Take the Leap and Enjoy

Leaping from the Galata Bridge in Istanbul

Leaping from the Galata Bridge in Istanbul

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I love this advice. Reaching out of one’s comfort zone, diversifying one’s life, and trying new things helps people feel alive. The unplanned and unexpected can lead to the most enlightening and fulfilling experiences. My life in Turkey generally cannot be planned. If I create a specific schedule, it will most likely fall through. This is just how it is.

One never knows what might come up. I like being organized, and I really adopted this aspect of German lifestyle after spending a year there in high school. Before moving to Turkey I was pretty intent on planning out every detail, creating extensive schedules, and usually getting a bit irritated when things did not go as planned. Waking up and not knowing what the day, week, or year would hold actually scared me for a while. But I have learned (re-learned? I feel like I was great at this in my youth…) to let go, go with the flow, and though I am quite capable of organizing most anything, let life run its course.

Once I accepted this, I understood that generally, things will inevitably work out, even if it’s not how I expected. I feel so much lighter, like a pressure has been lifted. It’s not always easy, and of course I still “make plans,” but I try to see each changes in these plans as a tributary that could lead me into an even more beautiful and exciting river. Sometimes it doesn’t, but it doesn’t hurt to try it out.

It doesn’t have to literally be every day, but I encourage you to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone when the opportunity presents itself. Or further, seek out new opportunities that make your pulse quicken. Let go of pre-conceptions, of angst, of anxiety, and see what you learn from the experience. Set expectations aside and be attentive to what you gain from trying new things. Enjoy where this will take you, and accept all the kismet and kader (destiny or fate, be it in small things or gigantic) that comes your way.

Sunset on the Mediterranean

Sunset on the Mediterranean

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