Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cancelling Cancellations

You know that icebreaker game that team leaders make you play when you’re on a trip or getting to know new interns, etc: where everyone goes around and says an adjective that matches the beginning sound of their name, followed by their name? If I was forced to endure that tomorrow, I’d say “canceled Casey,” and it’d be a pretty accurate description of my current place in life. 

Not long after I last gushed about how perfect my situation was here in Istanbul, it changed rather rapidly. This isn’t to say that everything fell apart and I regret coming here; because I don’t. Unfortunately, however, the au-pairing work turned out to be a bunch of cancellations, and even after turning back to teaching I have received too many cancellation notices to count. Too bad I can't cancel cancellations...

However, on my days of unemployment, I have spent extra time with my Arabic partner and now very dear and close friend as well as some other amazing people I have met here. I have learned to appreciate stability, of which I have very little right now and I have simultaneously learned how to deal with complete instability, which in ways helps me understand to a better degree (albeit not fully) the way the refugees I love so dearly feel all the time.

The volunteering here has also been really great. It’s also relatively spontaneous in nature, but it’s been very humbling and has increased my flexibility. Ok now it sounds like I’m writing a cover letter, but you get my drift. The staff at Caritas is incredibly friendly, supportive and eager to give me as much experience as they can set up. They have even invited me to an emergency preparedness seminar training, for which I am really excited.

Between the spontaneity of volunteering and the ever-changing nature of paid work, my life plan usually doesn’t get cemented until halfway through the current day, although I may have a rough idea the night before. This lends itself to a stressed out, yet liberated Casey who feels a constant pull between freefalling through an incredible canyon of experience and waiting for the relief of touching ground again. Although, knowing myself, I’m likely to want to freefall again as soon as I have that stability I supposedly want.

This all has been a very humbling, stressful, wonderful experience, and although I had wanted to wait to write a new post till I had “good news,” I think I needed to, tail between my legs, disclose the less bouncy walk I’ve been walking since my last post and the many moments where I’ve melodramatically stared into space and wondered what I’m doing with my life.

I’ve started applying for some actual jobs, one of which is my dream job, and for which I meet all qualifications for, but I may have unfortunately heard of it too late. Regardless, I’m applying for work and will hopefully find something more consistent soon; or I will commit to spending 1-2 years in Istanbul and teach for a more reliable company (that requires commitment) and continue volunteering for and with some incredible people.

I am, in all this, so happy and grateful to be where I am. I’m in one of the most beautiful (yet crowded) cosmopolitan cities in the world with an incredible friend who can only be described as my sister and partner. I honestly don’t know what I would have done these past few months without her. Sure, I have AMAZING friends all over who would and even have helped me out immensely. But there is something extra in having a sister with you who understands you so deeply and loves you so strongly. There is not a detail of my life I wouldn't and haven’t shared with her and its that openness and dedication that has been my one ounce of stability—despite the fact that she is also facing the same types of instability as me. Thank you Lindsey Jordan Baker, for suggesting I come to Istanbul, for loving me like a sister, for dealing with my bad moods and bad temper not many see and for being as weird and crazy as I am. 

So no, no big exciting update; just me living in the moment, learning to be content, flexible and...patient...

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