[Reverb10] Wisdom

Today’s prompt: Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Parisian Love Lock
Source ©2010

The wisest decision I made this year was to let love win.

My love of laughter dragged me to DC Improv to see some of my favorite comics.

My love of friendships took me away from the East Coast and to Texas for the first time to spend a weekend bonding with amazing people.

My love of writing had me blogging through the worst and best times.

My love of love had me moving in with my boyfriend for the first time even though it was scary for both of us.

My love of real people gave me the courage to cut ties when it was necessary so I could move forward.

My love of being in charge of my own life gave me the courage to take a risk and NOT go back to full-time work until I am ready.

My love of New York now has me looking for full-time jobs in NYC. (I’ll let you know how that turns out)

My love of life has me going forward every day, even if I feel like I can’t take any more disappointment because tomorrow always comes.

Have I stumbled? Of course. Has my heart been broken? Naturally.

Do I regret any of my decisions?

Absolutely not.

It’s like Hugh Grant says in my favorite movie: “General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.”

[Reverb10] Party

A wedding on a boat surrounded by my soul sisters?

Yes please.

It was a gorgeous day on June 13, 2010.  As we all drove down to the lake (mostly hungover), I was giddy with excitement.

We were surrounded by:

Blue [The sky, the water and the wedding party]

Bubbles [Of excitement, and soap]

Dancing [Naturally, this also played]

Dinosaurs [Rawr means ‘I love you’]

Swimming [And noodle penises]


Love [It was a wedding after all]

That was the perfect party to wrap up our awesome weekend & declare Squish and Robbie’s love.

(Let’s not even talk about the Bachelorette party that rocked our socks off the previous Friday)


(12/9) Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

[Reverb10] Beautifully Different

(I’m falling a little behind on Reverb10 because of finals/being sick but should be catching up with your posts over the weekend! You can find all of my Reverb10 posts here)

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am one of the weirdest people I know.  It helps that my closest friends reaffirm this everyday. (Thanks guys, I love you too.)

I own it. I like who I am and I know that everything about me that’s quirky is just a piece of who I am. The person I have become, who I actually like most of the time.

I have immigrant moments, or a ‘speech impediment’ (my accent) as one of my soul sisters, Cassie, tends to say.  Having English as my second language and being kind of a blonde at times, I have fun moments where the sentence I say doesn’t make total sense but those around me get it. ne of them that my boyfriend constantly rags on me for is when I tell him to ‘Close the lights’ when I’m tired.

I snort when I laugh. And I have absolutely no shame about it.

I have an awfully addictive personality. I’m addicted to a lot of things and chances are, I’ll be addicted to you.

I get insanely shy. Especially if I’m tired.

I am persistent, to the point of being a pain in your butt. If I want something, I go after it.  If I want to see my friends, I will be on their ass until they say yes. If I have my heart set on something, I will fight for it until the very end. And then fight some more.

I never give up. In games, in life, in school. There’s a reason I’m still working on my bachelor’s when I could’ve given up years ago.

I have a weird obsession with penguins. Don’t hate on my Penguin Posse.

I have a big heart. And at the risk of being called fake, I show compassion to someone even if they’ve hurt me.

I am a Social Media Junkie but you guys already knew this.

My brain can go 100 mph and if you interrupt me during a story, chances are, even if it’s hours later, I will pick up from the EXACT SAME SPOT and finish my story. This goes back to that persistent thing.

I will always make a fool out of myself in public if it means making someone smile, even if it’s a stranger.

At the end of the day, all of this and more makes me who I am: A beautiful goofball.


Prompt (12/8): Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

[Reverb10] Community

The groupphoto © 2009 Grzegorz Łobiński | more info (via: Wylio)

This year, as I found myself, I also found people around me fading away.

As I grew out of friendships, it seemed that because of one friendship expiring, I kept losing entire communities of people.

At 25 years old, it’s hard to make new friends, let alone find new communities so you focus on making the ones you have stronger.

