Months later, it’s time for another post. I’ll explain the delay shortly, but I won’t apologize for it. It’s recently become painfully obvious (literally) that there is a lot of stress involved in moving between continents, spending months away from your partner, changing jobs, and planning a wedding. Doing all of those things at the same time creates an ideal situation for an immune system to cry out in rebellion its own variation of, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!”
Once upon a time, about three weeks ago, I was preparing for a solo trip to Vienna to present my first-ever conference paper. I would spend a few days there and then return to Turkey to pack my things, say my goodbyes, and then fly back to the US to begin the transition to life there, waiting for Hüseyin to join after his visa interview. Prior to leaving for the trip, I’d been putting a lot of time into this website, searching and applying for new jobs daily, and beginning training for an online tutoring position. It was a lot, but I was, as I tend to be, optimistic that the combination of my brain, my work ethic, and the internet would create an unstoppable force such that within days of arriving back home I’d have a full time job, an apartment, a car…all the things I’d never prioritized in my adventurous years abroad that I now felt would reassure me that leaving Turkey was the right decision for my new little family.
Here’s a picture my new friend Emma took of me in Vienna, so idealistic and hopeful it almost hurts:
I enjoyed Vienna a lot. It’s a beautiful city, I made a new friend, and I survived my first presentation.
Coming back to Turkey, I faced the reality that Hüseyin’s visa interview had been scheduled for November 30th, the next available appointment, while I was due to leave on September 12th. I was disappointed beyond what might be a rational amount of disappointment. I had assumed he’d be with us by Thanksgiving, that we’d celebrate our November birthdays together, go to a cider mill, watch some football. Instead, the end of November meant if all went smoothly he’d be flying in early December, and that simply wouldn’t do.
Of course, it has to “do.” Such things are out of our control, and we know that we must accept what we cannot change. Easier said than done. Within a couple days, the sore throat I’d been nursing in Vienna blossomed into tonsillitis, which earned me my first course of antibiotics in about a decade. Either the ailment or the treatment brought with it crippling nausea, and it was a miserable few days. Once that passed and I should have been feeling better, the large spots on my tonsils showed the amoxicillin hadn’t worked after all, and I would need a stronger dose of penicillin. Finally, I got a bit of relief and was able to eat and drink as the second antibiotic worked its charms, but a few days after that, I learned that I’m allergic to penicillin, and I’m still dealing with the itchy, red effects of that nonsense.
Happily, I was able to stay in Turkey longer than I’d originally planned, which means spending more time with my future in-laws and ultimately a shorter stint in a long-distance relationship. Rather than having a miserable travel experience, I was taken care of by someone who doesn’t turn away in disgust when I’m hugging the toilet and who translates for me when doctors don’t speak English, even asking them about the scary syndromes I’ve read about online that no one else would take seriously. I’ve also been forced to reexamine and reevaluate my expectations for the future and be just a little cooler with the uncertainties ahead.
Moving forward, I’m embracing the 30th of November and asking you to join me. Apart from being Visa Interview Day, it will also be the deadline for your submissions of your own stories. We’ve got 65 days, me to wait for some good news and you to write something to share! Head to the home page for your free copy of “Getting Started” if you need some encouragement!