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.)
I’ll try one more time. Hello. I miss writing here.
I have a lot that I have been holding close to my heart that I would like to share with you. I’ll try justify why I haven’t been able to pour myself out to Hazal’s Camera. My time in Washington, DC, came to an end. Just couple of weeks before I left the penthouse apartment, my one-year-old laptop let me down. Don’t even ask me about it, in the words of one of my favourite co-workers at the little organization I spent most of my days in DC: it was “tragic”. I left writing all together for a little longer than I would’ve liked, and embraced being upset about leaving yet another place– And, returning home.
So it is. I am torn into pieces, but I am also home to collect one that I left over here. With the courtesy of Hazal’s Camera, where I see things more clearly: Here is home.
First of all, let’s make something clear: I am not saying that you should quit social media, nor I am saying you should not… I will get to that in a minute. Over the past decade, I have witnessed many forms of social media outgrowing books and tv whom once paralyzed my great grandparents. Facebook dropped the magic bomb of see all, know all. Then came, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Swarm, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and many more that I cannot recall off the top of my head.
The big hit lately is Instagram (at least it still was last month, before I deleted my Instagram account). It is an excellent promotion tool since it seems to be one of the limited ways to reach young adults, and it seems to be the preferred platform of the celebrities and influencers (When did that term get into our culture anyways? Think about it). Well, I felt fed up with seeing every second of every person’s life on ‘insta-snap’ feature. I honestly didn’t feel interested in how to cook egg whites and spinach to get fit, or what this girl from my kinder garden was listening to as she was driving to work. I bet you watched a 10 second short video of a similar kind too. And let’s be real, I was also fed up with getting comments about how my picture deserves a comment of ‘wow’ from someone I barely talk to. Or reading someone else’s comment about someone I cared about (but that’s another story for another time).
I’d lie if I said social media doesn’t creep the door of the wardrobe for my insecurities. It does, and it will, but believe me when I say nobody is perfect… I first quit Swarm, Foursquare and Twitter a couple of years ago until I had to create a Twitter account for a class. I have no issues with twitter, I find it excellent to catch the news now. However, Swarm and Foursquare were both ‘check-in-your-location’ kind of apps and 98% of its users were looking to find girls that they could meet at the next bar they walk in. No regrets. Next, gone Snapchat. After the ‘insta-snap’ feature people seemed the forget about Snapchat. I broke it off with a couple of close friends that I used snaps to communicate, I didn’t care to have other boys on there and people I cared about were one call away. Gone, gone.
Came Instagram… I deleted it for a short while after an unnecessary argument, tried to get back into my same account, didn’t work. Am I ever thankful. Do I miss scrolling down? Yes. Do I want to give cute, supportive comments to friends? Yes. Do I want to know what those people (that I do not like) are doing with their lives? Did God give them what they deserve? None of my business. I am over it. Will I ever get Instagram again? I expect so since it is the ‘it’ of today, people around me use it. But that decision will have to wait. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a new app that rises like a star coming 2018?
Hey… I still have Facebook for my daily memes… In my opinion, it is harmless now that it lost its crown to Instagram.
I study Media and Communications and I truly believe in both constructive and destructive power of technology and social media however, it mentally challenges me. I will always critique the mere existence of this ‘see all, know all’ mentality while abusing it madly. All I am saying is, know the time to take a mental break. Sip your coffee and look out your window instead of snapping the hell out of it. Use it with meaning.
Who here attended the Fall Work day? Let me ask a clearer question: Who here attended the Fall Work day to get a passing grade at a first-year course, and never thought about it again? I’ll be first to admit, I was one of those people.
After finishing my first year at TWU, the workload kept piling up higher each year. I drank more coffee, I started having migraines, I tried to quit coffee but than the midterms came… and you know the rest of the story.
Despite all my existing excuses, I had a blank space I was failing to fill in my heart. At times, you need to fill somebody else’s cup to fill your own.
I bet you do remember the feeling when you handed in a cup of soup to a homeless person on Christmas eve or opened your home to someone that doesn’t have family on thanksgiving. If you ever experienced the feeling I am talking about, there is a good chance you will never forget it.
On September 23rd, I was in Willoughby Hall filled with so many loving people for a ‘Meet and Greet’ Event ran by the Langley Volunteers. Langley Volunteers was formed on November 2016, so they are a relatively new organization.
As Karen Long, who is an executive member explained, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce wanted to see if there was interest in a volunteer organization in the city of Langley.
