Last week, Shan and I had a business trip back to the place where we first met and fell in love… Istanbul, Turkey! We were so excited to be back! It was our first time coming back, since we moved right after our marriage. It’s definitely one of my favorite cities in the whole world, though I may be biased in saying that 😉
Many of our friends asked if it was weird to go back to our old home. I was surprised at how many times we were asked that same question, in those same words! Every time I was asked, it made me question my immediate answer even more… Is it weird? Should I feel weird? Is it supposed to be weird? And I always came back to the same conclusion- Look at this place! How can it be weird? It’s beautiful, and I will always love it.
This country is where our story began… it’s where we found each other. It’s where he nervously asked me out on the doorsteps of my apartment. It’s where we went on coffee dates everyday and talked until our curfew hit, way too soon, at midnight. It’s where he proposed… February 4, 2015. It’s where I cried at the thought of ordering a wedding dress online, and together we found a local tailor to make it instead. It’s where we stayed up past curfew planning our wedding, in those same cafes where we talked for the first time. This country is where we went apartment hunting… and then furniture shopping. It’s where we built not just another room for another season, but a real home together for the first time.
So… Yes, it is bittersweet. But let me tell you, the emphasis has passed on from Bitter’s prelude monologue. It has rounded out to rest on the singing latter half of Sweet. That is a song that resounds. We’ve moved on, and we’re both so different from when we first began. We have our own home now, and it’s not that place. We can confidently sing a song of cherishing, of treasuring, of unconditional loving, of pain in leaving, of strength in leaning, and of joy in finding.