussing the fake help-needers and I am simply not playing their absurd game anymore. There are so many people in this world that actually need and WANT help, so why have I been wasting my time with those who could care less?

Reading the old journals was so many things. Touching and painful. To realise how some things in my life have not changed because I have not recognised them as patterns from early childhood. And even in those days I would write around what was really bothering me. So much of that young self is still alive and hurting, and the only way to heal her is by finally learning from the mistakes, as well-intentioned as they may be or have been; they mean nothing if they do not enact the desired result.

And then there is my number 1 resolution, which is to finish all of my unfinished stories this year. Have you ever noticed how loose ends prevent you from moving forward? How can I write new stories if all these ideas for other stories are floating around in my head still? They take up too much space, like all the people I was trying to help who resented me for it. I am positive that in the course of 2007 I will be able to help a great deal of people who want and need my help, and I am really looking forward to it!

This is all I feel like releasing for now. Maybe the Sri Lankan adventures will come out in the weeks or months to come. Maybe not. It’s hard to tell, and in spite of what you may think about how personal my blogs are, I am feeling the need to keep more to myself. Sometimes the most powerful experiences become like two-dimensional landscape photos when put into words, like an incredible view that changes your life until you see it in a photo and then you can’t even remember what was so great about it.

Ani says that there are some things you can’t know unless you’ve been there. So I will keep those places to myself for the moment.

I hope y’all had wonderful holidays and New Year celebrations and I am looking forward to hearing your stories!