Much has happened, but I’ll keep it succinct.
On December 23, I flew to the States from Istanbul for five week holiday. I enjoyed so much spending time with my family and friends, performing, attending classes, giving a workshop, and indulging in store-bought vegan baked goods. I began to wonder if five weeks in the US would be enough.
During the time I was in DC, I signed up for an unlimited introductory week of Bikram yoga. As you can imagine a carpeted room heated up to 105 degrees Fareinheit and used for intense physical activity would, it stank to high heaven in there. Still, I began to hate it less and less with every class, it was a chance to bond with my sister, who I’d dragged along, and it really does do wonders for your flexibility. The Karunamayi and Iyengar yoga classes I attended (with my mom!) were great, too. I also took classes with the amazing Egyptian folkloric and oriental dance instructor, Faten Salama. The studio gouges you a bit for drop-ins, but it’s better to pay up than to not study with Faten at all. I also drove all the way out into the depths of Baltimore to take my very first aerial silks class. Think Cirque du Soleil. You climb up (gracefully) between two pieces of fabric suspended from the ceiling, secure yourself in the silks, and make beautiful shapes with your body while hanging several feet above ground. I was convinced after my first experience with aerial dance that I would like to be an aerialist. In fact, I had known I would love it even before my first class.
I got a chance to travel a bit, too. I spent MLK weekend in Cleveland. I saw all the key mid-western players–my best friends and their babies, my dad and step mother, some very old and dear friends–it worked out that I had a performance scheduled in Cleveland, so practically everyone I knew in the city came to see me dance. After Cleveland, I headed to Oakland. I have about 30 cousins out there, and I got to spend time with a bunch of them. My hip young cousin took me to Sunny Spot Cafe, a legal marijuana dispensary. (For medicinal purposes only, of course.) Another one of my cousins x-rayed my wrist. He’s an orthopedic surgeon, and compulsive handstand attempts had caused me to sprain it about 3 and a half months earlier. It had nearly healed by the time I’d reached California, but I was relieved to get the final word that I hadn’t caused any permanent damage.
My return from California to DC left me in a panic. I had only four more days to spend before returning to Istanbul, and there was so much more to do. A yoga friend came to visit me from Rhode Island, so of course we went to Carson Clay Calhoun’s Rocket yoga classes. Lots of jumping, balancing on our hands and sore muscles.
While I love Turkey and enjoy many things about my life here, it was during this trip that I began to have thoughts about returning to the States sooner than later. After a little over a week of deliberating, I have decided to move back to the US, at least for awhile. I’ve got a whole plan worked out, and I’m very excited.