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.

Ay (n.: month, moon)

With less than one month until my 30th birthday, I realize I will not be accomplishing my 30 in 30 by the time I turn 30.  When I started this list, it was to give me something fun to keep me busy with and blogging about.  It seems that neither has really been the case.  Not to say I have not been busy, but I’ve not necessarily been busy with the things I listed in my “to do” list and I’ve been less than stellar about keeping up with this blog.

I recently got back from a short trip to the States.  It was exactly what I needed in so many ways: friends, comfortable small talk (read: in English with strangers), baby spinach, yoga classes that I wasn’t teaching, etc.  I’m so very glad I went and at the same time a little more homesick now that I’m back.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy to be back with Mr. Awesome and puppy girl, but I am also quite ready to be back in the US on a more permanent basis.  I know we have another two years (at least) here in Ankara and I’m still thankful for that time, but I am now most definitely also looking forward to going back.

While I was in the States, I realized I need to give being here a better chance.  I need to let go of what I wish it were like and who I wish were here with me and instead embrace what it is.  I need to do better making new friends and accept the people in my life as they are.  I need to be as confident at trying new things alone here as I am in the States.  I need to accept that Mr. Awesome will be stuck working obscene hours for ridiculous (and not-so-ridiculous) issues.  And I need to give myself a break when I can’t accept and do all these things all the time.  I hope to add these and many others to my list of ongoing things to do/see/accomplish.

Being less than a month away from my 30th birthday, I realize that much like New Year’s Resolutions, accomplishing a list of things before a certain date is sort of silly.  It should be a continuous process.  I started the list as a way of coping with a big birthday… turning 30 is scary, right?  It’s the first major milestone birthday that isn’t associated with getting new privileges and therefore is going over and down the proverbial hill, right?  Yet somehow looking down the barrel at 30 I strangely feel… nothing.  Yet.

Noelliniz kutlu olsun! (Merry Christmas!)

I’m a couple of days late, I know. The sentiment remains the same and hopefully you all had great, happy, and perfect Christmases! Here in our happy little home we tried to just lay low and enjoy being together. Which we did, but we also had some craziness around here.

The day after Christmas we had all of our furniture traded out for newer versions of the same stuff (long story). While it was basically like moving in again (fortunately most of our stuff is in closets and not in drawers and such), over all we’re quite happy with the upgrades. Of course we did have to re-re-rearrange the way the guys set everything up, which meant some fun sliding and lifting.

And then we learned what I’ve always suspected about our Olive pup. She’s a big softy at heart, but if there’s a pigeon on our patio she could turn into a cold blooded killer. I’m pretty sure she just wanted to play, but after letting her out to scare a particularly stubborn one away I definitely had to clean up some feathers. If left to her own devices, I’m pretty sure there would be a “de-stuffed” pigeon on our balcony.

Most importantly, I finished (almost all) my Christmas knitting.  Mom got a hat (sock yarn from Germany) and scarf (found bought-by-weight cotton blend), Dad got a hat (bulky wool), Sister got a triangle shawl/scarf (Brooklyn Tweed wool), MKD got fingerless gloves and a matching hat (DC local sock yarn), and Mr. Awesome got a herringbone knit scarf (cashmere blend).  All were also promised socks.  Eventually.  Now I have to get started on what will now be CMR’s Valentine’s shawl since her yarn took forever to get here (and even held up Mr. Awesome’s yarn!) but it so beautiful that I forgive her… plus, I picked the color so it is my fault after all.  Lesson learned?  Tell Jimmy Beans Wool to ship as it comes in and not hold to ship all at once.

Hope you got everything you wanted and needed!  Merry Christmas to all!

Gurbet çekmek (v.: to be homesick for one’s home or homeland) or why I’ve been absent

I haven’t lived in the US in over three years, but I still get homesick for America every now and then.  I don’t know how people can move away from their homeland and stay away.  I think of all the immigrants I know — in the US and overseas — and I wonder how they manage to make the decision to leave everything they know and love behind for a new life.  The only way I’ve been able to do so is by knowing that it isn’t forever and that I can go back anytime I need to get a fix of good old Americana.

This past week has been one of those weeks when everything I do, see, or think makes me want to spend time back home.  Maybe it’s the fall weather and knowing that football season is starting.  Maybe it was the Labor Day sales emails I got from all my favorite stores.  Maybe it’s just that odd ‘back-to-school’ feeling I always seem to get this time of year (despite not being enrolled in a school in over 7 years).  Maybe it’s just ‘that time’ to return back.  Whatever the reason, I find myself aching to be back home in the US these days.

I want to eat a delicious, juicy burger cooked the way I ordered it (in English).  I want to go to my favorite yarn stores and stock up on new yearns for winter projects while chatting with fellow knitters (in English).  I want to go for a run on real trails.  I want to order a skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks without having to spell my first name for the barista.  I want to see a movie (without subtitles).  I want to go to Target.  Really, this list could go on for days of all the silly things I’m longing for from home.

I’ve been so pathetically homesick I haven’t even been up for writing here for all my friends and family to read.  Which (in addition to being flighty about emailing) has only made me feel more isolated from home and more homesick.

So Mr. Awesome and I are hoping to head home (and by “home” ironically, I just mean America because we have no actual home to which to go really — but thank you family and friends for always offering up space!) for a few weeks in October.  With that decision made and closer than the very long term and vague end point of our time here, I hope to be snapped out of my homesick funk and back to normal blogging and exploring.

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