It’s been over a year since I first discovered Istanbul’s exquisite ability to free. And since then I have become obsessed with its sea-full nature, with its busy streets, with its hilly views, with its cardamon and fish smelling restaurants, with colorful eyes of its residents, with quite nights by Bosporus, with picturesque sunsets, with ancient bookshops, with absence of reason in it, with taste of sutlac and bakhlava, with sound of music,with dervish dances, with old Turkish songs sang in high pitched female voice over Turkish tea; these were just few of things I grew obsessed with. Leaving it then, I knew that Istanbul now and forever will be a marking point for change in my life.
This time, I showed up to Istanbul with bags full of strength, wisdom and newly gained confidence. It did not recognize me at first; and even then it was not welcoming at all. It stripped me off of every piece of confidence I gained about myself or life, it put me face to face with my biggest fears, my strongest flaws, my worst prejudices and assumptions. It tested my loyalty and my ability to love and to accept. It showed me how little I am in control of my life, but it also freed me from my fear of being wrong or imperfect, just like it freed me from my fear of being alone last time.
It told me that I am worthy of love and happiness even if I am wrong and out of control, it showed me that happiness is not measured with any results and achievements, but with ability to let yourself to be immersed in sunshine on the seashore, to dance in the rain and to feed seagulls, but most of all it is measured with ability to fly freely. It also proved once again that life is beautiful, even when it’s different from what we expect it to be and may be even more this way. We have parted as old friends this time; it was priceless seeing you, Istanbul!
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