For anyone following along, I left off with Istanbul day 8.  We have a whole week to go over of our stay in Istanbul, so never fear, the trip details and pictures are far from over.  I apologize for not getting day 9 up sooner, but it is going to take me a long while and two posts to go through all the crazy things we did that day.  That the day we took a 12 hour tour, which was extraordinary and easily one of the best parts of the whole trip.  I simply haven’t found the time to sit down and write it all out.  So, it is coming soon, I promise!

In the meantime, I posted some more of my writing for anyone’s enjoyment.  I added a section on the site called Poetry and all my posted poems are listed under there.  Most, if not all of my finished poetry, came from taking a poetry workshop in college.  I was coming off the misery of wasting a year and a half in Chemical Engineering.  Yes, the best years of my college life were spent slaving away in classes like Organic Chemistry, ugh.  Once I allowed myself to admit that I wanted to write again, I applied for a poetry workshop just to get my feet wet.  This was my first experience in the academic writing world and I had a very mixed time in the class.  On one hand, I was finally allowing my creative side to have a say and it was starving for air.  It was like a dead limb was coming back to life.  On the other hand, it was a gruelingly lonely experience.  I was the odd man out, constantly asking the wrong questions (how will this be graded? – its poetry, just go with it?  Sure.), I had no friends in a program full of people who already knew each other from lower level English courses, and I was still balancing a work load in Mathematics (I graduated with a double major in Mathematics, emphasis on Statistics and English, emphasis on writing -what was I thinking?).  I tried to reach out and make friends, but mostly ended up feeling foolish.  Had I made the right choice getting back into writing?  I hadn’t done it in so long, was I really any good at all?  If so, was it a degree worth pursing?  But mostly, why do I keep saying dumb things and making everyone look at me like that?

In the end, it was the right decision to make.  I broke free in that class in ways I hadn’t known were possible.  I wrote up some decent poetry too, I think; some of it is posted on my website, so you may judge for yourself.  I learned so much about myself.  Poetry is not my preferred method of writing, but I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone out there.  I got my feet wet and got the courage to jump all in, joining a creative writing workshop the following semester with a fantastic professor.  Truthfully, I never gained the acceptance and friendship that I yearned for, I think they sensed I always had one foot in another door (Mathematics), but I got my limb back.  Turns out, I needed it as much, if not more, than I needed the security of a degree in something more “grounded” and “worthwhile.”

At the end of the poetry semester, our professor arranged for us to have a reading on campus.  When I stood up in front of the small crowd of friends and relatives of mine and my classmates’ and a few curious students, I read my work with total pride and luminous joy.  I held in my hand something pieced together from nothing, a creation wholly mine, and that was a feeling I never wanted to give up again.

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