Eyvallah, üçüncü bölümü.

This is almost word for word lifted from my post last year, but that’s only because it rings true, and I have to go make stuffing.

*     *     *

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for…

My family– They’re particular about how they load the dishwasher, they talk about bodily functions at the dinner table, they make me go on late-night walks in the freezing cold. But, I love all these things about them. They are loving and supportive, even when I decide to do silly things like move across the world, and then across the country. They never fail to make me laugh and they help me keep things in perspective.

Thankful to have a family that will come find me wherever I am in the world. Also, that K.J. and I match.

Thankful to have a family that will come find me wherever I am in the world. Also, that K.J. and I match.

My old friends – Like a good Scotch, friends are better with age. I’ve got good friends who make me laugh; who keep me from being too grounded; who will run around the world with me, but will also sit and drink wine with me. They’re flung far across the country, and around the world, but I’ll always carry them with me.

Sometimes the world is the best; it brings old friends together in new places.

Sometimes the world is the best; it brings old friends together in new places.

My new friends – Again, I find myself among new friends. Whether they keep me snorting water through my nose in the company kitchen, or making me cry of laughter when they come up with a truly insane sketch on a Wednesday night, the friends I’ve met since relocating to Seattle have been just what I needed to get through this move.

These kids. They're it.

These kids. They’re it.

My sense of humor – My healthy appreciation for the absurd continues to serve me well. The last year has taught me how to find the humor in frustrating and infuriating circumstances, to roll with the punches a little bit better. It keeps me from staying knocked down for too long.

IMG_4255

Sometimes, your friends con you into hiking through jandarma lands. Sometimes, it’s worth it, because you get this view.

My favorite places – I’ve been lucky to have more nighttime wanderings along the Chicago River and fishermen-watching  on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul this year. I’ve also gotten to find some new favorite places — Kars, which is renown for cheese, honey, and melancholy; Gasworks Park in Seattle, with its stunning views of the skyline and Lake Union.

If you ever can't find me, check Kars.

If you ever can’t find me, check Kars.

My health – Despite the occasional sniffles, I’ve got a solidly functioning body and mind. I’ve fully left behind all weird expat diseases that I suffered abroad. Thanks to my good health, I’ve been able to go swimming in countless bodies of water this year, to scale ancient ruins, and to live in a completely different cultural and linguistic context.

Scaling mountains with the best of them.

Scaling mountains with the best of them.

Learning – What can I say? I love learning. I’m really good at learning. Luckily, I’ve found many ways to continue learning, from standing on the other side of the school desk to delving into research at my new job. Traveling, teaching, writing, moving, improv-ing — all of these have allowed me to learn a lot about a subject I haven’t spent too much time on in the past — myself — which has allowed me to become stronger, more resilient person.

Food coma-inducing. Thankful for for TG in the Black Fortress of Opium.

Food coma-inducing. Thankful for for TG in the Black Fortress of Opium.

Though I’m missing my friends, and I’m missing Turkey, I get to spend this year at home with my family. It’s dinner for seven, instead of dinner for twenty-five, which is both a relief and a disappointment. Off to go start dinner… Şükran Gününüz kutlu olsun!

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