Sunday, June 28, 2009

somewhere over nova scotia

saturday, june 27th, 2009

as i leave the country it seems appropriate for me to again explore my departure feelings, anxieties, concerns, and most importantly, my aspirations. having just watched the motorcycle diaries aboard my flight, i can easily begin by saying that i don't expect a revolution out of my six month adventure. however, i do depart hoping that i will find something in myself, in the city, in the culture and history that invigorate my already burgeoning passion for study. my time abroad will help me determine the viability of living abroad in the long term, of pursuing a career studying turkey and the middle east, islam and europe, american diplomatic history in the region, etc.

in this first blog post, i'm going to write a bit about istanbul and also about "leaving" loved ones behind.

so i'm picturing the nighttime view of the Bosporous, and it makes my heart beat a little faster. I know there is such rich, incredible culture for me to explore in the next six months, and the excitement is so encouraging in a moment when i feel ervous about leaving the most important people in my life behind. i think the city will keep me alive, engaged (i'm romanticizing already), and of course, what i look forward to the most, passionate.

istanbul is a place of stunning physical beauty, and that always touches me. and each monument has a long, enticing, meaningful existence. this is par of course, of the true essence of history -- giving meaning to so much that otherwise just exists. and after months of getting ready, the time is ripe to do this. more to come over my first cup of turkish tea from istanbul...

on loved ones: over the past few weeks i've really lost my footing with the people i care for so much in the chaotic midst of mom's mastectomy. but in the few days preceding my departure, and now as i leave the country, things have become so much more clear. i know that i will miss you more than i can conceive right now. but my once paralyzing anxiety about truly being on my own for the first time in years has now transformed into anticipation for embarking on the adventure i always promised myself i would have.

at once, i am looking forward to it all, and also realizing the value and wonderful comfort of having the ones you love at your side.

in the last 3 years, i've taken "leaps" and made vulnerable commitments -- always with the confidence that i can turn to those bestest friends and family to love me unconditionally, to hold me, talk to me, guide me out of that vulnerability back into confidence. but now, i really must test myself, i need to do this to see what i can accomplish standing on my own. i am who i am because of the support and love you've given me thus far -- now is the time for me to see what i can do, just me, abroad.