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>What a Year it’s Been!

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It’s a brand new day, a brand new year… and a great time to look back and review what we have left behind.  2010 was memorable… to say the least…  The good news is what started out as a typically tumultuous year actually ended up becoming a time of rewarding experiences, wonderful connections and new perspectives.
Some very wonderful people made my life so much more meaningful this year, I think I will name names.   I have had enlightening moments thanks to reconnecting with old friends as well as delightful surprises in forming new friendships. I feel I owe a big ‘THANK YOU’ to those special women who touched my life and helped me  to become a more contented person.


My habitual pursuits took on a different edge and I found fresh outlets for my creative urges.  What had started as little essays shared as ‘dear friends letters’ turned into a personal blog thanks to a suggestion from my insightful friend Birsu. Her continued support and remote presence in my life gave me renewed strength and confidence in who I am and what I am capable of.  Sometimes one encouraging email or taking the time to have lunch together one Sunday can have paramount influence on another’s life.  

The incessant museum trips and yearning for more information turned into actual classes at a university.  As I delved deeper into the world of Art History, I found my hunger for art satiated to a certain degree… for the rest, I acknowledged my limitations and started to take snapshots of  scenes I noticed as I made my way through the streets of New York, New Jersey or any other place I might be passing through…  Different aspects of my life interconnected and blossomed into one big delightful well I could draw substance from on a daily basis.  I welcomed the chance to share some of these opportunities with an appreciative friend who would come with me on a class trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or an art show in New York.  My dear friend Mutlu who showed up at even the shortest notice, and I came up with a wonderful tradition of our own of toasting the day with champagne on these diverting outings. 


While putting together my own blog, I started to follow other blogs I found interesting and inspirational ranging in content from art, art history, food, design, to even simplifying your life.  Now, I check my dashboard everyday to see the latest entries and read up on my favorite subjects.  These blogs are a very engaging way to further one’s knowledge and stay up-to-date with the newest ideas and developments on subjects of interest.  But two of my favorites that are sure to put a smile on my face are my niece Aydan’s blog ‘La Maison Azure’ which can always brighten up any day with it’s refreshing notes on travel, fashion or design ideas and ‘Artbug’ (selenatac.blogspot.com) with the latest updates from the design and art world that has even inspired me to start a decorating project at home. 

The ongoing search for how I wanted to live this life finally started to garner clarity this year. Part of it has been due to immersing myself in the present moment and  not worrying about what tomorrow might bring.  Accomplishing this has been one of the biggest challenges of life for me but I have had help from my precious friend and teacher Figen, who brought Eckhart Tolle’s book, ‘A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’ into my life two years ago; she guided me and helped me to implement his ideas into my daily routine.  Finally, this past year, I was able to reap the benefits of having been introduced to the philosophy of being in a state of new consciousness.  Every time I caught myself getting carried away with uncertain, grand plans for the future or feeling crushed under the stress of trying to achieve better grades, financial burdens or even rapid changes taking place in my life, I reminded myself of why I had started on that path and the joy I felt of living that particular moment… and then it was back to pure bliss once more…  

Another wonderful, enlightening occurrence that is responsible for the contentment I feel in my present state has been due to Rita Golden Gelman’s book ‘Tales of a Female Nomad – Living at Large in the World.’  I am one of those people who gets carried away easily by ideas or stories.  In the past, I have often found myself, contemplating why or how my life would have been better if I could implement some of the adventures of travelers, artists, or just courageous individuals I love to read about, into my own life.  But, until I read ‘Tales of a Female Nomad’ most of these books left me only with a feeling of discontent and  inadequacy.  There was something that resonated within me in Rita’s story, much more than taking off into the unknown and making new connections, she gave me the courage to take the necessary steps to go after my own dreams.  Her story was so open, real and honest that it made me see the power within myself to follow my own path, she also gave me the courage to connect with people without fear of rejection.  I started to become the woman I always wanted to be, connecting with my neighbors, long lost relatives and friends, tenants and even complete strangers, by taking the initiative in the form of a smile, an open door, a phone call or an email.  

It wasn’t always an easy and smooth ride, I had some pitfalls of my own making along the way.  I left for my summer vacation in Bodrum, determined to make new connections and disappointment started to intrude on my otherwise joyous existence because I hadn’t been able to meet all of our nearby neighbors. Demands of our own large household didn’t leave much time to seek more company but the hope of making new connections had metamorphosed into something else I didn’t recognize at the time.  The day before they were to leave for Istanbul, my mother-in-law’s helper, Bostan, asked me for one of my paintings; I stayed up half the night before they left to finish one of our view… the feeling I saw on her face when I gave it to her was priceless… she left with a promise to have a hand-made collar especially embroidered for me in Turkmenistan.   This little exchange, between two women who were basically strangers before they shared experiences, food and laughter for one month under the same roof can be considered a way of connecting, I think.

Of course those who are acquainted with me, even remotely, are aware of the biggest event of 2010 being the birth of my nephew, Prometheus Maximus Uygur.  He has brought so much joy into our lives that I am praying for my brother’s move back to New York, regularly. Although, the first thought that hit me as soon as I laid eyes upon him, interestingly enough, was about Wendy (his mom) ‘I want to give her the world’ … this thought is still with me… and I know, will remain so for a very long time.  She has given us the most perfect, precious gift.


Finally, towards the end of the year, a very welcome and timely coincidence occurred to wrap up the year on a perfect note… my lovely niece, Selen (Artbug), started to convey to me her newfound knowledge in One World Academy, a mission in guiding individuals to a state of awareness thorough programs to teach a way out of conflict into joy.  I am not as dedicated as she is but I love reading the information she passes on to me and even started a group or a forum of sorts.  After reading some of her emails, I realized we had to share these concepts with some of our friends and get their input on it.  Hoping we could all contribute to a better and more carefree future, I wrote to all the intelligent, caring women   I know and invited them to start a conversation.  Dilek, Ceylin, Damla, Maureen, Muge, Praveen, Aydan, Leigh, Seza, Shauna, Mutlu and Birsu have all responded “I’m In” and I am hoping we will go from here where ever the moment takes us… 

So far 2011, has dawned clear and bright, full of potential for many wonderful possibilities.  I am optimistic with good intentions and great friends, we can make the most of this year as well… 
As long as we have loved ones nearby and are in a state of awareness, ‘Out with Conflict and Pain,  and in with a New State of Mind and Joy’ can be our motto for the new year.


>My New Hero – The Female Nomad

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I have a new hero… Rita Golden Gelman. She is the author of “Tales of a Female Nomad – Living at Large in the World” This courageous woman had the audacity to go out into the world following her instincts and heeding her inner voice at the tender age of 48. She shed her life of privilege and glamor behind and started anew from one day to the next. She should be the guiding light for all those women across the world, who think there is no other way to live, that they are stuck in their lives, their circumstance. It can be done… It has been done. I want to thank her for giving me the courage to say “this is how I want to live this life.”

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