What Have I Become? Something Soft and Really Quite Dumb

Istanbul from the sky - Topkapi Palace
Istanbul from the sky – Topkapi Palace (Photo credit: CyberMacs)

Ingrid Michaelson. I dont think Ive done her yet.

Its odd to travel right now. I feel like everything is buzzing by me at the speed of light and I cant hold onto anything Im experiencing. In the last week I have been in 4 different countries, and crossed like 4 time zones. Im in Instanbul for another day or so and then its off to the western coast of Turkey, and it just seems like so much so fast. There’s just something so insubstantial about being here. While I can understand that I am no longer in Utah or America, its very hard to accept that Im in Turkey. In addition, Im feeling pushed – like I keep doing things that are out of sync with what I would want/need to be doing. I like going to the touristy spots (to an extent), but Im a people/experience person. I want to interact with my environment, or learn the culture or observe the people. Right now, Im just a photographing fool who keeps getting accosted by sales people. Today one wanted to give me a gift, and then put ice chips in my hand. So weird.

I just realized that this is the most classic me situation ever. Im always getting into conundrums, where I let shoulds dictate my life – especially when it comes to doing things with other people. I feel I owe them something per some unwritten contract and I push myself until Im exhausted and cranky and give up. It becomes hard for me to voice my feelings or needs, except in snarky – bordering on bitchy ways. I end up acting less than and stuffing myself down, which used to work a lot better before all the self-actualizing crap of the last 9 years. 

Its especially difficult, because Im traveling with a friend that I have not really spent significant time with since high school. As far as I know, there are two people that I have actually still kept in constant contact with over the years. We were really good friends in high school, and still are, but being with someone, in a demanding situation like travel after 13+ years is an interesting experience. So the old me was a passive audience member to my incredibly gregarious friends. I mean I was always a talker, but Ive had many friends who are the life of the party for as long as I can remember – and I sort of laughed and clapped at the appropriate times. Ive changed since then. Ive learned to accept a new role in my life – one where Im more often the life of the party, and even when Im not, I dont do passive anymore. My friend and I have also been talking about this blog – and he immediately recognized it for the platform it could maybe be one day. That its a unique perspective I hold, and despite the fact that hes not religious, he understands how important my religion is to me, and what I could do given the social changes facing the LDS church.

I know better what my needs are and have spent copious time learning how to say them, deal with the aftermath of it and keep relationships alive. But the old habits come back hard. Fortunately my extreme jetlag has lowered my tolerance level, so its either accept the increasingly bitchy version of myself or “woman up” and remember who I actually am.

Starting with, this girl likes massages, so Four Seasons it is! (its 30% off at 7am :)). And choosing which relationship to prioritize and then dealing with the aftermath of making big girl decisions about how to handle it. Which in the last 3 hours since this realization is going exceptionally well. Thats the thing I always forget in the initial no-win solution: I know how to handle myself and it usually works out ok. Plus this whole traveling thing is supposed to be fun right? In honor of that, Ive changed my header picture – this is one I took at the Hagia Sofia two days ago. Beautiful place, but I will write about that later.

One thought on “What Have I Become? Something Soft and Really Quite Dumb

  1. Love the new header photo!

    I recognize “The old habits come back hard” phenomenon. I have been shocked when that happens to me sometimes.

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