My fascination with clouds and the stars began long before Instagram filters and #cloudporn. Before I started working at 16 years old, I would make my parents buy me disposable cameras, and when we developed the pictures, 75% of them would be clouds and the sky. To this day, when I go through old pictures, I’ll come across a random print of a random cloud formation.
At night, my obsession was with the constellations. My dad was the one I shared that obsession with. He would help me pick out my favorite constellations at night and tell me their Turkish names.
To this day, if you’re ever outside with me, even if we’re just crossing the street to go to the next bar, you might catch me with my head pointed toward the sky – day or night. I can never get enough of it. I don’t need to point things out. I don’t have the desire to point out shapes in the clouds. I’ll get lost in it momentarily and all you have to do is say my name and I’ll keep walking. After all, my feet always remain on the ground, even if I trip once in a while.
This is pretty much how I’ve lived my life. Head pointed toward the clouds, shooting for the stars but always, always with feet on the ground. Tripping once in a while (OK, more often than I’d like to admit) and usually lost in my own view of the sky once, forgetting about the people around me. Because how could I not get lost in the stars? The possibilities? The mysteries?
The only thing that stands between me and the next star that’s my destination is…can you guess?
I always get in my own way. It’s self-doubt. It’s impostor syndrome. It’s being too selfless. Too passionate. Too scared. Not scared enough. Too foolish. Too…too everything.
In the last couple of years, I keep telling my beloveds and myself that I am working on getting out of my own way. Let’s be real honest – I can’t even fool myself on that, let alone those who have been my champions.
But I guess somewhere along the way, I actually did get out of my way. I stopped tripping up too much. The star I’ve been aiming for didn’t burn out by the time I reached it. In fact, it found me when I was probably trying to take in a sunrise or that cloud’s reflection in the water by the Great Wheel.
All this talk about stars and clouds and the sky, I never mentioned my North star. Because that’s what it boils down to, doesn’t it? Even when you get lost, even if you misread the constellations and stars burn out, as long as you keep aiming at your true north, you will find your path.
For me, my true north has been my always been my passion.
I identified it years ago and I never lost sight of it, even if I got lost. The path may alter once in a while, but that’s the fun part, isn’t it?
While I was gazing at stars, taking pictures of clouds, and keeping my feet on the ground one step at a time, a great opportunity found me. If we’re connected on social media at all, you probably noticed that last week, I began working for Google.
Yes, that Google.
There are a lot of fantastic things about this opportunity, but the reason it was so unexpected is because I didn’t apply for this job. Everything I worked so hard to build over the last five years paid off and my hard work spoke for itself when I didn’t even realize someone was listening.
I am beyond excited. Even today, after spending last week at the Google HQ, getting to know my team, I’m still a little bewildered. Nothing feels as good as being recognized for all of my hard work, even if I felt like I was running in place most days since starting this journey 5 years ago.
I get to work with a fantastic team, for an awesome company, doing exactly what I love, in a city I fall more in love with every day.
My impostor syndrome is currently in remission.
But don’t you worry, because I’ll still keep making faces like this in public.