[Photoblog] 2018 in Review: I did all this?

2018 was my ride or die. It was full of moments that left me in awe, put my capabilities in a trial, overwhelmed me with joy and with its last bit, challenged me with deep sadness as well.

I love the photoblogs because it has always been hard for me to see the small successes. As I looked through these moments, I said to myself, “I did all this?“. Believe me, there were a lot of question marks, not just one.

As always, thanks to the many friends I made along the way.

Continue reading “[Photoblog] 2018 in Review: I did all this?”

Reconnecting with an old friend: Anxiety, with CBD Oil Review

Anxiety was a new friend that I could easily understand it came to stay a while. It became an old friend that visits a little too often, too quickly. I have read about it, and I thought “this is not a mental illness, they are over exaggerating”.  Stress comes and goes, but when it starts to show up a little too often than usual, it drags you down and introduces you to its good friend: Anxiety.

img_7517

Anxiety must have many forms that I have not experienced, but here are a few that I have:

Wake up. 1 a.m. It’s okay. Close your eyes. Wake up. 1.30 a.m. It’s okay. Wake up. 2.20 a.m. It honestly is fine. Close your eyes. Wake up. 3.10 a.m. I am getting worried. But. It’s fine. Close your eyes. It’s fine. 3.20 a.m. It’s okay. 3.25 a.m. My heart is pounding. It’s okay. 3.30 a.m.… 

I need to be alone right now. He/she keeps talking. I’ll leave in 2 minutes. This topic of conversation is something that I really don’t want to listen. It’s been a while now, I can leave. My stomach really doesn’t feel good. I really don’t want to hear it, it makes me feel bad. I’ll leave now. I don’t want to come off as rude. My heart is pounding. I can’t stand it. It’s okay. My stomach really doesn’t feel good. I’ll leave now. It’s okay. I don’t know how to say it.

It’s been 3 hours. I cannot sleep. My body is so tired I just really need a little bit of rest. My heart keeps pounding. Why doesn’t it stop? I just really feel like crying. It’s dark and I don’t know what to do.

 

I assure you, this is not an easy business. I have been through emotional eating, periods of crying and locking myself in my room so I wouldn’t have to deal with it, and It has been a long time until I realized that a lot of the behavior was caused by anxiety, the bad friend.

Here is something anxiety likes, at least my individual friend, and that is CBD Oil. Since Canada legalized Cannabis last month and it took over the news pretty rapidly, I was hoping to experiment with the Cannabidiol Oil and write a blog review. So, here it is.

I searched CBD Oil on Amazon and picked up the Amazon’s choice product (CB2 Cannanda). As usual, it was shipped to my doorstep within 2 days (I am not advertising anything whatsoever, all humanity will agree that Amazon is the best at their game). Opening the product, I was sketched out because it did not have any how-to-use guide or recommended dosage, so I had to do my own research. Later, I found out that I could trust the brand as I checked their website.

I started with 1-2 drops every time that I felt the anxiety. Common signals that said, “take it!” for me was feeling angry, clashing my teeth, inability to sleep (those usually happened around exam times). I would say that I was taking it once a week to 2-3 times a week at the most.

The Result: It helped me significantly. As someone who has never taken medication for anxiety relief, I came to be very thankful for using CBD Oil. It is important to be mindful that it is not a magic cure and individual responses will vary, however, I was able to receive a calming response from it. It seems to lower the heart-pounding effect of anxiety, and clears my mind, taking it away from the negative thoughts that regularly race in my brain leading up to important events.

Side Effects: I personally did not experience any side effects after the first couple of uses. However, during your first couple days and/or if taken higher dosages here are a couple things you might experience.

  • Cloudy feeling/brain fog (or as some may describe, drowsiness)
  • Indifference in facial muscles ONLY in higher doses (I wouldn’t know how to describe this, I experienced a tingly feeling on my mouth when I smiled, weird, hey?)
  • Tingly feeling (If applied on the skin for pain relief)

Ratings:

Taste: 1.5/5

Anxiety Relief: 3.5/5

Response Time: Approx. 15 mins

The Takeaway

I called Anxiety a friend because I learned it the hard way that if you don’t come to love and accept the parts of you that do not necessarily do good to you, they start taking up a lot of negative space in your mind and body. Anxiety is my friend that I am trying to help right now. Friends come and go, and Anxiety won’t stay for long once we take care of what’s been making it a little more sad than usual.

