It occurred to me only today what it means to be leaving from one’s home city. It’s not that I became sad and blue. I just realized that I will be very distant, even disconnected, from what happens in this huge city where I grew up and spent almost one-third of my life (optimistic estimation). The decision to leave was easy; for the past few years, this city that I’ve spent best moments of my life started to become a very hard to place to live in. The traffic, pollution and ugly architecture were always there and they were not the source of my hatred. Although unpleasant, they were bearable and almost characteristic. Then, I realized that it was the newspapers which made the life troubling. What I read in the newspapers made me furious each and every day. In the past few years, it felt like I was living in a completely unfamiliar place with a whole bunch of people completely alien to me and my thinking. Maybe, the country was always like that and the people always had the same mindset. Maybe it’s just me growing up, discovering myself and changing. This is me starting to react to what is not right around me.
I will not go into detail of what I don’t like in the newspapers, in the politics or in the daily life in Istanbul. If you grew in Istanbul, you know how beautiful and addictive it is; if you moved here recently, you know how charming and enticing every aspect of the city can be; if you have made friends here, you know how they are weird, fun and interesting at the same time (in a good way); if you visited Istanbul for a few days, you know how the city is full of things to discover and experience. To me, none of those above is significant anymore. My goal is not to write an eulogy, nor to dramatize my leaving. I know it seems like I’m leaving for good. I’m only leaving for a year now, and I probably will come back earlier. If I would come back after a year, I know Istanbul won’t be the same place I left. It’s just like when you get together with your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend after a while, you know that you can do without him and he’s the person that you have left because of your reasons. Although you feel you love him, you know he’s not the same person anymore.
I want to say that when I say “leaving”, I like to think that it means leaving the city, leaving the roads I drove, the house I grew, my school, the market in the corner, my cellphone number, the Bosphorus and the boats, things I see when I open the fridge, the radio stations, Istiklal street, bars, clubs and finally the newspapers. I’m not sad that I’m leaving all this. I’m leaving my friends and my family. Most everyone I have connected within years, I will not take them with me. I haven’t said “Goodbye” to many persons yet. Maybe this is because I don’t see any point in it. In the end, everything that will stay with me, is everything that I need and everything that I want. There are things I will miss and that is for sure, but “leaving” things is not such a bad thing. It makes me happy to think that, I will always get together somehow with the people I love. It’s not sad to be distant from them for a while since I’m not really leaving them. I’m only leaving things which are mostly garbage and useless heavy things which are not significant.
So, this was my farewell message. It was rough and a bit disorganized. I hope I did not make it sound so poetic since I believe it’s very natural at some point for someone to discharge itself of a lot things. In a few days, I will leave Istanbul, for Barcelona. It’s going to be an ugly troublesome year with a lot of frustration and disappointment. But that’s only the bad stuff; good stuff will be a lot more. In anyway, I expect to change a lot.
P.S: The blog, nevertheless, won’t be one of the many things I leave (though I hope to write more) and want to express how happy I am to share it with my dear co-blogger all the way from the U.S.