The organization operates as ‘Langley Volunteers Bureau’, however, they operate as Langley Volunteers. As Karen says, the name reflects “active and eager people”, as they are. Their goal is search for volunteers in the places that the organizations are unable to reach.
Karen describes the situation as, “It is an iceberg!”. When they first started, they had no idea they would bring such a big impact to the community.
When I asked her how they could accomplish this in such a short time she answered, “We are different in a way that instead of volunteer opportunities that are on-going, you can prefer short-term or one event opportunities and we make it possible for you”.
Maybe this is what Langley as a community has been missing. I am a student, so I have limited time between 5 courses, assignments, and work. As long as you have the love in your heart, it will call you to spread it for the good. And, a bridge between me and the organization I want to invest my time in, could help for sure.
Karen explained, “We are both interested in people that have experience and no experience. They might have no experience, but they still want to help in their communities, and they are friendly and social”. I thought, well, this sounds like me.
Let me take you to a distant memory. I was about 15 years old the first time I volunteered in a partnership with a disabled children organization. I was old enough to understand many things, but I was ignorant to realities of the child next to me had.
I cared whether my parents were going to buy me that expensive backpack that everyone had in the middle school for Christmas. The child next to me, just cared whether his fathers’ paycheck would be enough for his sisters’ school uniform and the food they would eat for the month.
It was an event that paired me, and a boy with disabilities. All I needed to do was be a friend to him for the day and give him a gift if I could afford it.
Believe me, after seeing the look on his face, all I wanted to do was to save my 10$ pocket money for the week and get him a gift for the next year. I wanted to be this little guy’s best friend. His reality, became my reality too.
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match”
It might be hard to reach out the people in need individually, but organizations can become a helping hand to make the connection. Langley Volunteers call themselves “Matchmakers”, “When they contact us, we ask them to complete an application then we try to be the matchmaker between them and the non-profit organization”.
Karen specifically addressed, ages 16 and over can participate in volunteering depending on their interests, and if transportation is an issue, they are able to narrow options down to a specific region. She added, “University students can look for opportunities that would enhance their profession”.
When volunteering, to find something you are passionate for is also a good opportunity to network and prove skills. There are many different events like the Alzheimer’s Walk for Memories. You might have a grandparent that had Alzheimer’s and would find it meaningful to help in the event.
Langley Volunteers have contributed a significant help to the Fall Workdays that Trinity Western students participated in, and they stated that they are looking forward to collaborating with TWU.
Why should you be taking this opportunity? Why should you be looking for opportunities to help others? There is the cliché. Yes, you can put it on your resume. But, you and I know, life is much more complex than just a resume.
Sometimes we are just too caught up with our own lives that we forget how lucky we are. Those are the times that you need to stop and think. What is it in my heart I am forgetting to fulfill?
I have seen so many community members in the Willoughby Hall ready to put their hearts into this. We, as the TWU community, should be eager to grow love and ease the struggles of the ones in need, too.
When I met the little boy on that Christmas eve… It wasn’t just a ‘Hi’. The smiles translated into ‘I am here for you’, and the goodbye gave a promise ‘I will be here for you’. You are able to promise that, and much more to someone. Take your chance.
This post was submitted for grading purposes to MCOM 352A, Trinity Western University.
Upon participating in a religious studies course in my university, I had the privilege to interview a Buddhist. I find all religions fascinating. As I talk with people of other religions, it makes me realize how most religions have similar fundamentals. Buddhism was the one religion I struggled the most to understand. This pushed me to meet my my interviewee in the Walnut Grove Community Centre library and ask her all the questions I have (and you might have too). My interviewee is a married Chinese woman between the ages of 30 and 40. She is a firm believer in Buddhism.
IMPORTANT: This interview had been submitted to Trinity Western University and was graded before the online feature. (It is written and submitted for grading purposes by Hazal Senkoyuncu on June 9th, 2017.)
Were you brought up in this religion? What led you to the beliefs you are now practicing?
I was not brought up as a Buddhist. I grew up in a family that had no religious belief. While I searched for meaning of life and the ways to improve myself, I studied Christianity, Islam, Falungong, Buddhism and many other religions. I found that Buddhism provides the most profound and reasonable explanations to the world and our life experiences. However, I should mention that Chinese culture and local belief system had an influence on me. 1000 years of Chinese culture is made up of Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism as well as many other influences. Even though I was not religious, the belief systems within the culture had an impact on me. I visited Christian churches many times but did not feel the cultural closeness I receive from a Buddhist temple.
What is your denomination? Can you explain its significance?
