Listen

My routine has gone out the window. In the past few months, we’ve gone through so many changes it’s hard to keep track.

In March, we began preparing the sale of the house. A lot goes into that process. Clean up. Painting. Fixing the lighting. Getting the house in tip top shape for the buyers. Once we decided to sell, simultaneously, we began searching for a house. That also takes up a lot of time. Research, going to look at places, putting in bids, losing, starting all over again.

That all finished near the end of April, I think. Then we moved out of the house at the end of April. For two months, my entire routine was gone. Then we Continue reading “Listen”

Transform

We have the power to completely reinvent ourselves. The mind is more capable than we give it credit for.

So many things on my mind. I’ve had many moments in the past few days where I thought this would be great to include in the blog. One of the instances is louder in my mind than any other right now.

I never have good opening lines. It takes me time to warm up while I’m writing. To get into the mood of writing. I feel my posts end well. I love with finishing lines. The conclusion should be strong.

I wanted to start this post in a certain way but the pressure I’m putting on myself isn’t allowing me to write. I’m removing that pressure and instead simply going to start typing. Here goes.

The other night we were sitting around the dinner table. Another one of those nights where we sat at the dinner table for 3-4 hours. Eliz is out of town with her mom. We invited her dad over for dinner. Had a few drinks and a great meal. Then as we started to talk one story my mom told was eye opening.

Here’s something I never really thought about. My cousins came here when they were younger than I was. One was born in Canada. The other was 2 and the oldest was 5 or 6. Schools sometimes have “Grandparents’ Days.” It’s exactly as it sounds. A day to invite your grandparents into school with you. Refugee kids usually don’t Continue reading “Transform”

Turkish Bath Mitten

Let me give you the setting of this post. I just took a 30-minute hot bath. My legs were hurting today and I thought the heat would help. Worked like a charm. After the hot bath, I used a Turkish Bath Mitten to scrub dead skin off my body and took a freezing cold shower.

As I sit here, I’m wearing my swimming shorts and a tank top shirt. I’m ready for summer to arrive. Also,  I didn’t want the boys to feel constricted this late in the night. I say late but its 11:41 on Saturday night.

When the hell did I get so old?

Saturday night, and I’m here writing a blog. Not just that, I’m calling it ‘late’ in the night. It was only a few years ago where around this time we would call the Taxi to go out. Now that I say that I realize how old I am. When I was going out we didn’t Uber to the club. Uber didn’t exist 5 years ago. Don’t quote me on that, maybe it did, but I wasn’t aware of it.

Anyway, I’ve really been meaning to write. I can’t seem to make time for myself. I just told Eliz how important it is to make some time for yourself. Even if it is on Saturday night. I don’t know why I’ve been putting off writing. Maybe it’s for the same reason I’ve been putting off taking pictures for Invictus Beard. Telling myself “Now is not a good time.”

I go through phases in life. I’m either all in on something or I’m procrastinating. I’m realizing Continue reading “Turkish Bath Mitten”

Karma

Pen to paper. Fingertips on the laptop. Still haven’t got the Dvorak Keyboard. Come on man.

I speak to myself. We all do. There’s a voice in your head reading this right now. How often do you listen to that voice? Really listen. That’s what meditation is for me. Listening to that voice. Not changing anything about the voice. It helps me understand who I am. I have faults. Many faults.

I don’t do anything maliciously. It’s never a zero-sum game for me. Every situation I’m faced with I approach with a win-win attitude. How can we both win? That’s how I approach every business deal. If I don’t win then I can’t make the deal. If the client doesn’t win it’s better not to do the deal. Bad salespeople will take advantage of the client. You may make a quick buck but it always catches up to you. A reputation takes years to build, but it could be lost in a moment. I’m still young. 26. I guess I have to write ‘fairly young’ now.

I’m going to make mistakes. I’m making mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. Maybe I’m too harsh with people that have wronged my family and me. I’m on the road to happiness. If you haven’t done anything to bring happiness to me then why do I need to keep you around? I’ve tried. I’ve given a chance. Another chance. When is it time to stop giving chances and understand that this will never be win-win?

This is the hardest thing to do when it comes to family. It may be even harder when Continue reading “Karma”

House Hunting

I recently had a meeting with someone that I’ve been trying to get in front of for a long time. I’ve tried different things. Emails. Phone calls. Lastly, I tried LinkedIn. I hadn’t heard back for a long time then he replied. The timing was right. I had to be persistent. Then I had to be patient. Either way I didn’t think the meeting would go as well as it did. I’m glad I worked at it. Worked hard at it. The conversation is still in its infancy. It could turn out to be huge. We’ll see where it goes. I’ll keep you all updated.