CBD Oil seemed to be working for me, and I recommend giving it a try if you are looking for a natural way to relieve anxiety. Let me know on the comments below how you deal with anxiety and your review of any CBD oil.

Short Poem

Tame your demons

Walking on a tightrope

A thin rope

As delicate as you are

It’ll slip and tear every way

Twist it into a harness

Hold it tight

Give it all you have

With your rituals and candles

It’ll slip and tear every way

Don’t have to be tight

Don’t have to be too close

Don’t need a mirror

Don’t need to numb it

At least not right away

You can see it in every way

The last word doesn’t change

 

Tame your demons

Or don’t

 

Don’t.

 

Problems: Suit and Tie

A solution to all of your problems…

The answer is actually quite simple. But, you wouldn’t read the whole article if I gave it to you right away. Unless—

You are one of those people who flips the book, reads the very last page, –it is usually something like this “And, they walked away, holding each other’s hands tightly”—, literally is now shocked that the two main characters actually saved the world together walking off to a different planet, flips back to the first chapter, keeps reading.

Who are you?

I am caught up in the middle of everything. I am sure you know the feeling. Waking up too early, running in no fuel, sleeping too early, not sleeping, doing this for that, doing that for your co-worker, doing, literally doing something all the damn time.

Brain overloaded. In my case, I cannot properly speak the only two languages I know—especially my mother tongue. Words, words, words… what are those things?

You want to be in place A but expected to be in place B.

You want to pursue your dreams but expected to live enough to survive.

You want to say something but can’t oversee the consequences.

I am sure every single old person you met told you this golden rule of life: Everybody dies. They probably didn’t tell you this: Some kill themselves and some kill the ones they love the most. They commit the biggest crime in this life alone, push until they burst, snap or tear.

The online world is occupied with what other people do, where they go to eat, what they wear, how they consume. My world consists of those with ambitions who have endless goals and just as much greed and anger. Just maybe, the pure love that expects commitment. Death. Words. I start clashing my teeth. The society I see needs a reality check.

Let’s jump to the part about why you were reading this whole thing.

Follow me: It’s you. In you.

Do what makes you, you. (Maybe avoid major decisions, like me). Find that One to talk to. And, you will live forever.

(As you already know, writing is my therapy. Thank you for listening.)

“Liars, cheaters, traitors”

29216424_10215586770370794_3095641435718811648_o

I have recently been challenged to stay silent about something that I view as so wrong. I’d think it would be considered terribly wrong by every single person on earth.

Then I realized, this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen someone being lied to, betrayed or graciously cheated on.

“Oh, I will stop once we get together anyway,”

“Avery knows about it, Avery is okay with it,”

“I just need the attention, that’s all”

Two truths and a lie? Or a dump of lies? I’ll let you decide. I was the one to believe a lot of kind words, too and I have fallen asleep thinking I have been waited on. I survived, but one question remains: Why do people cheat?

Blake, simply explained she liked to be around males, she liked the male energy. She lied to the people she knew, saying the seven guys she meets weekly were very cool friends (only). I hoped they were friends. But, she did not have any emotions attached as she was hurting them, and they were not aware that she was married. She is still married, and Avery has no clue.

I constantly deal with her hiding seven different partners from her husband whom I never met. Blake says Avery is loving, kind and makes her a better person. I wondered if this was because she was away from Avery that she became a bad person? Has this been on-going or has just started because they are apart? What do I do about it?

Ideally, I would shut the fuck up and live my life. But, the stupid person that I am, I have all this information in my brain and yet have been suffering from anxieties and feeling like shit. Things I do not understand make me feel like shit. Injustice makes me feel like shit. Having to stay silent when these things happen around me, certainly make me feel like shit. I cannot stand idle.

Here is a rundown. When I personally went through a similar situation, the person I thought I loved had a tough childhood. I tried to become the band-aid and he ripped it off and threw it away, stayed silent and left me lingering. Injustice.

One of Blake’s guys, the number four, found out she was married. Blake told the number four she was in process of divorcing. She did this to keep sleeping over at his place, playing games. Injustice.

Another friend of mine, Jared, loved his girlfriend, but not her body. He kept talking about other girls he would see and how beautiful they were. Not even using the term sexy, which would remind me of lust more than anything. His girlfriend was older, he kept trying to break it off with her. She was insecure, but I think he was scared to be alone. His mind would always linger, I never knew if he cheated but I knew he lied. Injustice.

