Wednesday, February 4, 2015

make it a habit

I seriously need to get this blog into a habit.
It's on my mind a lot but I never seem to have the energy to write, or I find it difficult to make the time...
Any ideas on how to get this thing going?

Before I go to sleep I always find myself scanning through Instagram or Twitter or even Facebook lately. I need to stop doing that and do something else to fall asleep.

I just started reading Adultery by Paulo Coelho - so far so gooood!
Any another good books to read? share!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year: 2014

The last weekend of December 2013 was spent in Uludag.

My older sister and her family came to Istanbul first, and then headed to Uludag. Seda joined them. I had to catch up with them 2 days afterwards since I had something to do.

That weekend was by far the most fun, most spontaneous, most relaxing weekend I've had in a very long time. My brother in law met a Lebanese family who we became friends with. The three brothers are the most nicest guys I've met, all with different characters! We went on the snow mobiles (where I flew between rocks - thanks!), had tea on top of a hill somewhere, skied, drank hot wine, and stayed up till the AM by the fire place with beautiful conversations. We met a couple, Turkish husband, American wife, who live in Kuwait! What a coincidence! So, the company was too perfect :)

We celebrated the new year at home with the family and started a new 2014.

I must admit, first week of the new year, and I'm more happy than I ever though I would be. I got a phone call which will forever change my life, and built new friendships which will hopefully last forever.

My search for a job has finally ended :) There was a place that I really wanted to work with but now I'll be working somewhere better. I truly believe that there's something always better, no matter what the situation. I believe I attracted the energy and I feel like my life in Istanbul is slowly settling in. I can't wait to see what 2014 has for me. I know I will be very busy traveling to my best friends' weddings, work, and family.

Cheers to a healthy, happy, safe, and blessed 2014


Friday, December 13, 2013

Farewell 2013

As December approaches every year, I always seem to find myself saying the same thing, "this year was the worst! I hope next year will be better."

I realized it's not true and I'm just attracting negative energy.

2013 for me was a great year, no matter how much I hate the number 13 (or any other odd number). Just because a couple of little things didn't go the way I wanted it to go, I say that it was a bad year. In fact, it's just the opposite! It was an AMAZING year! I visited 5 different countries which I haven't been to before, I changed my lifestyle, I moved/settled somewhere else, I made new friends, built stronger bonds with my old friends, had my family by my side, and everyone I cared about is healthy today!

What more do I want?

Would you agree with the following statement:
It's easier to remember the bad times than the good times.


Monday, December 9, 2013

I outdid my previous surprise

Back in July my nephew got hospitalized when he was on vacation in Istanbul. I was still in Kuwait and since the tickets were cheap, I surprised my family for the weekend. My dad was in Kuwait with me so he knew about it, my brother in law knew about me coming as well. You could read about the surprise here.

Since I moved to Istanbul, I’m obviously away from my family. This month my dad turns 70 (knock on wood) and I wouldn't want to miss it for the world to be there with him celebrating his new age. His birthday fall on the day where winter break starts for private schools so the tickets are a lot more expensive on his actual birth date. I decided to go earlier and surprise him this time!

Everyone knew about me coming except for my dad and my nephew. If Kiyan knew, then he would tell my dad and there would be no surprise. Anyway I had some stuff to do and was unsure of which date I should be flying to Kuwait. After I finished what I had to do, I went to buy my ticket (around 12 noon), went home to pack and left home a little after 5 pm! I have never in my life bought a ticket just a couple of hours before leaving my home! It felt insane and rushed. My dad usually calls or messages to make sure we don’t forget anything but since he had no idea about it, I had to triple check everything! It got a little stressful.
My brother in law picked me up from the airport and I spent the night at my sister’s home. Kiyan had no idea I was there and he was pretty shocked to see me in the morning. He went inside to his mom and told him “there’s someone inside” which I find hilarious.

According to my mom, my dad wanted to go to the market early morning. Mom convinced him to stop by my sister’s house and insisted that Kiyan wanted to see her. They came up as my dad waited in the car. In a couple minutes, we headed downstairs and I went in after my mom and Seda, I jumped up and said “surprise!” His face? Priceless, with absolutely no facial expressions. He was so shocked and he even told my mom that night that he couldn't believe it and was thinking if it was really me there standing.
That night we all went for a very nice dinner and enjoyed some family quality time. It was truly a great night, filled with lively conversations and laughs.