The other day we put an offer on a house. It’s not easy to get a property. The market has gone crazy. Every house is taking multiple offers. It’s the most expensive silent auction I’ve ever been a part of. It was disappointing when we didn’t get it. Now I think about it and I’m glad we didn’t get it. We rushed it. We saw the house and the same day we put in a bid. We were prepared to go over the budget we set for ourselves. I wasn’t being smart. Eliz said it isn’t a good idea. She said she wanted to do more research, but as I’ve mentioned before I’m emotional. I really liked the house. I wanted it. Figured we can’t lose in this market anyway so why not? It could’ve been a big mistake.

It’s the first time I’m part of the house buying process. It’s all a part of growing up. I will do more research.

This whole house search has really been messing with my routine. It’s creating stress. I’ve started doing the Stress Pack within Headspace. We have access to all this cash. We want to make the most of it. The decision we make is very important. The thing is, when we accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves, this decision won’t seem so important. I mean that in the financial sense. We are still choosing a place that will be our first home together. That’s always going to be important.

I don’t really know what to write about. I’m all over the place right now. That’s how I have been feeling the past few weeks. I can’t wait to be in a place that is ours. Where I can set my routine again.

At the same time, I think about the fact that I’m changing cities. Moving away from my friends. My parents said they will end up in the same city as me so I’m not worried about that. I think about the friends I have. The gym I go to. The same one I’ve been going to for the past 8 years. Holy crap. Has it been 8 years?

Well that’s all going to change. I won’t be playing basketball there anymore. I’m moving to a different city. My decisions are changing based on what is best, not for me, rather for my family. My fiancé, my puppy, my future children. My parents had to make sacrifices. Major sacrifices. They didn’t just move to another city.  They moved to another country. They didn’t know the language. They didn’t have anyone they were close with. The change I’m making pales in comparison. As soon as I think about that I realize how good I have it.

Yesterday, I spoke to my mom. I asked her what her goals are. What she looks forward to. She said she’s done what she set out to do. She’s giving my sister and me everything she didn’t have. A Canadian passport that grants me access to any country I want to visit. The freedom to choose the religion I want to practice without ridicule. The ability to go to one of the best universities in the world. I’m able to do this because of their sacrifices. She said she is fulfilled. She sees how happy I am with Eliz. She sees how happy my sister is with her husband. She has a grandchild on the way. She’s happy.

As I get older I realize how hard it is to be older.

I think about how easy it is to be a kid. No bills to pay. No down payment to worry about. No groceries to buy. Electricity is magically on. We live in a home. There’s food on the table. As I get older I appreciate the sacrifices my parents made. I understand their struggle a little bit better. Although, I don’t think I’ll ever have to go through anything as nearly as hard as they did. That’s all thanks to them.

It’s a fine line. We should be appreciative of our parents. I am very appreciative. At the same time, I am at the age that I must look after my future family. I’m grateful that my parents and in-laws all understand this. They are very supportive of it. They do everything they can to help.

It isn’t like that for some of my friends. Their parents still have a hold over them. Maybe it was like that for me to. Maybe it still is like that but I don’t see it that way. Sometimes it’s easier to see it when viewing from the outside. As I said, I don’t think it is like that for me.

We all want to make our parents proud. We all want to do what’s in their best interest as well as ours. I mentioned that I would end my blogs with a bit of advice.

At some point, we must realize that we should live our lives. We must make decisions that we can live with. Sometimes this will go against what our parents want. That’s hard. I’m no expert at it. However, as I keep saying, I’m working towards happiness. How can we be happy if the decisions we make are skewed? The influence our parents have on our lives can be negative at times. Of course, they want the best for us. It’s just sometimes they may not know what that is as well as we do. We must make the decisions we can live with. The decisions that we are proud we made when laying on the bed taking our last breathes.

 

My advice isn’t to defy your parents. I’m simply trying to say sometimes we want to do something or be with someone but our parents don’t approve. In those instances, ask yourself what is the most important thing. Your happiness or theirs? Ideally, everyone would be happy. Sometimes that isn’t the case. Years from now you need to be able to look in the mirror and say you did it your way. You did what was best for you at that moment. That’s how we live. That’s how we grow.

26th Birthday

It feels like a long time since I’ve written a post. I’ve been meaning to. I keep thinking about doing it. I’ve been busy. In other words, I’ve been procrastinating. I’m happy I’m doing it now.

To be honest some challenges I’ve faced in the past few weeks have been occupying most of my mind. At least it was. I’m moving past it. In one of my latest posts I mentioned cutting out toxic people. I’ve done it. Relatives. People that I grew up alongside. It’s not easy to just cut them out and then to keep moving as if nothing changed. It needed to be done. As I said, I don’t have room for negative people. I’m on my up. I had to offload unnecessary luggage. Continue reading “26th Birthday”

Teenage Mehmet

Today was a busy day. Starting to feel the wrath of overseeing so many clients and at the same time hunting down prospects.

I like it.

Also went shopping. I needed jeans. I got a sweet pair. Looks great.