Why do people cheat?

I’d go as far as to say: Skewed moral compass. Although it cannot justify any of these stories, it can mean that there is somewhere along the way these people struggled to know what was right and what was wrong. Society, especially American society, is so focused on having individual freedoms that it is hard to agree on moral actions anymore. If it is right to have six other guys on the side for Blake, maybe I am stupid to worry about something as small as returning a coin to the metro station merchant. All I know is, it is wrong to hurt other people. If it would cause the guy dropping his coin to not have enough money for dinner, for me to take it away would be simply injustice. It would hurt Avery to find out about Blake, injustice.

Liars, cheaters, traitors. They are all around. Do not stay silent if you know it is hurting someone.

Future

28461851_10215413309034369_1953810025_o

3 am: Woken up by external noises. 4 hours long “The Best of Classical Music” on YT. Headphones on because external noises are louder and more consistent. Steam is downloading “Civilization V” demo. Oops, it’s completed. I’ll be right back.

Legit 3 am: I was overexaggerating how late it was before. I am surprised my computer can run Sid Meier’s greatest treasure, considering it is a baby gaming computer. Well, thank you, computer Gods. Getting 15 mins into the game, I heard a familiar Turkish hymn melody in the background, ‘Come, see what love has done to me. Like the river rapids raging for eons, my worrisome heart wrecked on the rocky shore. Master’s away I’m withering. Come, see what Love has done to me’.

Future. Thinking about future is like thinking about God, death or thinking about the fact that I am traveling over 24 hours to an unknown place, all alone. Or I am 4 years old again, having to read a poem in front of the kindergarten parents. Not thinking about it, finding or pushing myself into it. Possibly freaking out the moment of, then, the prevalent feeling. All is gone, comes tranquility. I have done that very many times, so it is a familiar friend to me.

 

28547543_10215413308874365_1595802355_o
A piece of artwork that represents future to me. ARTECHOUSE, DC.

 

Making decisions have never been easy for me. Some people struggle to choose between an Oreo mint and strawberry cheesecake milkshake, but they can make life-changing decisions very easily. Some people do it the other way. I genuinely struggle if I think. So, I don’t.

I have been putting it away and up the shelf lately, so I don’t reach it, and I can’t think it. I have also been eating sugary wonderful treats because I am a stress eater. No big news here.

Growing up, I was told not to ask so many questions about creation, or the creator, because it would lead me to a rabbit hole. It would be a mind trap. I just needed to believe without a subsistent reason. I think that is how the future should be too. At least, for me.

I do not know the way, don’t know where it will take me, don’t know how it will get me there, don’t know who will be there with me at the end of the road, don’t know how to plan it because there is no plan.

Re-reading the above is overwhelming… I praise living your life to the fullest, but when you have everything, how narrow can you squish your future into a lens that will be fulfilling?

Philosophy behind the Black Licorice

It’s another Friday. I woke up, almost making it to noon, decided to throw my fitness into trash, and have two cups of peppermint mocha. Today is a milestone. I hate peppermint, I swear I do, but the Starbucks instant-mocha I had at home changed things up for me.

Never judge a book by its smell. Although if I would, I would like every book at my local library because I simply like the smell of old books. But, I wouldn’t say my local library hold a good selection of books my taste. Also, black licorice Twizzlers look like a good idea at first, but they are Satan’s food.

Warning: Dangerous Substance.

Moral of the story: Life makes decisions for you by simply flowing while you are stuck thinking about the possibilities. I did not plan this to sound like a John Lennon quote, but it did.

I checked my emails before deciding to write about a cup of peppermint mocha, (It was 8/10 by the way), and read that the dilemma I had about an important decision was resolved for me. I did not want to work with a company that didn’t represent my values, but they seemed to like me…

The email said they were sorry to mention the position I would fit was already filled. Another sigh of relief left my nostrils as I clarified this decision one more time.

It’s not that hard trying to get the mechanic toy train to fit the right rails, think about conducting it…I’ll work with my toy train for another week before I get to the real deal.

26648544_10214960202426987_1845144332_n
Me and bread. A platonic love story (Gluten tolerant but does not care).

Before I close, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read or skim through my blog. I have gotten an unusual traffic this week, new subscribers and people sharing my content. Thank you.

