From My Journal Istanbul

September Notes

6Where has all the time gone? 

The Highs

September was a month of orientation. I needed to find my bearings in all directions – at the university where I now teach, a new home in a country still so foreign to me and I had to hold on tightly to my own personal direction as I navigated all these changes. I am here to write I remind myself but things do get in the way and for now, I allow them to because I know that this is the process of adjustment so as Istanbul pulls at me I pull at myself. It isn’t easy and it was never meant to be. I remind myself that I had only got this far on my journey because I chose what was difficult.

Being back in the classroom has reminded me just how much I love teaching. I thought that I would be nervous. I am used to teaching a maximum of 10 students and now my classes average at about 20 or more. The nervousness sometimes comes but I don’t give into it. I let it remain in the background and instead focus on preparing my material and delivering it in the best possible way so that it not only meets the needs of my students but also inspires them. It is not enough for me to teach English; I want to inspire my students to find their own love of learning and, most of all, I want to inspire their curiosity. I want them to see themselves in a new light and to own their individual talents — for learning to be for them a journey of discovery not only in language ( or any subject they choose) but also a discovery of self and potential. This is why I teach.

The Lows

Finding a home in this huge city has been more challenging than I thought it would be. At first, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to live with a roommate or alone. I had spent the whole year living alone and I wanted a bit of a change. I also thought that it would be easier to share a flat with someone who spoke the language and has already been navigating the city for some time. I could learn from them. But finding the right roommate isn’t easy – especially one that doesn’t smoke and has the same priorities as I do. So I decided the best thing was to find a place on my own. I think this is what Istanbul has intended me to do. Now deciding where to live is another issue – Istanbul is a city of cities and each neighborhood has its own culture. My main criteria was accessibility. I wanted to be somewhere close to public transport but at the same time, I wanted to be in a place that inspired me. A place that would inspire me to write and put me into contact with real Istanbul. I saw many places and with each one that I rejected, I placed more and more faith that Istanbul would eventually provide me with something suitable as long as I followed my instinct. The places that I had seen just didn’t feel right so the search continued. And as the search continued I must admit that I got a little anxious but I tried to remain stoic. It was part of the journey.

What I learned this month…

This month I had reclaimed a part of my independence. I had achieved a milestone –  I was in Istanbul. I was teaching. I was at the start of a new beginning. I had done what I had a year ago set out to do. I had stepped into my dream and the path continued. And I know that in this dream I will soon need to give birth to a new vision as the one that was is fading into reality. The one that was has become my reality – the dream of Istanbul now surrounds me. I can touch it. Smell it. Walk in and out of it. Get lost it in, literally. And no matter what feelings or thoughts fill me and move me, I remind myself that I am here, first and foremost, as a researcher and as a writer. There must always remain some distance between me and the city so that I can continue to see it.

Goals for October 

My only goal for October is to find a home that is my own.

With love,





10 comments on “September Notes

  1. I am glad that you are able to be stoic.That/s very important, at every new road in your life.I’m looking forward for the next crossroad. Good luck!😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with settling in Martina.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an adventure you are on! Adventures always come with challenges but it sounds like you are well equipped to meet them. I’m sure you will find the home that’s just right for you. Enjoy the search!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have complete faith that I am exactly where I need to be. Thank you Deborah 🙂 Your kind words are always appreciated. Heading over to your blog to see all the inspiration I have missed.


  4. Good luck Martina! For new beginning… and I hope to read some more writeups straight away from Istanbul. More power to you😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good luck. You’ll find something that is perfect for you. Trust your gut and have fun

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So beautifully written! I am really happy to find your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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