Tuesday, February 5, 2013

same head on same shoulders

The idea was to write about my life in NY, right? How different it is from my life in Ankara... How it feels to be so close to the center of the world, yet so far from my loved ones, the center of my world... As the saying goes, "wherever you go, your head goes on your shoulders". So it's not that different - I'm carrying my demons with me everywhere.

I had a chance to reconnect with my former best friend today. I say former, because we are not the same as we used to be. To keep the long story short, I felt the need to talk to her at one point about the things that were bothering me in our relationship, and offered to lower our expectations from each other. She had a hard time processing this, as I understand from her latest e-mails. Yes, she was in silent retreat for two years, and now we are communicating again through e-mails, thanks to her coming to my dream one night and then deciding to come out of her cocoon when I told her about the dream and invited her to New York. This doesn't mean that we will be best friends again - she was hurt, apparently, and she lost her faith in me as someone who would always be there - but we are talking now, working our way out of silence, trying to understand what we want and what we expect, trying to save something that was damaged but not entirely lost.

These e-mails, and some encounters I had before in Turkey, remind me once again the fact that I have significantly lowered the number of people in my immediate circle since cancer (by the way, I really need to come up with a name for that period, cause I hate the c-word popping up every now and then). I don't know for sure if this is good or bad, but I tend to think it is good to be able to refine your relationships and get rid of the overload so that you have much less to worry about other than your precious self - yes, I know it sounds selfish, and I do believe that selfish is good if the other option is to give and get nothing in return. B explains the change in me as: "You don't take shit anymore!" It wasn't a deliberate decision, but it sounds wise to me.

Does that mean the experience of cancer has actually taught me something other than the obvious facts (see, a previous post about how wigs make your scalp itch)? Well, that would be nice, knowing that it wasn't an utter waste of time - but I have a feeling that it's still a little too early to jump to conclusions about the effect of that experience on me, and maybe it shouldn't be me who reaches those conclusions after all. I would really like to hear what my small circle of friends and those who believe they have been left outside think about this.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I thought I wasn't the "complaining" kind of person, but then all I did throughout the first semester was complain - and I still catch myself in the middle of a conversation, complaining about things or people. This is not a good sign, and I'm sure it makes me rather boring. But then, having mottos obviously doesn't help. I know for a fact that I wasn't a whiner even through the hardest times - unemployment, family crises, cancer - but maybe I should have talked more about the things that I tried so hard to ignore. Maybe, certain things are coming back to haunt me and I can't handle them anymore. Maybe, just maybe, I should have complained at the right time to the right person so that I wouldn't become a whiner when there really isn't anything serious to complain about.

And if that had happened, maybe I wouldn't have sent a complaint to my parents and my sister out of the blue, and then my sister wouldn't have blamed me for the things that I didn't even know, and maybe... I don't know, and I never will, since this is the way we have lived so far, and this is where we have come.

So, what happened in the past five months... Well, it's happened and it's gone now. Living in a 4th-floor walk-up may not be the American dream, but I like my apartment, my room, my roommate, and every little bit of thing in my private space - from the pictures on the walls to the candies on my desk. I am very much at peace with the idea of spending 16 more months here - even though it looks like I'm counting the days left.

Going home for two weeks during the winter break did help. Maybe I was depressed - I had never even been close to depression, but maybe I was this time (oh so many maybe's!), at 30 years of age, and I needed to go back to familiar grounds, to reset. No matter what, I'm glad I did it.

So now I'm refreshed, energized, definitely less depressed. New York is the same old city, but now I see it differently. It seems like the spring is going to be a lot more fun than the winter. I can't wait to see.