The Year I Grew Up…

posted in: Evolving | 0

Hayat çatlak bardaktaki su benzer; içsen de tükenir içmesen de, bu yüzden hayattan tat almaya bak; çünkü yaşasan da bitecek yaşamasan da.

–Neyzen Tevfik

Life is like water in a cracked glass: if you drink it, it will be gone; if you don’t drink it, it will be gone. So drink deeply of life because it will soon be gone, whether you live it or not.

I have been drinking deeply from the cracked water glass of life for as long as I can remember. Probably the only thing I can claim to be a master of is taking risks. I have rather suspected myself of having Peter Pan Syndrome for years, wondering if I would ever truly grow up.

But it happened… 2020 is the year I officially grew up. At least all the signposts are there. 

It’s not that I FEEL any more mature than years previous. Or even more responsible. But I bought a house. That’s something only adults do, right? And I bought the bike of my dreams. And paid off my farm. And joined –as founding member of– two different women’s farming cooperatives. 

Not that these physical trappings of material wealth are a ruler against which adulthood is measured, but these trappings do at least indicate me thinking about the future, which is something I have rarely ever done, so thoroughly engrossed have I been in the visceral present. 

Oddly, the waking point for me was evinced by the practical cross-examination of a 20-something friend. A boy wise and serious beyond his years, after years of admiring my adventures and world travels said, “All this is nice, but when do you retire? ”

While irritating, his observation was accurate. 

I’m so busy living and loving life, that I DON’T actually stop to think about how old I am very often. When he said that, though, I did stop to think. It dawned on me that I had only 4-5 years before I would be eligible for retirement. That’s only 208-260 weeks away! Not that I plan to retire that soon, but just in case it wasn’t optional, I had to plan my future.  

Let’s say I have to retire. Then what? 

I already had the farm partnership in Bayramiç and we put a house on the land, so I would never be homeless, but truth be told, I didn’t envision myself living in a Turkish village. 

So…I needed a house in Istanbul. 

It took me more than six months of avid searching, often 4-5 hours a day. There was quite a lot of re-evaluating my priorities, my financial capacity, and the standard of living to which I had become so accustomed. During this re-evaluation, it dawned on me that this was not just my only opportunity to buy a house. My remaining work years were also my only opportunity to buy my dream bike, BMW f850GS– a big ticket item, so I set into motion the financial planning for that, too. 

I found a house I love. I bought my dream bike. Given the market conditions in Turkey, both house and bike will offer a massive return on investment, should I ever need to sell. But if I don’t sell, they both offer me the lifestyle I want. 

For the second women’s farming co-op, the location is a southern seaside town– Seferhisar– that has enough life and people walking around in bathing suits to make me feel more at home. The co-op’s business model is one that will reward my hard work and their clever ideas for farming will suit my need for big chunks of time for motorcycle travel.

I suppose that all these things mean I’m now adulting, but at least embracing a kind of adulthood that doesn’t eschew my eternal adolescence. Here’s to their happy co-existence.

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