Saturday, November 27, 2010


Sometimes a song can say it all... I'm not going through anything at the moment, just like my previous post says, but I think that Kelly Clarkson sometimes lives in my head. Her songs have been so perfect so many of the situations that I've been in. And that is saddening in the sense that my situations have not been unusual by any stretch of the imagination and also heartening to know that I'm not the first or last to have been through what I have been through.

I had never heard this song before: I don't hook up, but the title really attracted me. The video is tongue in cheek but it empowers me at the same time... anyway, putting it out there for you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mildly Content

I haven't posted much lately. I know I've dropped a few words here and there about different things, but I think that my writing and blogging on this blog often comes out of angst or some extreme moment. Currently I am lulled into a state of non-writing by the mild content in my life. There is no one here in Turkey that I am interested in dating and while that feels lonely, it doesn't feel as if I am alone. I am on eHarmony and have met some nice guys on there, but distance makes is difficult (although I find it's good because I am really getting to know them... okay, just the one really) and I am content in building a connection or letting it go if that's what God directs me to do. I am content socially with the new friendships I am building here and the connections I am getting to maintain with my friends and family all over the world. Yes, the mildly content feeling will blow away like the leaves from the tree, I am sure... everything has a season, doesn't it? But for now, I plan to enjoy this feeling and to continue working on who I am as a person, as a woman. Life is good, it's a gift and I am loving the gentle unwrapping of it right now, no rush, no fuss.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Worth of a Woman

The computer I am working on right now (mine crashed and burned... literally) doesn't let me edit pictures, or at least I can't figure it out. *sigh* So tilt your head to the left and then you will see the painting properly. This is something I've been working on for a while. It's the back of a nude woman and on her are the words and symbols for what women are. I asked some friends to offer up the positive words that they think of for women as well... some are in French, Korean, Chinese, Hebrew and Turkish too. Hopefully I didn't mess up the languages that don't use a traditional alphabet, I tried to be as true to the images that I found or was given as I could. There is more room on her for more words, so leave a comment if you want to add to it, especially if you are bringing another language to the mix (and please don't be mad if I have gotten some of them wrong, I am trying).
What I was trying to do with this painting was remind myself and those around me of the worth of a woman. Especially the women around me. It's so easy for us to get caught up with what the media says we should be like, it's easy to think that our worth is tied to our wealth or our physical appearance (yes, I put pretty and beautiful on there too because they aren't just external for me). I wanted to remind myself and others that our value is under the surface of our skin and not in our wallets but in our actions, thoughts, words and so on.
Anyway, I hung this in my entry-way to remind me before I leave every day that I am worth so much more than those physical attributes, and to remind me every time I come home that no matter what was said or what I saw or heard, that I am all those things and worth so much more than the media image of what I need to be. My self image is generally pretty good and confident, but sometimes it's a struggle to keep that up all the time. So this is my reminder.


Seems like a strange concept, even to people of my generation, but flirting and dating over the internet is where it's at these days. I know I've been open about how I've joined eHarmony to try and help myself find a little love in this life, but still feels a little strange to look at a computer screen instead of a man's face, and to touch the keyboard instead of his hand when I am trying to develop some kind of connection. But there you have it, it's the new wave of dating. Part of me likes it. It allows me to go a little slower, get to know the man better before I decide and he decides if this is something to pursue or not. But there is that frustration of the chemistry. It's important to know if you have chemistry and an emoticon or flirty text can only tell so much. So as I begin this search and as I make connections (just the one is all I really want or need), I hope to find out how e-flirting will work, or if it will, particularly because I live in Turkey and most of my matches are showing up as American or British. Only time and the Lord will tell...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Broken Heart Badges

"It's still two human beings trying to get along, so it's going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something." — from Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love

My friend just put this quote up on her facebook wall and it got me to thinking... Did I wear my broken heart proudly when it happened? No... no, I didn't. I was so overwhelmed at being broken that I couldn't think of anything else. I couldn't think how thankful I was for having the opportunity to love. I couldn't think how thankful I was for the two years of love that I did have. I couldn't think of how proud I was for trying and for growing in that love. I couldn't think of how, even though my heart was broken at the moment, my heart would be stronger and better in the long run. So when I read this quote and used my 20/20 hindsight, I was able to do that. So thanks, friend, for posting the quote and I hope that if your heart is broken, you will learn to wear it with a little pride for the risks you took and the things you gain in the end.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hearts Need Guarding?!