The next post will be posted from Washington, DC if the plane lands safely with bomb cyclone around. But hey, I am sure it will be fine.

Thank you.

Hazal

Bed Time Stories Series: An elephant who hates rocks

If he could hear me, I would tell him how much I miss him every single day. He was my hero, my best friend, a nightingale when he sang the songs of his young days, the person I could complain to about my father, my weekend dinner date, my confidant… He was my arts critique and my whole audience that could fill a room with his one-person presence. He was the Indiana Jones, a traveller who was native to wherever he went. He was an undercover agent, he knew everything. He was a philanthropist and the kindest person I knew, but despite all, I could swear he could easily obtain a master’s degree in gossiping, too. He had no fears; He could squeeze half a lemon on canned tuna, drink a tiny carton of milk with it, and not get food poisoned. If this is not a super power, I do not know what is! He was the greatest man alive.

All and all, he was my favourite person for everything I mentioned above… but there is more. My grandfather ran his own chicken farm! Once, it was a small local factory too… I’d beg him to take me into the now-dusty buildings, and let his words convince me that chickens would try to keep their babies warm inside while sheep and cows ran freely along the green grass. My aunts and my mom always told me about that smelly place they hated going, but I loved hearing stories about it. Everything was worth listening, if he did it.

This is one of my favourite stories about him: My grandfather took my mom to the national zoo during one of his trips working as a bus driver and a tour guide. The national zoo was the only one that was home to the country’s first two elephants. So, the story goes along like this; they walk along the zoo and get to see the elephants. My grandpa wonders if elephants could eat a rock, (I am assuming this is an appropriate estimation because they have huge stomachs and he was always right anyways), so he manages to give a rock to one of the elephants through the fences. To this day, I still wonder how he managed to do that. Well, according to my mom, the elephant was offended because to be given a rock was apparently a rude gesture in the elephant world. He fills his trunk full of water beside him and sprays it on my grandpa. It’s an amazing story really (but, I am just realizing now that maybe it’s not the best story to start with…)

As you hear from my previous story, my grandfather had excellent relationship skills, especially with animals… and kids! I mostly filled up the ‘kids’ category for him until my cousins were born a decade later. Anyway, I loved the chicks he had in his farm and wanted to raise some of them in our apartment in the city. The farm was an hour away from our home at the time, (It is now half an hour because of the advanced technology. The government built a faster route by blocking the highway for three summers with that same technology), and I needed to see those chicks more often; I needed non-adult friends, and the chicks seemed to be a good option.

My mother said one of her short-cut no’s when I brought this excellent idea to her, and I cried for a long time (I am talking about, give or take, four straight hours here). Next day, my grandfather came with a deep carton box that had three little chicks in it. They were squeaking, terrified to death, as if they knew a 5-year-old was just not going to be able to take care of them. I tried heating them with tiny bulbs, putting the box next to a heater, putting in tiny blankets for them. My mom told me not to pick them up with my bare hands and said I could hurt them, but I wanted to play with my new friends. Every time my parents weren’t around, I would pet the terrified chicks. The next week, one of them died, and I cried a lot, but I didn’t want to let go of the other two either. I believed I could help them live to be beautiful chickens. My mom immediately took the box to my grand parents’ house. That was the end of it. My grandpa tried to keep them alive and told me they were fine, but they ended up sharing the same fate with their sibling. I didn’t find out until a long time after. The coming years, my grandfather also took care of the dog I could not take care of, adopted my aunt’s cat, and supported me to own a horse when I came to love riding those majestic animals for a long time in my life. Lesson was learnt, I never wanted anything I simply could not keep alive.

During elementary school, probably second or third grade, I adored this horse cart for my blonde Barbie doll; the horses were battery operated and could march like they were in a parade. In the supervision of my mother, I was gifted the horse cart by my grandpa, however, I still wasn’t allowed to have the full set of princess barbies with it. Later around fifth grade, my grandmother wanted to renew her garden furniture, so we went along with my mother. I fell in love with this doll-size white statue of a fairy, and I begged my mom to get it for me. She told me I didn’t need it, I could not play with it because it was simply a hard stone, and I wouldn’t be happy by just having it. Same old excuses, but I was offended this time. I kept my tears in and did not talk the way home. Typing these make me feel like a spoiled child; by all means, my mother tried, but my grandpa wouldn’t dare see me cry. The next day, I woke up seeing something wrapped with newspapers on the living room table, I opened it. The fairy was beautifully laying there. My mom bet that I would break it in a week then; I am 21 and the fairy is still napping in our living room. She is still white though, as my suggestions for coloring her were not even under consideration.

