This blog's whole premise and purpose will be coming to an end soon! Because of the shift of the political and social climate here in Turkey, we have decided to move back to California. We discussed it and feel that even without the current issues, it really isn't the optimal place to raise our daughter. There is barely any nature, a lot of deep racism and gender struggles here and also it is strange to have her lacking the connection with her family. Now that ISIL is Turkey's enemy and the government is using the entire situation to attack and persecute Kurdish people, I feel that it is going to get very volatile here. And I know enough from studying history that American's aren't the most welcome or celebrated in those circumstances.
So we are going home.
As I began to organize my things, starting to pack away what I don't use here I got into my costume collection laid them all out... I felt such a mix of emotions.
First I felt a fool, for bringing all of this with me and using just one costume and only once. I felt embarrassed looking at this pile of stuff that partly represents me, at least how I define myself: a dancer. A professional dancer even! With all these beautiful costumes that I've either been given or, for the most part, spent hours and hours designing and sewing. All to create these visions of my art.
Then I went through the reasons it hasn't been easy for me here, which are both cultural and personal. My experiences with so many interactions with Turkish men, the general attitude towards Oryantal dance the reaction I've gotten when I tell a Turk that I do that style of dance... all of these things have made me question doing it here at all.
Then there are just my realities:
I am a mother! I don't go out late very often because I have a two year old and she is my main focus in life! I still nurse her, I cuddle her to sleep and am there throughout the night to comfort her.
I don't have extra money! My priority is food, rent and bills and everything comes after that. And here there are always things that come up and take any extra money we have.
With those two realities, the thought of going out to see performances here, many of which cost quite a bit and are at night in a different part of town. Taking private lessons is incredibly expensive.
My final emotion was inspiration and a deeper understanding of who I am now, how it affects my dancer self and dance life. To accept the new aspects (mostly being a mother) and just turn it into a strength. Though it can feel like a hurdle, I hope to transform it into a step up; an elevation.
If it's any consolation, I was almost equally in awe of my packing job... here is ALL OF THAT, in my lovely costume bag. And I can tell you for certain, I'm going to do some major worrying over them making sure this luggage doesn't get lost.
For those who are interested, here are some articles about what's happening in Turkey.