Looking forward

tulipsAfter the rain.

Spring arrived in 48 hours. After months of grey skies, rain, sleet, snow, hail and wind, the sun came out and the tulips bloomed last weekend. Texas skies take the cake for showcasing the wide expanse but Istanbul skies win the prize for the showcasing the color blue.

I made the decision to leave my international teaching post and return to the States at the end of this 2015 school year. At this point, I’m unsure if this move will be permanent or if I’ll cast my net again next spring. Since making my decision to leave, some days have been melancholy; others joyful. School days in the spring are hectic, but when I pause and reflect, I am grateful for these months and years of living and serving here. My life will never be the same. Istanbul, I love you.

When I think about all I’ve seen and experienced I become fatigued. Not only have I traveled to eleven countries over the past two years, I’ve made countless friends from all corners of the earth. I’ve learned a great deal on how to be a global citizen and nothing could make me more proud.

The first time I documented leaving a job without the certainty of a new job (The Net Will Appear) I was full of anxiety. This time I’m as cool as a cucumber. I’ve learned so much since I started writing this blog in 2012. Several readers got in touch with me this winter and asked for advice during the recent international hiring season job fairs. I gave honest answers to their questions and now I’ve received exciting letters from them explaining that they attended the fairs and have been offered international jobs! Congratulations! International teachers need each other. It’s a hard job and the luxury of having your family and best friends available for advice is gone. We rely on one another for encouragement and love.

I recently read a book by Anna Badhken and became interested in her new book, Walking With Able. Her voice perfectly captures my feelings about the privilege I’ve felt about living in Turkey:

 To enter such a culture. Not an imperiled life nor a life enchanted but an altogether different method to life’s meaning, a divergent sense of the world. To tap into a slower knowledge that could come only from taking a very, very long walk with a people who have been walking always. To join a walk that spans seasons, years, a history; to synchronize my own pace with a meter fine-tuned over millennia.

I’m counting my blessings and looking ahead to my new future.

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11 thoughts on “Looking forward

  1. You are truly an amazing person – so full of life and adventures.

  2. Joni Powers says:

    Anita, I followed your blog while you were in the magical city and parts beyond. Istanbul has flavor in so many dimensions. Glad you had the chance to fling yourself outward. May your horizons remain broad, may you enjoy being the mom of the beautiful bride, may you reconnect easily with everyone who loves you! Joni

    • Dear friend, Joni! How wonderful it is to hear from you! Thank you for following my blog and being with me, through it, during this time that I’ve been living in Istanbul. I’m excited for Sophia’s wedding. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that I just have to be a part of! I don’t want to miss a thing! I can always go back out on another adventure…Actually I have thought about you and your family’s home in the Marfa area. Did you ever put in that artist/writer retreat space? I was thinking I might be interested in it for my “re-entry” into the American lifestyle. 🙂

  3. Carol says:

    So happy for you–for all you have discovered and learned about yourself, others, the world, the LORD, and for the uncertain future that you can face with calm confidence, knowing that the LORD already has it figured out..Psalm 121:8, “the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Looking forward to seeing you!

    • Sweet, Carol. I can’t wait to sit, at leisure, and talk with you about my faithful wonderings. You’ve been on my mind, as a steadfast, faithful friend that I can talk to about all that I’ve learned and experienced. Eagerly looking forward to hours of discussion! As they say here, “Thanks God!” – not “Thank God” – for keeping my heart calm, allowing me to see the positive and allowing lots of room for questions.

  4. shorton9 says:

    I know this is a bittersweet feeling for sure but the experiences these past two years have been unreal. I can’t begin to explain how happy I am you’re coming home to me. Love you.

    • My little. As wonderful as all my traveling has been, nothing, NOTHING, is more important to me than YOU. You are my #1. I am looking so forward to spending sweet months with you before your wedding day. Nothing, ever, will be more important to me than you. This will be an incredible adventure for us! And at the end of the day, I get a son, along with my daughter. 🙂 Happy!

  5. Lena V. Hobbs says:

    Thank you for posting and sharing which is fulfilling a part of your original purpose. I am so thankful you have been priveliged to have this deep desire met with memories to last a lifetime and am proud of your determination, focus and work ethic. I anxiously await your return home. Love, mom

    • Thanks, Mom! I love experiencing other cultures and learning how to make decisions through the challenges. It is stressful, but it makes you so strong and self-assured. It will be interesting re-entering the excesses of the USA. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel about it. Thank you for loving me and welcoming me home, no matter how long I decide to stay.

  6. shorton9 says:

    I know it’s sad leaving but you’ll always have these amazing memories. I cannot explain how happy I am you’re coming home to me. Love you.

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