Being Berrak,  The Year Of...

The Year of Gumption

Starting the year a little brighter and a lot bolder.

Every year, I start a new photo album on Facebook. Every year, I try to come up with a title for that album beyond just the year. In 2015, it was the “Year of Dirty Thirty” because, well, I turned 30 that year. In 2016, I didn’t have anything specific in mind, so it was the “Year of [TBD]” and I honestly still couldn’t describe the year in a word.

When I was uploading the pictures from Saturday night, on a whim, the name for the 2017 album became the “Year of Gumption.” I thought it would be something like “bold” or “adventure,” but I like gumption better.

Behind the scenes, I’ve been thinking of ways to get back to the foundation of who I am. What I’m coming to realize more and more is that I have a never-ending passion for learning. However, while I want to try new things, I also want to hold on to the essential things that make up who I am.

There are a few things I’m going to focus on this year. More importantly, I’m going to explore and share with you the meaning behind “Being Berrak.” I used to share all of my stories with the world and the past couple of years, I’ve felt burnt out. I let myself get caught up in the comparison game, losing sight of why I’ve always blogged about my personal life. A lot of it has to do with the fact that my career took off in a way that required me to find the right balance of personal and business. I built my business and credibility by being true to who I am, but it’s been tricky.

So, I’ve turned inward, trying to figure out the things that make me happy when no one is looking. What are the changes I can make in my daily life that will help me feel connected to my past while helping me move forward as a person?

Here are a few ways I’m going to embrace life this year:

In the kitchen. 

So, it’s weird, but I don’t cook a ton of Turkish food at home. I’m not sure if it has to do with the fact that it’s hard to cook for just myself when the food is meant to be shared, or if I’ve just been scared of fucking up the recipes I loved growing up. Even after we moved to the U.S., my mom always cooked our favorite recipes with the ingredients that we would find in Turkey – or at least as close to the original as we could get here. I don’t know about you, but my mom never had a recipe book. She enjoyed experimenting and figuring out recipes that were handed down from her mom, and the Turkish dishes we loved eating as a family.

I think it has a lot to do with my brother moving to Seattle, but I’ve been overcome with this urge to start cooking more Turkish dishes at home. That also means creating some things from scratch instead of store-bought (like egg noodles).

I am by no means a great cook. My plating skills also need serious work. But as I experiment with new recipes, I’m going to try to share them with you guys here on the blog, as well as over at Instagram. If you’re local, once I get a little more confident, you might be seeing a dinner party invite from me.

Getting back to basics

I don’t know about you, but my handwriting has taken a serious dive since high school. I was never a creative person to begin with, but I had pretty decent script as a kid, especially because there was a huge focus on cursive in elementary school in Turkey. Now, as I rush to take notes offline, my hands shake. My handwriting doesn’t feel reflective of who I am.

Silly? Maybe. But it’s important to me.

So, in 2017, I’m also going to go back to basics and work on learning how to write cursive by practicing a lot .My goal isn’t to become a calligraphy expert, or even have perfect handwriting. I’ve already printed out some worksheets. I think this will also help me get in touch with my creative side that’ll actually help me a better writer.

This blog

You’ll see a lot more posts from me on this blog. In addition to what I mentioned above, there are a lot of things happening in my daily life that I used to love sharing with you guys. If you’ve been around for a while, you may remember some of my silliest posts.

I don’t know when or why I felt the need to compartmentalize who I am on a daily basis, but there’s more to me than just the long reflective posts that come at the end of the year.

Maybe I’ll blog every day.

Maybe I won’t.

I just know that I am no longer going to wait for everything to be perfect before I share it with the world.

I mean, let’s be honest. You don’t want to miss crucial insights like this from me, do you?

So, what are some of your intentions for 2017? I asked this before and I’ll ask it again:  How will you continue to be you in a world of chaos?


  • Christina

    Cheers to the new year and getting back to the basics! I’ve only had Turkish food once (and it was in Korea so I’m not sure how legit it was), but it looks so good! Maybe combine handwriting with your blog posts? I know I’m old school but I always hand write my blog posts before I type them up! Just an idea. 🙂

    • Berrak

      You’d be surprised at where you can find authentic Turkish food around the world!

      I love that idea of combining handwriting with my blog posts! Thanks, Christina 🙂

  • Jess Tupper

    Getting back to basics – including handwriting – sounds perfect! I always love journaling when I can make time for it. It really is a great way to empty your brain before you start to write for the day, or to get new ideas out.

    Also, kudos to cooking! That stuff is no joke. (I’m tempted to bake more this year, and really need to convince myself to do that.)

    • Berrak

      I love baking, too! I keep it simple. It’s great because when I’m baking, I have to focus on the task at hand (usually covered in flour) and won’t be tempted to multitask.