Today I head out for my last training run before the Eurasia race happening on Sunday in Istanbul. I treasure my time running. In this space, I am alone with the morning and the beauty of the seaside. Thoughts begin to flood my head as I take each step.
I have been living in Istanbul as an expat for nearly a year and my return date is looming. I moved to Istanbul alone with two suitcases to experience a year of freedom, and it has been liberating. I know myself better; have learned new survival skills; met amazing people; and experienced what it feels like to be part of an ancient culture, to live in a big city, to walk its streets anonymously, to savor its unique cuisine, and to enjoy the simplicity of my life.
Along with the joys of this journey, there is a bit of sadness that has been rising up in me as my return date nears. I would normally describe myself as a happy person. Sadness doesn’t seem to fit me and I have a habit of pushing the melancholy away. This time I am choosing differently. I will face the sadness, embrace it, and see what it has to show me. Life has taught me that it is in this space where real transformation occurs. Acknowledging all that I am leaving behind, really cherishing it, will create a place for me to step into the transition. It is in the contrast of joy and sadness that I can appreciate the precipice that stands before me.
Sunday as I run across the Bosphorus Bridge from Asia to Europe, I can’t help but think of the symbolic nature of it all…of my journey from Turkey back to California…the bridge back to my home…the bridge to me.
In the end, I know that I get to take with me the best of what I have discovered here. I have a choice of how I will lead my life, no matter where I where I call “home”.
About the author: Tanya is a Business and Leadership Coach | Global citizen | Adventurer | Living In AND | Mobilize Harmony. Follow her at @TMonsefBunger