PERSONAL, Uncategorized

Autumn in Delft

Changing leaves, that first night you realise that you need more than your flimsy blanket to sleep, less iced teas and more warm coffees, apple pie, countdown to Christmas, rainy days and fuzzy socks.

I have never been a summer person but I have to admit I have never seen autumn to be as beautiful as the ones in the Netherlands. Maybe my lacking is because I come from a place where summers last longer and winter comes shortly after. In Delft, cooler summer lingers till autumn takes over in the earlier days of September and brings all the yellow and orange tints with it.

As the days are getting shorter, my life in the Netherlands is slowly finding its balance. Time passes faster and I find myself feeling less restless, more at ease.

And I have to admit that autumn days like these certainly help.

-Ceren

If you would like to see more of my photography, come and find me on Instagram  @crn.spymn !

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PERSONAL, Uncategorized

Life As It Is

Leiden in autumn

Leiden in Autumn

This September, as a 28 year old, I’ve started my new study at Leiden University. A challenging task which included me moving to a different country for the second time within a year. As someone who would assume that this alone would be stressing enough for anyone; I was restless enough to not only move, but move away from the country that my husband would continue to live. Hello long distance marriage and all the baggage that comes with it!

The commuting and the planning and the overall unknowingness of the whole situation is definitely not something for the faint hearted. Going back to living by myself again after living together for quite sometime might mean that I have to do a lot less tidying up (yay!) but it also means that most of the time I’ll be laying in a bed that is half empty (meh). All those little lost moments together is the harsh side of this new adventure we jumped in so eagerly.

Is it all that bad? Well, it might depend on which day someone asks me that question but frankly; no.

Being on the much older side of my classmates means that making friends is not something that comes as naturally as it once was. Plus, the fact that I’ll be 31(thirty-one) by the time I graduate and going back to the working life around that age is a thought I would rather avoid. Beyond all the negativity my mind tends to pour on me, my life is what it is: I am doing something I’ve been dreaming of for the last three years.

Living in the Netherlands, was an idea that we have always assumed to be well into the future. Doing a study here (let alone living) which will enable me to learn the language, culture, history, literature, art and linguistics was even beyond that. So why bring myself down over everything that comes after that point?

The answer brings me to my current situation: an inner struggle of going in between being grateful and wanting more. Being grateful for being here and having this opportunity to experience versus wanting to live here with my husband and get to try this new life out together. Okay, and maybe taking some years off of my age might also be helpful at this point but let’s not get into that just now.

Will I ever find a way to settle down to one of those feelings? Probably. Maybe. Hopefully. I’m trying to pick one that will make me the happiest even if it means to have to wait some more. After all, time is all I have.

-Ceren

If you would like to see more of my photography, come and find me on Instagram  @crn.spymn !

 

 

 

 

 

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PERSONAL, Uncategorized

Ramblings on Social Media, Somewhere Between Inspiring and Overwhelming

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Social media, especially Instagram has become a big part of my life since I’ve joined a little over a year ago. Some may even claim (okay, I claim) that I’m even addicted to it. They (yeah yeah, I) have a point.

If Instagram is praised as a ‘community designed to inspire you and share your aesthetic passion with like-minded people’, then why do I often feel so overwhelmed by it, rather than inspired? Have all the positive rays of artistry and beauty this app provides completely missed me?

With approximately 700 million followers, Instagram is huge. With influencers and content creators and feed editors; a whole new generation of ‘successful people who made it’ are popping everywhere. If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. As someone who is a humble owner of an account with 2 thousand-something followers, I am not even close to ‘making’ anything. Normally, that is fine. Heck, it is more than fine, it’s great! But then, why am I feeling like I’m missing out on some secret club where I just can’t seem to get an invitation to?

I mean, with free products to ‘unbox’, invitations to ‘openings’, restaurants to ‘try out’ and parties to ‘check out’ and if you are one of those who really made it, workshops and photography or styling workshops to ‘set up’ does look like the new glittery life. And, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Punk is dead but Insta Glam is here to stay! One like  at a time.

When I first decided to join Instagram, I knew I wanted to do more than just taking selfies or posting random moments from my daily life. I wanted to post about what impressed me and made me admire. That was, this little city where I live now: Delft. The classic Dutch architecture and the little streets simply made me happy. I loved it in the summer, even more in the fall. With including my trips to other places here and there, I still mostly post photos of this cute Randstad corner.

Sounds and feels simple enough. Well, apparently not. As much as I would like to convince myself that I am doing this for my own pure pleasure, my hand (and my mind) still wanders every couple of minutes to see how many people liked my photo. Some kind of momentary relief, a hint of feeling appreciated.

Paying attention to which hashtags to use, watching the time to decide when to post that day… The lighting is off in this one. My feed is too crowded. Why can’t I snap photos like this girl? I have no set theme. He has how many followers? I should post everyday. Wait, what? I’ve lost how many followers? But, why?

Waste of my time, my energy and more importantly, my creativity. All the things I thought I would get from Instagram has turned me into someone who compares what I choose for the world to see with other people’s creations. An endless search for something so subjective yet somehow through the Instagram’s ‘like system’, so uniform.

So how to fix this? Actually, that is still something I’m yet to discover and practice everyday. Maybe take a small break to reset my mind and use this time to recharge. Who knows? Being an Instagram celebrity may not be in my future but I will continue to smother people with my semi-daily snappings of the city I live in and some others I occasionally visit.

-Ceren

If you would like to see more photos of the Netherlands (and contribute to my addiction), come and find me on Instagram  @crn.spymn !

