Sunday, November 2, 2014

Love Abroad

   To begin, this is not an easy note for me to write, in that it's nature is the result of heartache. I will begin to say that living abroad is an exceptional experience for one to discover who they are. Moving to Istanbul has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I've had to endure; and it's this statement which brings promise. I've discovered I can survive in an alternate world so far from home, where foreign tongues salute me in the streets, and strange smells wrap me as I walk about. I've experienced living a stereotype, being American in Europe, and with it I've met and underperformed expectations of it. I've met humility as I'm forced to re-evaluate who I am in the world I don't know, when I've spent the entirety of my life discovering what my existence means in an environment I've spent my entirety living in.

   I've shared in conversation and perspective that I hadn't quite understood or would have never guessed upon. My life has shifted and with it the idea of myself. This country has introduced me to people and places and sights and sounds that have never graced me before and I've been overwhelmed, underwhelmed, provoked, insulted, attracted, intrigued, rewarded, and encouraged all the same. While this snake sheds it's skin and discovers a charmed glow from the light reflecting upon these new scales, there is still a piece of this past hooked, that won't break free...

   Most of us have, or will, meet, or have met another who inspires us, builds courage inside of us and treats us in a way that makes the world seem conquerable with their words and their love. Most people will experience one or many others like this who they'll love dearly and who will reciprocate this emotional bravado. These people should be cherished for their time and their passion towards us, they should be regarded as saints sacrificing their reality to step into ours, for without them, we who have gained the world, would know no such thing.

   About eight months ago I began to date a girl, of the most impressive variety. Her lips so perfectly shaped as to suggest a kiss at any time. Her smile, a perfect order of ivory, has and will continue to inspire people for eternity, while her stare is one of those you'd see in a predator of the wild. Her eyes gaze with a confidence that traps the onlooker in a weak state, where fight or flight is dismissed and subtle hypnosis overwhelms the subject. Her cheeks are strong and her nose straight as it frames the soft skin of her symmetrical face. A man could spend an hour describing just the face of the girl but I'll leave the topic with a last remark of noticing her beauty mark, a light change of skin tone, softly placed just above the nostril where it meets with the face and in line with the corner of her eye. Truly, she is a beautiful young woman, and as a fine spirit ages well, so will she.

  Initially, any confident man will want to strike conversation, and those who are clever may even gain her interest, but only those who commit themselves to this beauty will discover her personally. It was I who took this vow and was I who discovered something all the more alluring beyond the beautiful gates. Discovering this woman as one would admire a muse, listening to her thoughts, observing her social finesse, and enjoying her confident companionship I've tasted glory and I've grown to become some giant wearing the frame of a man under six foot. The fountains have been flowing and I have drank the holy water to a point of comfortable satiation. Notice the second to last word in the previous sentence, please.

   In a world as ours, as a man like me, and with a path as I've chosen, there are choice times I desire comfort. When I am old I will enjoy comfort, for now, however:  I'll choose challenge and risk, vulnerability and growth. I cannot allow myself to become distracted by dreams when I'm living in reality and I have a long way to go before realizing my goals. I've stayed with this beautiful and enchanting woman for two months of my trip and half committed to the states, half committed to discovering myself here;  I have become a man tied in his own chains. So, taking the risk of losing companionship, a comfortable future, and the scorn of the strongest young woman I've come to know; I have chosen to cut my ties from the states and live my final two months in Istanbul as a young man without attachments, without second guesses, without that nurturing support, and without that comfort.

   As hard as it is to sever this emotional attachment I know that if things are meant to be, the two of us will find ourselves in each others arms (as I hope will happen) again. If time and space decide our paths are best met as friends, then memories will do to serve me pleasure.

Reader's Note- This is not a breakup letter, as the breakup has already occurred through conversation, this is a reflection. The beauty of the one I love is proven in that we have separated in respect and good conversation following the discussion she started a week ago, truly a remarkable woman.

To Bethany,
I love you most dearly and will always admire and respect you. You truly are the red diamond, both rare and magnificent.