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The music is sweet, flowing, and full of words I will never understand. There is a call to prayer booming from the loudspeakers of the Blue Mosque just two blocks away. Sweet incense and burning meat mixes with the scent of body musk and knockoff cologne. I’m sitting on a chair made of itchy, potato sack wool, which rests on top of a glass floor that allows a glimpse into thousand year old caves below.

It’s 1pm, and I’m drinking a generous glass of Turkish red. The hummus is full of garlic, a potency which will surely stay with me for many hours, and the servers at this lovely little cafe, as with the other lovely little cafes, are all men. We have been here for four days, and have yet to be served by a woman. Istanbul is eclectic, ancient, and full of tastes, smells, and male energy.

Sometimes I see older women who I feel a hope to be like when I grow up; this feels – at 33 – to still be a long ways away. One of them is sitting across from me now. She has blonde messy hair, a handsome husband with a deep English accent, and two awkward looking daughters. Incidentally, she’s wearing the same eyeglasses as me. She looks happy, relaxed. When we met eyes, she didn’t look away, only smiled. I like that. She seems, if one can draw such conclusions from merely making eye contact, to be happy with herself. Satisfied with life. Perhaps I’ve just caught her on a good day.

I’ve certainly caught myself on a good day. Just over two weeks ago I wrote my final board exam for nutrition school. It was tough, and it seems I studied all the wrong things, but I have a strong faith that I did just fine, and that within a month or so, I will receive my certification of R.H.N., or Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Kevin and I decided to cash in a few years worth of airmiles and take off to a country we knew very little about. Our precious babies are at home with their auntie Meg, and we are departing today to go South to the city of Bodrum for some sun, wine and music at a little boutique hotel on the Mediterranean Sea with a name I cannot pronounce.

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I have been off the blogging grid for some time, and am so happy to have finished the intense practical work of my program. My final exam is over, and I am settling into the energy of completion. Turkey is a nice place to do that. I’m taking this trip to relax, catch up on my online business course (B-School with Marie Forleo), and come home to begin the real work on a career that I sold my business two years ago to pursue. I didn’t know what it was back then, other than that it involved writing, and helping people become closer to their true selves. Now, with my diploma almost under my belt, I am feeling confident in the work I’m going to do, and the service I’m here to provide.

I feel happy. Happy with myself. Satisfied with life. I look forward to my work providing outstanding value and transformation in the upcoming years. For now, however, I thought I’d deliver a little a little catch up, say hello, and let you know, my dear readers, that I am indeed still alive and well.

Love from this magical land,

Jen.

Ps. I apologize for the formatting of this post, and likely the next couple to come. The WordPress app leaves much to be desired. Better less than perfect than not at all, right?

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