June of 2010 was an incredible month for me as I found myself smack in the middle of a sisterhood that had already embraced me unconditionally. I just didn’t fully see or understand it until we were all in the same room together. They had watched me grow over the last few years, some intimately & some from a distance.  When a friend I had met online who had watched me from a distance invited me to her wedding around the same time someone I thought was a friend told me I wasn’t welcome in her life (In addition to her wedding), I understood what true friendship & community meant.

I also found the Social Media community of Washington, DC. I was intimated at first because I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer. I was timid & unsure, like the new kid in a high school where everyone had known each other since nap time. I still put myself out there, through my fear & insecurities. Boy am I glad I did.  I have met some amazing people who have made a name for themselves and are still offering insight to the newcomers. The sharing of knowledge, insight & the friendships that form in this community are priceless. (This is obviously nowhere near a comprehensive list of all the amazing people I have met & you should join the FB group if you want to join the great discussions)

You have to make it through the fluff.

The reality is no matter what community you discover, there will always be fluff.  It’s when you get down to the nitty gritty that you find the true value in the community, the people and most important of all, yourself.

In 2011, I’ll keep being the new kid where it counts.


Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

[Reverb10] Make

I woke up this morning and read today’s prompt: December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I am not a maker.

I am not crafty. Nor can I draw.  I cook sometimes but nothing extraordinary.

I thought about it all day. I studied. I applied for jobs. I looked around my apartment for things I’ve made.

Besides a mess?


Except for plans.

And mistakes.

I am not a maker but I admire those who are.

I do take pictures but I don’t think I can say I made any of my photography.

Bring on Day 7 Reverb10.

[Reverb10] Let Go


2010 was the year of letting go.

I let go of the toxic.

Toxic relationships

Toxic friends

Toxic thoughts

Toxic jobs.

I let go of doubt

Doubt in myself

Doubt in my abilities

Doubt in my boyfriend

Doubt in my heart.

I let go of fear

Fear of not surviving.

Fear of not being the person others want me to be

Fear of failing

Fear of taking chances.

I let go of the unreasonable…and let myself be human.


Today’s prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? Via Alice Bradley.

Day 4: Wonder

Day 3: Moment

Day 2: Writing

Day 1: One Word

[Reverb10] Wonder

Wonderphoto © 2007 Eric Ward | more info (via: Wylio)

The only way to cultivate wonder is to stop, strip away the layers of superficial weighing you down and live.

[The wonder of the ‘insignificant’]

You will see me get super excited about finding another penguin to join my Penguin Posse.

If I get that perfect cup of coffee in the morning, it adds a little extra hop to my step.

Getting that perfect shot of the moon & falling in love with photography all over again

Being able to sleep in after a long week of work & studying

A leisurely stroll through the city using a street I don’t normally use and discovering a wreck site

[The wonder of memories triggered across time & space]

Crossing time zones to attend the wedding of one of my soul sisters and spending a weekend filled with love and bonding with women who have been in my life for years.

Getting on the bus at 3:30 a.m. from D.C. to N.Y, and remembering the bus trips we used to take back in Turkey. When I told my dad about it, and I mentioned the 15 minute stop, he brought up an inside joke.

[The wonder of laughter]

Inside jokes

Favorite qutes

Randomly getting into a giggly mood and spreading the joy.

Embracing my immigrant moments & ‘speech impediment’

Laughing until drinks come out my nose [and maybe I pee a little]

Seeing my favorite stand-up comics and laughing without restraint.

Making silly faces and being ridiculous in public.

[The wonder of living]

This year I learned to live and felt the wonder of my own thoughts.

“Wonder is not a Pollyanna stance, not a denial of reality; wonder is an acknowledgment of the power of the mind to transform.” -Christina Baldwin


Today’s prompt: How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeff Davis)

[Reverb10] Moment

There’s a reason I haven’t written about my October New York trip. There were no words to capture the feeling I had when I was walking those streets. Sure, I could’ve talked about how excited I was, and how I loved the chaos and the pretty sights but it would’ve felt empty.

