I really thought I'd want to pack it in.
I thought that going to the US last week would make me want to move back.
Despite my conflicting feelings about going to the US, I secretly feared that I would become enamored with my home country in a way that I had never been before.
But it didn't happen that way at all.Instead, I came home to Izmir with something altogether better than the desire to escape my life in Turkey.
Validation. Assurance. Confirmation.
I came back to Turkey feeling like I did when I first moved to Istanbul two and a half years ago. I feel giddy and optimistic. I feel like my life is full of joy and promise, that there are things to do and goals to meet.
I feel like I made the right choice to move here and that I keep making the right choice every day by staying.
These past several months in Izmir have been hard for me. Harder, perhaps, than I've let on to friends and on this blog. But you guys probably already suspected this.
I've been down, I've been grumpy, I've complained about pretty much everything. I've lamented moving away from Istanbul and was sour on Izmir for months, dwelling on only the city's negative attributes rather than celebrating its positives.
But I came back from the US with a completely different attitude. I remember now why I moved to Turkey in the first place and the kind of life I envisioned myself having while here. Even Philadelphia, my most favorite city in the US, wasn't able to convince me that life there would be any better than my current life here.
A little bit of distance gave me a new perspective on the life I've created for myself and what I have chosen to do with my time in Izmir. And I realized that I've wasted so much of the past six months. While I've been throwing back martinis and watching television, time and opportunities passed me by. And I did nothing about it.
But that's okay. I'm not going to shed tears for what I may have missed but instead make a resolution to move forward.
I chose to live here. I choose to live here. And more than that, I now choose to make the absolute best of my choice.
Jeff and me at my dad and step-mom's house in central PA (courtesy of my mom)