Lessons from Istanbul


Leaving for study abroad, I will admit a part of me was filled with sky-high expectations. The experience is supposed to be life-changing, incredible, completely unforgettable.

Taking off in September, I envisioned myself returning in January a new person. Better, faster, stronger in every sense. My expectations were unrealistic. Could just under 4 months change really 20 years?

Or rather, what was so wrong with what I had spent 20 years on?

The fact is, nothing.

I will be returning with still imperfect abs, still an inability to get through a sentence without the insertion of “like,” a giggle or a mumble and still, as they say in Turkish, bekar.

But I will also be returning next month with many lessons learned, adding to, but not completely changing me.

First, is balance.

I have never been good with moderation.

I have always lived at extremes, never between them.

But, here, I have slowly started to realize that there is indeed a time for everything.

A time to sit inside pouring over my books and a time to stay up until late watching Love Actually and awww-ing over every mushy, sappy love story told

and then get up early to finish a presentation

A time to head to pass on a night out and a time to go out sipping on Efes, spiced wine and tangy mojitos while dancing, laughing and soaking in joy and energy from everyone around me

and then run 13 miles the next day

A time to hold my tongue and a time to really say how I’m feeling

and then realize that people actually appreciate knowing what I often keep contained

A time to have a giant plate of vegetables and a time to demolish a bread basket with olive oil in minutes

and then ask for another.

And I’ve realized that in celebrating each of these moments, everything falls into place

Work still gets done.

Runs still feel good.

My body moves towards it’s happy, healthy place on its own.

I’d say it’s a miracle, but the truth is, it’s just me.

Letting go.


Simply living.


One Response to “Lessons from Istanbul”

  1. 1 Last Night | She Don't Eat No Meat

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