 

 

 

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PERSONAL, Uncategorized

Mostly Here and Sometimes There

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Oh it turns out I have a blog!

Sometime last month, for the second time this year, I have moved to a new country. Like other milestones in someone’s life, these last couple of months were sometimes bitter but also oh-so-sweet.

For someone who always prefers to be on the safer side of things, I sure do know how to get out of my comfort zone. Moving twice in a year, starting a new study in a new country, learning a new language, understanding a new culture and finding a new balance in life while coping with everything that comes with a semi-long distance marriage. Who said life gets dull as you get older?

As I approach another milestone known as the big 30’s; sitting in a classroom, handing over my homework while planning my grocery days and wondering if it was today or tomorrow that the supermarket had 50% off on all the cleaning products, I agreed that our 30’s really are the new 20’s. Only where there is less soul searching and more getting drunk on better quality drinks.

After some time away from here, as everything slowly settle down; I will be thinking, writing and sharing a little bit more. I know it’s too early to jump to any conclusions about what my new adventure in the Netherlands will bring but I am not in a rush. Right now, I am far busier with finding ways to keep my plants alive and settling arguments with my husband about how frequently the vacuuming should be done (even though it is through FaceTime).

-Ceren

 

 

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Gezelligheid: More of a Feeling Than a Word

I was sitting under the sun, on a chilly but bright day, sipping my fresh mint tea and snacking on a toast with cheese that is decorated with a tiny little Dutch Flag while watching people passing-by either with their dog or a stroller, or sometimes both. On a day like this there is one word that seems to be lingering on everyone’s sentences that I couldn’t help but notice: Gezellig.

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Delft Centrum

 Me being used to asking my husband about explanation when it comes to anything that is related to the Netherlands, I turned to him and asked: ‘What does ‘gezellig’ mean?’

Somehow there was something about this word that got him puzzled. His reply was: ‘You can’t explain it, there isn’t an exact word for it in English.’

But, how? English is a quite extensive language afterall. Surely there has to be some meaning to it, right? Well, the answer is yes and no. From what I understand from my brief search on the internet; it is more of a feeling rather than a word. To get an idea; it is a cozy, comfortable, warm and familiar feeling.

Waking up to a snowy Christmas morning and opening your presents as a child in your warm living room is, for example, gezellig.

Going out to a nice restaurant with your friends and getting tipsy by the candlelight over a delicious dinner and enjoying yourself is, very gezellig.

Coming home after a long day at work and reading a book under a blanket while your cats are laying by your side is also gezellig.

Walking your dog in a park on a day that is just the right temperature, before the city is awake and ending it with a coffee and a croissant from your favourite cafe is, indeed, gezellig.

It is of course different for everyone; but in general everything that makes you feel content, joyous, cozy and maybe even appreciative of what you have can be described with one tiny word and Dutch are embracing it to the fullest!

 If you asked me several years ago how I feel about this whole concept, I would be less than keen about it all, but now, I kind of like it. As if it allows you to be more aware of your surroundings somehow and more connected to that moment instead of being hurled up in the past and overthinking the future. So, when you think about it, isn’t that what ‘mindfullness’ is? Did the Dutch knew about it all along and kept it all to themselves? Hard to say…

I shook my head slightly to get back to the reality of my surroundings. I was sitting on a dinner table, surrounded by few loved ones and having gourmetten that night, by far one on my favourite Dutch traditions. As my father-in-law poured me another drink, my mother-in-law turned to me and asked:

Gezellig hè?’

Ceren

If you would like to see more photos of this little Dutch city Delft, don’t forget to find me on Instagram!

 

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PERSONAL, Uncategorized

She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

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I certainly did not come in through the bathroom window but here I am, at a very peculiar time in my life where so many things have changed, so many new beginnings have become the ‘usual’ yet somehow, many more is still yet to come.. And in the midst of everything, I have decided to start my own blog.

Thinking about only last year when I was living in İstanbul with my fiancé and two cats Misa and Taco, wondering where we would be in 2017. We got married in October, went to Iceland for our honeymoon only to be followed by five long months of being apart because of my husband’s new job in Doha, Qatar. Through my eyes, 2017 started off very flashy! In March after a very stressful period of time, I have somehow managed to roll myself over to Doha to join my husband in a new country.

So far so good! Now here we were, -two humans, two cats- in an empty house with just our bed as a furniture contemplating how to get through this without losing a marble or two. Thankfully time tends to pass and we were united with our furniture once again. After that, things began to escalade very quickly. 2017, you certainly are full of surprises.

Having a Dutch husband, we visit the Netherlands quite frequently and over the years I have fallen in love with it. (if you have ever been to the Netherlands, you know what I’m talking about). The biking, the architecture, the art, the small cafes, the tradition, the history, the quirks and yes, even the language. So after some serious consideration, we have decided for me to go to a university there to take the first step into our future in the Netherlands. Suddenly, Leiden University here I come!

Which bring us to now, before I move away once again to a different country for this new chapter in our lives I am starting ‘She Came in Through the Bathroom Window’. What is it exactly? A little bit of travelling, a little bit of my life as someone who has decided to quit her job to move to another country, then move away for the second time to become a student as a 28-year-old, a little bit of our house in Delft, a little bit of our house in Doha, a little bit of our cats Misa and Taco, and a little bit of what inspires and interests me.

I guess only time will show how this place will turn out; but for now, just don’t forget to visit every once in a while.

-Ceren

♠       ♣       ♥       ♦

 

 

 

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