Then came today’s #Reverb10 prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors)

I’ve been wanting to visit New York for a long time and in my mind, I was afraid that the reality wouldn’t live up to how I imagined I would feel.

When my bus rolled into the city at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, as exhausted as I was, I felt alive. Walking the streets for the first time, I had a strange sense of direction.

I felt home.

The noises of a city waking up surrounding me, I knew that I wanted to listen to that every day.  Walking to and through Central Park, I was in the middle a city that has made millions feel alive, even through the television screen but it was different for me.

There is only one other place in the world that can make me feel like I belong and that is Istanbul.

New York is as close to home as it will get.

The way the streets felt under my feet.

From the smells from the delis and the vendor carts combined perfectly to chatter of those around me to the sights that filled my vision.

When your home is an ocean away, you long for that feeling of belonging.  You search it in every part of the city you live in and you make a home for yourself the best way you know how.  There is nothing that compares to the feeling I have when the plane touches ground in Istanbul.

For the first time in 15 years, however, New York City gave me a hint of that feeling.

The organized chaos of New York made me feel alive for the first time in a very long time this year and I can’t wait to be back there in 2 weeks, taking every moment in and continuing to search for the words to describe the overwhelming calm washing over me.

[You can find these pictures & others at my Etsy shop]

[Reverb10] Writing

Even as I’m getting ready to write this blog, I have a million things going through my head. About school, work, money, other blogs I want to write, different article ideas, the article I have due tonight for Borderstan, holiday plans, working out, looking for jobs, family…

And so on.

My biggest hindrance on writing? I can’t shut my brain off long enough to focus.

I was born to write. I know this from the bottom of my heart and the feeling that washes over me every time I complete a piece is proof of that.

I am just bad at planning and outlining.  When I have a paper due for school, I cannot outline. I just get my ideas in order and start writing, hoping for the best and plugging in the resources at the end.

I need to be able to write freely but life doesn’t always allow that.  The times that blogs get written out in my head are usually when I’m too busy with something else or too tired to type out the words.

By the time I get to it, I already have a million other ideas and words in my head.

I need to do more free-writing.  I need to dedicate a half hour of my life to just write. Shut off the wi-fi so I’m not tempted to check my emails. Turn off my phone and leave it in the other room (Which is impossible sometimes) and turn on the music.

There are days when ALL I want to do is write.

I just have to force myself to write every day because that is what frees my mind and soul.


Today’s prompt: What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

[Reverb10] One Word

2010 was all about growth.

growthphoto © 2008 Charlie Ambler | more info (via: Wylio)

In 2010, I took one [or ten] step closer to becoming the woman I want to be.  When I look back at my life 20 years from now, I want to be proud of my life, my accomplishments and my gradual growth as a person.  Sometimes, the growth isn’t so gradual.  Life throws you curveballs that force you into an emotional growth spurt and you hope that you make it out of the other side with minimal damage.

This year was all about taking the power back in my life.  I grew emotionally by allowing myself to fall in love and experience the growing pains of a relationship.

I grew out of friendships and allowed myself to be OK with that.  I learned that it is OK to let people go in your life because sometimes, your life just goes in a different direction. Not everyone in my life will grow in the same direction as me and it’s important to acknowledge that so I don’t stunt my own growth. I took the power back in my own life by learning to be selfish.

I finally grew out of my pen name and began using my real name with my writing.  I grew strong enough to own my life.

2010 was the year I learned to love my city, my challenges and the risks I’ve taken in order to move forward.

In 2010, I grew enough to let myself be happy.


That will be the year of fulfillment.  Every step I took this year will lead to a fulfilling year.  I will be fulfilled in my education, my career and my writing.  I will live my life to the fullest, every step of the way.


This December I am participating in Reverb 10. Today’s prompt was: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

Reverb 10 (#reverb10) is now an annual event, an inspired response to (and evolution of) #best09. It’s an open online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next. It’s an opportunity to retreat and consider the reverberations of your year past, and those that you’d like to create in the year ahead. We’re connected by the belief that sharing our stories has the power to change us. We look forward to reading yours.