I came back to Istanbul Tuesday morning. It was a well 3 days spent with people I adore, wouldn't have changed a thing!

Baba’s real birthday is December 18!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do you believe everything you read on Facebook?

How true or accurate is everything we read on social media sites, especially Facebook?

I stopped posting pictures a long time ago, except for the occasional change of my profile picture.

But, I do go on to check what's going on with everyone else once in a while.

Last night I read a "RIP" status concerning one of my favorite teachers back in high school. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I went onto his page and there were so many RIP comments left on his page. I quickly messaged my best friends from school and we were all shocked. Instantly, groups were being made and so many people changed their status to RIP along with a memory with him or his class.

Minutes later, a classmate posted that he was still living. I got a little confused as I didn't understand what was going on? Was this some kind of sick joke?

It turns out that someone said RIP without getting their facts straight. Our teacher is still surviving but his family is asking for everyone's prayers as he's really sick in the hospital. After going through his page, I realized that he is sick with cancer and I pray that Mr. T will fight the cancer. My prayers are with him and his family. He was one of my best teachers in my student career (including college). He has fed so much knowledge to all his students and I don't know anyone who didn't enjoy his class.

My prayers are with you Mr. T

Do you believe everything you read on the internet?

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 10, 2013

It's that time of year again where the entire country stands up for a minute of silence followed by saying the national anthem in unison.

I had posted about the death anniversary date of Ataturk previously - you may read it here

This year the event was a lot more different for me.

For the first time in my life, I witnessed what happens on that day in Istanbul. I felt feelings that I never knew I had and never knew could be felt.

I woke up at around 7 am to say good bye to a friend who was going back to Athens. On my way back home, I saw so many people going down to the sea side. I realized they were going to the event as I noticed almost everyone wearing an Ataturk tshirt or holding a flag. I had a friend visiting me for the weekend so I quickly went up home and she was still sleeping. Without hesitating, I locked the door behind me and headed to the sea side. Thousands of citizens were lined up to create a chain longed at 6.5 km.

I walked between the citizens and found myself a spot. Moments later, the siren went on, cars started honking, boats stopped moving, and everyone stood still, and all thoughts were with our Ataturk. 

Witnessing the country come together and being a part of it was just something out of this world. I tried to stay still as much as I could but I couldn't stop wiping tears from my cheeks. It got worse when everyone said the anthem. I got chills throughout my body and couldn't stop crying.

It's been 75 years since we've lost Ataturk, and still, we stop and give a moment of silence for one man, a man who has made this country, who gave the country and its citizens a chance in this life. It just amazes me each time.

I consider myself lucky to have the chance to be a part of this. I'm even more lucky to call Turkey my home.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Outcome : Run Istanbul 2013

Okay, I know I'm really late in sharing updates regarding Run Istanbul, but at least I'm sharing it now.

Run Istanbul 2013 took place on Sept. 29 at 7 pm. The run started towards Bostanci, we ran towards Goztepe Park, went on Bagdat Cadde all the way towards the starting point.

My goal was to complete 7 km within 50 mins.
I completed the run within 47 mins. 3 mins makes a huge difference, believe me! - Check out the below pic of my ranking between all runners and all female runners :)

I was preparing for the run from the beginning of Sept. While I was in Kuwait, I went to the gym almost everyday and ran outside twice. Once I returned back to Istanbul, I started running/jogging outdoors about 5-6 times a week. During my training, I injured myself on my left leg, my left upper thigh, and my right knee - it was the worst pain ever! I was barely able to walk. I had to have an MRI and the doc said that my left upper thigh has collected some water inside the muscle tissues and that I had to rest.

 I bared the pain and all was went well on the day of the run. The morning of the day before the run I even had a one on one Pilates session for stretching.

In the meantime, I joined a Facebook group called "Cadde Run Club". They meet every Wednesday in front of the Nike store in Bagdat Cadde at 7 pm and run together. On Thursdays, they meet at Ortakoy. I got the chance to participate in their run twice only. Since I've been extremely busy with some personal stuff, I plan on continuing with them in November.

At the end of my Run Istanbul journey, I learned that I love to run. I never tried running prior to this experience. I'm so glad that I pushed myself to something new and I found something I fell in love with.

