Finding balance

Its been over two years since I’ve posted to this blog. A LOT has changed. A quick and over-simplified list of the main changes:

I became a mom. Twice. Two perfect, beautiful, energetic, and amazing little boys. The little big guy is now almost two and a half (yay, toddlerhood.) and the littlest of guys is almost 7 months. Being a mother is such a surreal thing and mostly brings me so much joy it hurts, but some days it brings so much frustration and exhaustion that its hard not to feel like I’m going to break.

We have re-relocated back to the good old U S of A. For the last year and a half of our time in Turkey it was really hard to write about everyday life there without being incredibly negative. Part of that was because life was so different with a little one and it made everyday interactions more frustrating than funny (hello, mommy guilt!) and Mr. Awesome’s late nights at work less bearable. But largely, I didn’t feel like I could see the Turkey I fell in love with years ago. It was changing — rapidly — into a place I didn’t like. As more journalists, academics, and even lowly bloggers were being rounded up and arrested I didn’t feel safe writing the thoughts I was having and I didn’t feel honest leaving them out. So I didn’t write. Looking back, I wish I had kept a journal even just to document how quickly it seemed that things changed and in what ways.

Most notably, my promise not to let this become a mommy blog is changing. I realized that being a mother has been such an overwhelmingly large part of who I am right now that I can’t possibly write on any type of regular basis without mommy-ing creeping in to that writing. I’m also at a point in my mothering journey where I need to find connections outside of my kids and my husband (whom I love to no end, but a girl needs more!). In our ever-connected world I’ve found it ironically harder to make face to face friends so I’m taking to the internet to curate my own circle of mommy friends.

If you’re interested in being friends and supporting one another through this crazy rollercoaster ride called motherhood, great! If you’re looking to show off how perfectly you can stage an instagram photo of motherhood, I’m probably not the girl for you. I’m going to try to be honest as I document my attempt to find balance between being a mom and being me. So bear with me as I reconfigure this little space and as I blabber into the ether about things that feel important to me in the few quiet(ish) moments I can find. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I have come to accept that it really is all about the journey and I hope to keep my intelligence and wits about me as I journey from here.

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Sessizlik (adj.: silence, quiet, stillness, muteness)

You may have noticed a serious lack of blogging from me about the events that have been happening in Ankara and all over Turkey.  Yes, I’m referring to the protests that all started over a park in Istanbul.  It isn’t that I don’t care or that I’m not obsessively following the events in an almost sick way via news feeds (largely international given the lack of balanced local media coverage), social media, and from my windows which overlook the city center.  It isn’t that I don’t have an opinion on the issue (and if you follow me on twitter or know me in real life you know I have a rather strong opinion on almost everything).  It isn’t that I’m afraid of making my voice known though I think you’d forgive me for such a fear given how many people have been arrested/detained for their words on social media platforms.  

My silence is because I have no answers for what is happening.  I have no new stories to add to the debate.  Nor do I possess the magic solution that would bring back the quiet to the cities of Turkey.  And the truth is: I don’t think that solution exists.  These protests are giving people on both sides the opportunity to say things loudly that before we only whispered — for good or bad.  

The other truth is that this is not my fight.  I am not the expat that has moved to Turkey and taken it as my own country.  I know that my time here has an end date and there are even times I eagerly await that end date to come.  While I will stay out of the debate (at least on this blog) I want to make it very clear that as an American I fiercely support freedom of speech, expression, and the right to assemble.  

Engel olmak (v.: to frustrate; to hinder; to prevent)

From that title, I could be going down a number of roads that lead to rants.  Lately more than usual too.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I’m always so easy to frustrate when things don’t go according to what I think is best… But that’s definitely a different posting for another time.  

Today’s discussion will focus on the frustration of accomplishing one of my 30 in 30 (obviously post 30 weeks).  Alas, I have not braved the learning of the manual transmission.  Please don’t send me a note telling me how easy it is and how much you believe in my abilities.  Intellectually I know all this, emotionally and in reality it’s just not going to happen here in Ankara.  Land of crazy drivers, annoyingly stupid traffic, and hills.  Not. Gonna. Happen.  Luckily, I was able to convince Mr. Awesome of the need for a car I can drive with the helpful expected addition of Baby Awesome (apparently while buses and taxis are safe enough for me, he’s pretty sure that he’d rather his baby not be flopping around in them which is fair).

So we’ve been on a mission to find a safe, reliable, automatic transmission-ed, used car.  Which brings me to being frustrated.  Why on earth do people selling used cars think they’re worth thousands, literally thousands of dollars more than they are?!  I even had one guy justify it to me that it was worth THREE THOUSAND dollars more than the actual value because it’s already registered VAT (tax) free and there aren’t a lot of those cars and so it is worth the extra money.  SERIOUSLY?!  That’s why we buy TAX FREE cars!!!  So we don’t pay the extra money for taxes!!!  

I know the selection will be limited.  I get that.  Silly me with the need for an automatic transmission.  I don’t need something nice and new.  It doesn’t even have to be pretty.  It just has to be reliable and safe.  And four doors (baby seat).  And not a stupid, crazy price.  Is that too much to ask?!!!  My experience of the past month to six weeks says yes.  Yes it apparently is too much to ask.

Hoppala! (exclamation: Opps!)

January 6th?!  That’s the last time I updated this bad boy?… Opps!

Not much has really changed in the past three weeks, though I do need to do some updating to the old 30 in 30 list.  The deadline is getting eerily close and there will definitely be some things that roll over to the next year’s to do list, but all and all I’m pretty proud of the progress.

Ankara has been a bit dreary with gray clouds and cold winds, but there have been a few days of beautiful sun and snow.  Sadly today is a cold, dreary, and muddy day. 

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