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.
As you may have noticed, I have not been blogging as frequently. Or at all. Over the last year or so I had slowed down my pace. Partially because I was busy and partially because the main bulk of my blog was travel and exploration, and after living in Turkey for five years, the adventures had slowed down. I want to start writing again. I really appreciate being able to express myself and have a connection with my readers. I have been thinking about it for a while, and have put off writing until I think I could make a commitment again.
My last post was about moving. Our move had ben a big change for us. I am now in the “sticks” again.
The herd of sheep that regularly pass in front of our building.
I can no longer walk to the grocery store, have easy access to the town center or have my community of friends. I do have a new community of friends, but many of the friends I used to visit with on a day to day basis are back in the old neighborhood. Day to day life has changed, basic things like cooking and errands are more difficult due to sharing a car, and not being able to walk to neighborhood shops and the pazar.
However, there are many benefits to living on the edge of town. The air was clean all winter, the smell of coal smoke does not infiltrate our hair and clothes and the accompanying smog did not disturb us. Our view is lovely, and faces south west, so we have had lovely sun all year, and the floor to ceiling windows have allowed enough light into our home to keep our plants alive inside since the frost hit. We have also hosted and been hosted at many more intimate gatherings with friends. Since the restaurants and shops are more distant, we meet at friends’ homes rather than restaurants to visit.
Things have happened, which I will tell about.
Places have been visited, which I will share.
And adventures may be coming…I will keep you posted!
Holy Moly! BlogHer! I am still working though my experiences there. I went to almost all the sessions. A couple were productive and interesting. However, the main even was…not lunch with Martha Stuart, or even lunch with Katie Couric (although that was awesome!) It was meeting and connecting with other bloggers. I don’t mean the random networking and thrusting of cards at each other, but the truly meaningful connection I made with some of the individuals there. Sometimes it was just a short conversation that stayed with you, other times it was a discussion that was so intriguing you changed your plans just to continue it.
I met some great friends, finally understood the nuances of Twitter, and learned quite a bit at BlogHer12. I also had a wicked good time! There was a party every night. Saturday night at the Sparklecorn party I had a blast! I danced so long and hard that my friends thought I was drinking, while I was sober and just dancing it out. That was a blast. Plus, any party where Ace of Cakes brings a Punk/Space Unicorn clearly rocks!
Hopefully there will be more BlogHer posts coming, however I am a little distracted with a couple of events. 1) One of my Besties gave birth to a darling little girl—and I get to meet her tomorrow. 2) Packing for my trip back to Turkey. There is a lot of bag weighing and triaging of clothes at my house. GRRR…Damn the one bag, 23 kg limits!
As you can see, things are changing. I decided to get a little more on top of my blog (and give it a real name). In a few days I will be moving to a new domain, though don’t worry, you will still be able to get here through the old address. I know you were petrified. It has been quiet today. I am pretty much well, and had my last antibiotic. You know what that means… My liver can now handle wine! Yay! Bülent is still off the liquor because of his heavy duty meds. He is a little bummed about it, as he just got back from a alcohol free stint in the military barracks. We wanted to go out and, “paint the town red,” so to speak. But not at the expense of our livers. So now I am safe, but he is not. Technically I would not be “drinking alone,” just be the only one drinking, which has an entirely different connotation. Off the the fridge I go!
I was cruising the Internet and found an interesting blog. I love reading blogs because they are so diverse, the thoughts and perusing of individuals whose only similarity could be their use of their Internet. So many posting are inspired by daily life, and through that you see how people really do cherish so many of the same things, like family, love, politics, relationships. Maybe not in the same way, some with wit and irreverence, others with an earnestness that makes you cringe. The reason these strangers blogs are interesting to me is that we are all a part of the fabric of humanity. We are the threads that are woven in, some us us my be threadbare, or vibrant or even knotted, but we all create a whole together.
That is what I was reminded of when I read this blog by Tangobaby. In a split second, instead of walking by, of shaking her head, keeping her eyes focused on the sidewalk, she made a difference. An enormous one. One that has snowballed. A woman and her three children now are not hungry, or cold. They have received donations and help. Emotional support. This woman escaped violence only to trade it for fear. The fear her children may go hungry, may be cold, scared, and not have shelter. Go to Tangobaby’s blog and read her words. Help if you can. She has made an enormous difference in this one family’s life. Others as well, I dare say, due to the political turmoil she is stirring up. To change things, to make things better, you don’t need to be heroic. Check out my friend Coltempo, who proves that PB&J can be compassionate.
The first step is eye contact, the rest is just figuring out how closely woven you are to the other in the fabric of humanity.