Unfortunately it's getting really cold outside and I know I'll get sick (I breath through my mouth so it allows me to swallow cold air), so I will wait until after winter to start running outdoors again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Run Istanbul

I am slowly in the transition of moving to istanbul.  I still have a lot to do but I'm making sure to take any opportunity that comes my way.

The other day I went into the Nike store to show my mom one of the shoes I liked.

There was a stand in the entrance. Curious, I went to get details.

It turns out that there's 7 km run istanbul event that takes place annually. The representative told me that I could register online. I finished the process and need to go back to the store later to pick up my "running kit". The registration fee is 20 TL and you get a 10% discount coupon on your next shopping at nike. How great is that!

This will be a great way to meet people with the same interests for sure :)

Click on the following link if you think you can run 7km. Why not challenge yourself?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Best surprise?

What was the biggest surprise you have done or received?

About 2 week ago my older sister and her family went to istanbul for summer vacation. By the second day Kiyan, my 5 year old nephew, got really sick and was taken to the hospital. Without having any idea with what is going on, the doctors confirmed that it was a bad reaction his body had to one of the meds that was given.

Thank God he is out of the hospital after about 10 days.

In the meantime, i was in kuwait. I randomly checked ticket details to istanbul and it was ridiculously cheap!!! As soon as i got my passport back from the greek embassy, i bought my ticket on wednesday afternoon and flew out thursday night! At this point the only people who knew about this was my dad and my brother in law.

In the beginning i didn't feel anything. As soon as the taxi drove into our home street, my heart started beating so fast and i even started to feel nervous! Nervous!!

The taxi pulled over our building. I got out to get my luggage. My mom was sitting on tbe balcony which i didn't see earlier so i hear her say "irem????!!??????"  i looked up and said "supriiiiiiiiizzzzzzzz!!"

My mom ran downstairs, she hugged me so tight and started crying from happiness, especially since this was not an expected visit. 
Seda was also really surprised to see me!

After getting ready, we went to the hospital. They seda and my mom went in, i waitited outside the room for a bit and then i went inside "surpriiiiseeeeee guess who's here!!" my sister started to tear and kiyan was getting some meds so he clapped with his legs "ireeeem ireeeem ireeeeeeemmmmm". The look on his face was priceless, too beautiful.  I hugged and kissed him, gave him antoy in which he claims was the best toy ever (not the first time he's said that

It was the last day for him to be in the hospital. We left at 5pm. We ordered in delicious food from Gunaydin and called it a night.

That wasn't an end to the surprise ☺ while i was in kuwait i got in contact with a balloon store who was more than helpful for my request. I contacted Yunus from . I ordered 50 colorful balloons which cost me 160TL which is not more than 25kd, which got delivered to my home on exact timing! Kiyan came to the living room, his eyes got larger and he got super excited. To be honest, i think i was slightly more excited than he was!!

After that was over, i headed to the cadde and did some shopping and spent the rest of the day at home. I left home at 10pm and was welcomed to a surprisingly quiet airport, enjoyed my venti chai tea latte and there i was, back in kuwait

What was the biggest surprise you have done or received?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Last day

Today was the last day before ramadan and the last day that I'll be with all my coworkers at the same time. The reason for the latter is because we work in shifts and the guys come in at late hours.

We were still unsure if today was ramadan or not so I made a speech yesterday, thanking everyone and such.  Unfortunately I couldn't help myself and started bawling! I couldn't continue my sentences, so they all just said "we get it, we get it". Then everyone started to say things about me and it made me feel special.

My team did a goodbye gathering at the office and it meant so much for me!

Over the 2 years on the team, I have grown so much and met sooo many people I wouldn't have otherwise. I consider myself lucky with all the opportunities that I was given.

On my way home from work today,  I started thinking about the good bye email I need to write to my team. I came home and immediately started typing it out. I'm not going to send it until my last day but I had all these things I wanted to say flowing in, so I had to write it out before forgetting.

My fingers couldn't stop typing and it was probably one of the easiest emails I had to write! I had so much to say that it all just came out.

I read the email to my dad and he said "you're so creative. I wish you worked on something that includes writing".

I'll try to remember to post it here after I send it out.

I promise that I will pursue something in writing. I'm still in the process of getting to know myself better.