Lately I've felt a need to steep myself a little more in what the Bible has to say in general. It's been a long time since I've wanted to open it on a daily basis and read, so this is a good feeling. Every morning when I wake up, I turn on my nook and start reading. Right now I am reading from Proverbs and I am loving it. The wisdom and the understanding gained in there is amazing... why haven't I been steeping myself in it all along?! It's so practical! The other day I was in Proverbs 4:23 and the verse was about guarding your heart. It's not something we think about doing really? I mean, we think about being heart healthy all the time or speaking about our emotions because that's what you do feel better etc. But to guard the heart?! What does it mean? The verse doesn't tell you exactly what it means or how to go about doing it, but it tells you to do it because your heart is the well-spring of life (true in both the physical and emotional sense, isn't it?!) So here is my quandary: What does it mean to guard your heart exactly? How do you go about doing it? And is it possible to step to far into guarding it? I'm keen to know what you think, please leave a comment on here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Coffee Grinds

Last weekend I went to a smaller city with my friend and teaching partner, Nilay. She was gracious enough to invite me into her home and family and social life for a weekend. It was lovely!! The place was at a little slower pace than Ankara and was a little more traditional (what I call "real" Turkey), the people were also lovely and generous almost to a fault. I had a great time and felt incredibly welcome.
While there I had my coffee grinds read. What?! I know... I know... seems odd. But it is an interesting tradition around Turkey that after you drink a turkish coffee you turn your cup upside-down into your saucer and after a time you allow someone who can to read or tell your fortune. One of Nilay's friends offered to do this for me and I agreed. It seemed like something fun and that it would be for a lark, so why not? Well, here is the general gist of what she told me:

She said that in my heart I try hard to follow and straight and narrow path and that it's good and I should always try to follow that path. She also said that I am a very emotional person (I know, understatement, right?!) that feels the pains and joys of others. She said that it is both a blessing and curse because I care deeply for people, I empathize easily and I take their pains for my own. But it's a curse because the hurt does become my own and I care too much for others and not enough for myself. She said that my tears fall often but at the same time, they fall just once. She clarified by saying that I take on the sadness of others and it makes me cry often but that once I cry, I release it. She said I need to learn to stop taking on the sadness and joys of others over my own because it's too much for me emotionally and physically. She said the sadnesses and injustices of the world can make me depressed and physically ill because I carry them with me too much. She also said that I am blessed because in the grand scheme of things I really do have few problems and I am blessed with most of the things I wish for. She said it is like I keep a tree of wishes or blessings in my life... I find a way to memorialize the good and the bad things that happen in my life whether I made them happen or they just happened on their own and that my blessings outweigh my personal pains. She also spoke of my friends coming to see me at Christmas time. She said that one of them coming is someone who smiles often and knows how to make me smile and feel lighter (hm.... interesting... I know who that is!!). She said to enjoy that time. She also spoke of a tall woman or man with long hair in my life who is always pondering things. (this I don't get). She spoke of a past love (where marriage was mentioned). She told me that the hurt will fade and that he really isn't a bad guy and that I wasn't stupid for being with him, but that it just wasn't meant to be. She spoke of something happening for me on the 12th or the 22nd, but that she wasn't sure if those would happen or were supposed to and would be canceled. She also spoke of my house, meaning my family at home, and that there was love and blessings there too.

The things that she said left me with a lump in my throat and goosebumps. I had never met this girl before and most of the things she spoke about my friend Nilay didn't know about. Perhaps I see the truth in it because I want to, or perhaps God used her to speak to my heart and put me back on track. Either way, it was interesting and I am grateful for it. It's helped me see that this time of giving back to myself and fortifying myself isn't really selfish or awful.... that I don't need to feel guilty about taking care of me first for a change. So next time you have a coffee, take a moment, think about your life and reflect... it's a good thing.