Today I picked up my paycheck after some wrangling over dates. I then went down to say goodbye to my drivers because they are the people I will miss the most. I enjoyed our Turklish/Kurdlish conversations on girls, food, politics, holidays and bad bosses. After, I went to Kylyos on the Black Sea for a dip which was well-needed. The problem with the dip is at the end you have to do a sweaty hike back up to the bus followed by a nauseous twisty ride down to the metro which tends to colour the memory of the beach somewhat. It was still lovely though especially looking out to all those tankers waiting in the Black Sea for their nod to sail The Lady Boss. So sinister and exotic.
|Look carefully and you can see them in the distance - promise!|
I spent a lot of time thinking today and even thought it is painful for me to say it I do believe that if I were to balance the scales on my decision to come to Istanbul, I don't think it was the best one for me. Of course, hindsight is a beautiful thing and so I don't write this in a defeatist way but rather as an intention. For what I want to do is draw a long watery line across the sand today, step over it and take new steps. This is not to say that there haven't been some truly incredible things about my time in Istanbul. I mean the city itself I do love ferociously. And my laydees with their missing parts, I love them too. And Turkish breakfasts, hamam soap, the view from Suleiman's mosque, ferry boats, street animals, bargain t-shirts, Raki, The Pikap, bal kaymak, sutlac, Ataturk being everywhere, The Tortoise Trainer, Istanbul nights, hilly walks, dolphins at dusk, yok and uflamak. So many beautiful, eclectic, wonderful things. But I also come out of this experience having lost my passion to teach, feeling lost for words ( as a writer - I have published NOTHING here nor written anything of any worth) and even my confidence as a woman seems somehow to be lost a little. And perhaps the saddest part is I have also lost confidence in my ability to make good decisions and so as I now try to step out again and make new decisions for my life I feel crippled and distrustful of myself.
I remember the very first night I arrived in this city and was staying in the hole of a hotel the school had put me in. a truly fetid, ghastly place. I cried in my room but I couldn't or perhaps wouldn't do what a voice in me was telling me to do which was to get back on that plane. Take a different chance.
That chance is lost now so even the saying 'live and learn' rings hollow because I cannot learn ( nor live either) in that way anymore. But somehow I have to try and make a good decision now and the truth is I have no faith that I can.
So may I, in these coming months, find wise, kind and good counsel both in the well deep inside myself and those with whom I choose to surround myself.
Now is not a time for fear.
As my Persian boyfriend Hafiz once said.