Now that I earn my own minimum wage salary and he is gone, I keep the tradition going, I buy myself gifts, and disregard what my mom says. The courage to do that could only be taught by a man of powers. I silently thank him one more time.

Rest in Peace. I miss you.

Grandpa and I
Playing dress-up at my aunt’s wedding. (Age 7)

Final Countdown

“What did you learn in 2017?” I asked, hoping to get an answer that will make me write again.

“It’s too late in the night to think about that, my brain doesn’t even want to work now”. I hung up, I missed him more.

 

As I sit in a wooden chair in front of my computer on a wooden desk, at a local coffee shop, allowing myself to take tiny bites of the cold chocolate croissant… I appreciate, again, how everything around me is composed of numerous details that I fail to realize every day. It is something that I learnt over the past month to get ahead of my anxiety. I look around, find something, and describe the edges of it. The softness, the colour, the shape, the noise it would make if I knocked on it. Today, instead of putting my earbuds, I sit at a table shared with other people and stay half attentive to all the noises around me. I do not need to know what they talk about, I just let the crowd comfort me.

This year, I learnt that judgement is bad. Using judgement over yourself is worse. I try not to do that now. I remind myself that I am strong but if I struggle, I am not the only one that is in pain.

You can make friends by forcing them to hang out with you. Thank you. Max, Tina and my long-lost brother Sam. I appreciate all of you individually.

Waking up after seeing bad dreams do make me angry. As much as I want to limit my caffeine intake, I was gifted a coffee-maker couple months ago, and the smell of the brewing coffee makes me love life again.

I wanted something so dearly for my future, I could not afford it and only thing I said to myself was that it was going to happen. It did. I am going on an adventure, and It feels so satisfying to say it.

24173641_1666483023410030_5299900430591996147_o (1)

I am waiting to have some of the turkey stuffing on Monday, then, the Christmas lights to be taken down. I am waiting to smell my grandmother’s cookies coming out of the oven we have here, only me and my mom would make them. It would still smell the same (I am not convinced).   I am waiting to see my beddings actually do fit into my luggage (I need to call Flight Network…). I am waiting to drive to Vancouver airport and wait for my seat number to get called to go into the plane. Then, I’ll wait to go home some more. I am not waiting in a painful way, and it is not waiting that makes the world turn in circular motion.

You get the idea. Instead of moving all the time, I wait for things to come, and It is not an ordinary feeling.

 

Extended Travel Guide for the Ultimate Wanderer Series: Antalya, Part I

Ahh! I have been waiting to write this post for so long. I cannot tell you what a great time I had this past few weeks. It has been so busy, busy that I had no time to breathe, but in a good way. Wasn’t there a saying? It goes about something like this ‘life is not about how much you breathe, it is about the moments that take your breath away’. I must thank my amazing boyfriend for facilitating that part for me. Effortlessly. Thank you for being my tour guide in this crazy life, everything looks different when I see it with you 😊. This one is for you…

This city feels like home too, after all.

  1. KALEICI

I adore this part of the city. Whether you want to walk along the stone roads with a book in hand or holding someone’s hand that knows you like a book. Kaleici now consists of narrow streets however, the stone walls were once part of a castle that was built in the Helenistic era. It is believed that the Pergamon King Attalos II united two cities of north and south, and their ports. There were numerous ramparts over the castle for protection, which clarifies many narrow walls of Kaleici today.

You will enter Kaleici through the Hadrianus Gates (‘Uc Kapilar’), walk through the streets and you will find nostalgic coffee shops, bars and oh, fish restaurants! You are very close to the yacht marina. This place is amazing in the morning, but magical at nights… You can take a yacht tour for two for about 15-20$ in season, (for 5$ if its on May and sailors are desperate!). I am not the person for water-related tours as I get bored, these tours are approx. about 30-50 mins long. Let me tell you, they are worth it. Take a mind break, and just watch the waves crashing to edges of the small ships. 20160509_182247000_iOS.jpg

Continue reading “Extended Travel Guide for the Ultimate Wanderer Series: Antalya, Part I”