Creating sense of normalcy in a new post pandemic world
I am working on finding my way back to writing, finding my way back to my creative space, and my voice. I will be reposting some previous essays originally published in other locations, and using them as a springboard to move forward. The toll of moving back to the US, navigating the job market, re-acculturating was a lot. I had to redefine myself multiple times in the last few years.
I moved from being an ex-pat to a “local” but with a different understanding of life and feeling apart and displaced. I left my role as an educator, which I had been for over a decade, to then create space for myself to fail (and succeed) in a new career. I started a new life as a mother, and a parent. With each new transition I lost part of myself and developed new facets of myself, which I didn’t always fully understand.
These years apart from the world, quarantined, set apart, with no vaccine in sight for the under 5 age group have allowed our family time to bond and better understand each other and ourselves. This time has forced me to take the time I needed to develop and reconcile my sense of self(s).
Over the last few years, I have taken risks, made changes, made sacrifices, and at this point would change none of them because I learned from all of them, and they have brought me to where I am now.
It has been more than a year since I have blogged. I have started different posts many times, but never finished. The last year has been exciting, fun, challenging and full of new adventures, as always.
Last year in August I started my job as a Computer Science teacher at a charter school in Austin. While the work was incredibly fulfilling, it was also very demanding. Not only did I have to master a new discipline (CS) but my work hours were 7am to 5 pm. Add an hour or more on either end of the day for the commute and it made settling in a new city difficult. Though we moved to Austin for its vibrant nightlife and music scene, I really couldn’t be a part of it. Rising every day at 5, getting home after 6 and spending most of my weekends grading and lesson planning did not leave much time for new Austin adventures. However, we did have some! We bought a house last September and celebrated our “Houseiversary” recently.
We also got adopted a puppy from the shelter in January. Butterfinger is more or less resigned to the situation at this point. He tries to engage her in play, but she is not really interested. In her defense, at 15, she is not as energetic as she used to be.
This summer marked our first year in Austin, and the start of our new life here, the life we wanted originally. I started work for an exciting non-profit. One that is part of the education realm, bringing educational access to students in underserved communities. It is fulfilling in the same way teaching was, but with a work/life balance. Since I have started my new job Bülent and I have been incredibly happy. We are able to do all the things we looked forward to in Austin, while we were in Ankara. We go to live music regularly, during the week and on the weekends! We go hiking and biking, swimming and exploring.
Now that we have our “new normal” I am looking forward to many more adventures.