I practice Vajrayana Buddhism which originates from Tibet. Its difference from Mahayana and other denominations is the way we practice prayer. You throw yourself to the floor and you search to prostrate. This is a way to cleanse one’s self from bad karma. Moreover, we follow a specific teacher. Our lineage is never discontinued and come linear from Buddha. Therefore, our teacher will teach the same teachings of Buddha, and we can trust them.
Disclaimer: This post will be my best attempt at explaining this event without being biased. None of the text written below is meant to reflect political views.
15 JULY, FIRST PERSON COMMENTARY
I was sitting in our living room in Turkey, checking my phone and sipping my cup of steamy tea. I was home for a 2-month summer break from university. Suddenly I saw my ‘WhatsApp’ (online texting app) group receiving multiple messages, telling me to- TURN ON MY TV.
“Breaking News: Loaded tanks are driving around in the roads of Istanbul.
Horror as jets open fire.
Military took over TRT state television building.
Military forcefully aired a declaration regarding their takeover.
Turkish Grand National Assembly is surrounded by the military.
Government announced State of Emergency.”
First thoughts were that the military themselves attempted this coup and many believed they would not hurt anyone. As a few hours passed second thoughts were whether this was planned by the government itself. The government declared ‘state of emergency’ and I was terrified about the likelihood of not being able to see my relatives and friends and, not being able to get out of my house for weeks. Lastly, the story was carefully closed by it appearing to be planned by the organization ‘FETO’. Erdogan stopped the coup by calling out people to fight with the military (via FaceTime!). The day ended as I fell asleep in front of the TV a little after midnight, like half of the nation. The rest were out on the streets with their lives in danger. One thing to be sure- All were confused.
WHO WAS BEHIND THE COUP?
The Turkish government claims that the coup was planned by FETO (Gulenist Terror Organisation) which was led by Fethullah Gulen. Gulen was a conservative whom influenced many people (especially poor families) in Turkey through education. He gave students places to eat and stay, provided them with scholarships, sent many students abroad for greater education and conclusively, raised them up to serve his purposes. Gulen has many schools all over the world. Moreover, he owned hospitals, newspaper, media companies, private and public associations that were present in Turkish people’s lives (almost all are publicly closed or re-owned by the government now).
However, let’s note a selection of Gulen’s statements as published on Telegraph: “Mr Gulen said on Sunday he would obey any extradition ruling from the United States. He has insisted that he had nothing to do with the uprising and suggested that Mr Erdogan could have staged the attack himself in order to legitimise a fresh crackdown on the judiciary and military” (2016). Continue reading “15 July 2016 – TURKEY’S ATTEMPTED COUP”→
Why are people so mean? (Pause here and laugh if you like).
Why women are never nice to other women?
Let’s talk about what we do…
We channel each others’ insecurities. We get jealous because someone else has something that we don’t have. Or worse.. something that we too have. We constantly compare one another. We talk behind each others’ back. We compete for attention. We sell one off for the next boy coming or steal the next one for ourselves to hurt someone. We put each other down. We measure our worth through literal shit standards. We hide ourselves.
This post might make some people think that it is intended to a specific audience. Nada. It is intended to all of you out there.
I was thrilled to be in my hometown this week. End of the week, I am not so thrilled anymore. More, I am broken by so many words being said without a thought. And please note—I am not someone that takes life itself seriously.
There were so many words said about my weight, my hair, my poverty make-up skills as well as my relationship (this one goes a long way…). And so many I have heard about other people’s. I feel very fragile. When you are in a place where the mouths have no filters (4+ women talking around a table), you —too— can talk about the person next to you without even them noticing. You only do this because they hurt you. That’s innocent, right?
As we are in the month of Ramadan and I am being asked many curious questions from my social circle, this post has been long overdue… You may call it a coincidence but I am currently attending a religious studies summer course, and being in an environment of diverse ethnicity within a Christian school, I have been reflecting on religion.
Today is the second day of fasting for me. People have been asking me “How do you do it? Why do you do it?”. Just to quickly fill you in, fasting for us starts from sundown to sunset, about 18 hours a day for this year to be exact. My answer to the many questions took me (too!) by surprise. If you asked me why I fasted before, I would say “Well, my religion requires fasting so I do it”. Coming to terms of learning about other religions and attending their ceremonies, I look at things differently now. I started doing what I do for me. I fast because I feel at peace. My mind is clear and I have no worries about what is going to happen next. I stop worrying about doing things. I sit down. I focus. I feel like I have all the time in the world. I feel, that I am close to God. Continue reading “On Religion…”→