I used to hate shopping. With a passion. Maybe because I never wanted to get anything extravagant because money was tight. Even though my parents would never show that to us. I guess as kids we have more intuition than we think. My parents never said we couldn’t have something because of the price. Especially when it came to essentials like clothing.

I’m not saying we could pick anything in the Gucci store. I’m just saying if I wanted a nice pair of jeans my mom didn’t hesitate to get it for me.

Maybe I’m giving myself too much credit and I was just a lazy kid. I didn’t want to go shopping. Always put my mom in a difficult predicament. She knew I needed new clothes. She knew I hated shopping. So she would get clothes for me and I would get upset.

The nerve of young me. I oughta smack myself. This woman goes out. Thinks of me enough to buy me clothes. Brings it home for me to try it on. Then I get mad because she didn’t get what I want?

Eliz says I was raised spoiled and it’s examples like this that makes my argument that I wasn’t, weak.

Yet my mom would do that often. She’d get me stuff. She may even think to herself “He wouldn’t like this” or “Yeah, I think he’ll like this one”. I never considered any of those things. Teenage Mehmet. Thinks he is the shit. Too lazy to go shopping. Not to lazy to get mad at his mom for grabbing him something he doesn’t like.

I’m really making myself look like an ass here but now that I think about it, I just want to go hug my mom. How did she put up with me?

I guess that’s just what moms do. Or at least that’s what my mom did. Having support from loved ones is so important. It shouldn’t be taken for granted yet I always did. At times I still take it for granted.

I read Seneca’s letter to his mom when he was in exile. Incredible read. The insight that he had on his mom’s life was enlightening. I don’t think I know my mom as well as Seneca knew his. I feel I will get to know her more now that I realize that. I will take the time to do that. I don’t remember if I heard this in a movie or read it somewhere but it was something like “We don’t really know our parents”.

Isn’t that so true?

We come into the world and only think about ourselves. We’ll listen to stories our parents tell us but I don’t think we really know who our parents really were before we came along. We just knew them as the parents version of themselves. We never got to meet the young, single version of our parents. The ones trying to navigate through life. They ones that didn’t have to worry about Mehmet crying because he shit himself.

What were their dreams? Their aspirations?

My parents always tell me they are happy. I believe they are. Lately, since I’ve become more ambitious I’ve been trying to become an inspiration for everyone around me. Including my parents. I don’t think we ever truly stop trying to impress our parents or stop trying to make them proud.

Maybe that’s a fault on it’s own. I think parents always want the best for their children and sometimes that can translate to expectations.

I’ve learned that maybe I won’t meet the expectations my parents may or may not have for me. It’s not like they sit me down and tell me we’ll be proud of you if you make this much money. They aren’t like that. I think as long as I’m happy they’re happy.

This can also be tricky. What is happiness for my parents may not be happiness for me. My dad spent most of his life working. He still works. I am extremely proud of him for that and I don’t think I show it nearly as much as I should.

He had a family and he made sure he did everything he could to provide for my sister and me. He worked long hours. Multiple jobs at a time so my mom can stay home with us when we were younger. In NY he would work during the day then sleep on the train while on his way to his other job to pump gas. I don’t know if I could do that. He did. He did it so I wouldn’t have to. He made those sacrifices so I could go to school. Finish university. Have an easier life than his. He granted me opportunities that maybe he only dreamed of. Maybe those were his dreams. I may be living my dad’s dreams. I don’t know. I’ll have to ask him. I look forward to that conversation. Maybe I’ll have it this weekend over some Raki.

It’s because of my parents that I am able to dream bigger. The sacrifices they made brought me to this position. I understand very clearly now it’s time for me to take the baton and run with it.

I may not be able to do exactly what they want but that may be okay. They brought me to the place I am now. On the verge of huge changes. “2017 is the year of implementation”. This year we are going to get things done. Planning phases are complete.

It’s all about doing this year. That’s why I am so adamant about my online store, Invictus Beard. I’ve been talking about starting my own business for a long time. Now I get to start one that I can work on after regular work hours. Doesn’t take up too much of my time and if I can accomplish what I envision then the process will be automated. I’m always thinking about time. How can I get technology to do the work and free up my time?

That’s my ultimate goal. I think that is the same dream my dad has. Have the time to be able to do the things I enjoy. He loves us so much. I can tell just by the way he looks at me. He is so proud of me and he never has to say it. I feel it when he looks at me and his mind wanders off. Then he’ll tell me “I just remembered when you were just 6 years old…” or something along those lines. Maybe he is living out one of his dreams. The dream to raise great kids. That’s not a compliment to my sister or myself but it is a compliment to my parents. They were able to do so much for us that we started life off ahead of most. It’s precisely these reasons why I feel the need to continually grow. Spiritually, mentally, and yes, financially. I want the freedom that only money can buy and I want it while not paying for it with time. That’s my dream.