Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking around corners: Summing up one Heck of a Year- Part 4

So the first three parts sound like a huge suck fest, don’t they? I apologize for going on and on about random crap that happened over the year…here is some good news.

For our past six’ish years of marriage, Wizard and I lived under the assumption that eventually we’ll leave US and live in Turkey until kids want to come back. We’d never actually planned for it, or maybe it was that we figured that we’ll have time to plan it the way we see fit.

Life takes over, the universe takes a not so familiar path and the best thing to do is jump right into the worm hole and let the Universe take over. Amazingly it just happened without us even realizing it. At first it felt like we were being ripped away from our friends and family kicking and screaming, and then just like that we were in our new home, feeling slightly richer because of the ridiculously high dollar rate and it looked like it will all work out.

While I was getting cautiously excited over the prospect of setting up a beautiful home, Halloween came around and I got sucked in watching all the festive photos being shared on Facebook. Among the pictures, an older picture of me and Monster in her Angelina Ballerina costume, walking down a Sunnyside street, popped up. A huge wave of emotion rushed over me and I wanted to scream, I can go back to my small Sunnyside home and give up everything just so I can be among my family and friends.

The next few days I was miserable, touchy and ready to explode any minute. Wizard and I were already tense because he wanted me to start working and I wanted to stay home. I called him names and belittled him for wanting to make me work and wanting to stay at home himself. It was a horrible time, knowing I am being unfair to him and yet continuing to attack him just so I could get it out of my system. I kept going back to Facebook to fuel my anger and resentment. Why were some people so much better at life than us? How come even though we had the same immigration status, they were living life so much gracefully than us? Why do they get to be close to their family while I have been forced to live thousands of miles apart?

I blamed Wizard for everything. For bringing us here, for making us take public transport, he was responsible for our friend-less life in Istanbul. In all that mud flinging, I was very aware of everything good that he was also responsible for. For loving me through my temper tantrums and depressive spirals, for holding my hand and never leaving me during my anxiety attacks, for always reminding me that we were together in good times and in bad. When I was particularly sad one time and beginning to doubt myself for bringing the bad luck in his life, he looked me in the eyes and said “I’ve been with you for six years and I want to be with you for sixty more.”

The next day I deactivated my Facebook account and decided to live in the moment with the people who are next to me and stop comparing my life with others’. I also started to look for a job.

With this job search came a drastic change, not just in my mental state but also in my physical appearance. Wizard didn’t want me to wear a headscarf to job applications. Not feeling like myself, I insisted on wrapping my hair up in a way that looked professional and also kept to my personal preference of attire. I never had the interview and instead had an eye opening chat with someone. Following that appointment, I found myself stuck at a place I never envisioned myself to be in. If I kept the scarf, I was willingly limiting myself to job prospects and from supporting my family. If I took the scarf off, I was saying “Yes sir” to The Man and putting my relationship with my Creator in jeopardy.

I had to look very deep inside to find out what I wanted and also, How will I explain this to Allah? I WANTED to keep my scarf, to make people see the truth; that hijab does not make a covered Muslim woman uneducated---that keeping a woman away from education because she’s covered leaves her uneducated. Now was not the time for debates though. I had to start somewhere and I had to start right away. For the next interview, I went without a scarf. I also got that job but I turned it down.

I did start working as an English teacher though. It was shaky in the beginning with the students doubting my credibility because of the way I looked. Apparently, as a friend pointed out, I looked younger without a head scarf. Damned if I did, damned if I didn’t: this was Allah’s little revenge on me. I now had people thinking I must have been a child bride.

Slowly, the tide turned. We started shopping for the requirements for setting up our next home and nearing the end of the year, even as we reminisced about all the holiday traditions our family has missed now that we’re in Turkey, the stars were moving. It took a lot of patience for us to acclimatize to the ride of the Universe, but we’ve done it. We rode out that worm hole, we’re in a new Universe and starting this January 1st, we have seen what’s behind the brick walls that faced us in the middle of last year.

More Windows.

Happy New Year, Wizard. Without you this ride wouldn’t have been worth it.


  1. happy new year Ash, i hope this year and all the years ahead bring happiness, health and prosperity ur way and may u and ur family always be blessed.Ameen. I really liked ur account of the last year, it was touchy.Life is made up of ups and downs and believe me we can only enjoy the ups if we had gone through the downs.So my lil sis be strong like u've always been and never leave hope as there is always a 'subha' following the 'raat'.