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”

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Moments

I’m becoming obsessed with moments. For instance, two nights ago it was my friends birthday. We all went out to dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. Yeah, a vegetarian at a steakhouse. I walked into the belly of beast and came away unscathed. While we were all hanging out I was watching my friends and trying to take away the most out of the moment. Pretty soon I’ll be married. A few of them are in serious relationships too. These moments aren’t guaranteed. They’re fleeting. I feel I need to take full advantage of them.

A friend of mine that had not heard about my blog was also there. He wanted to read a post and I sat across from him while he did. That’s another moment I really enjoy. Watching people read a post of mine. I like to watch the look on their faces as they read. Are they entertained? Do they agree with my thoughts? I like to see the affect my writing has on them.

The past few days have been great. Yesterday, I went to a surprise congratulatory party for a friend of mine from high school. He accomplished a life long goal. He recently Continue reading “Moments”

Choices

It’s tough for us right now. Searching for a house is time consuming. It’s in a different city so driving back and forth is taking its toll. ‘I don’t have time’ to go to the gym. ‘I don’t have time’ to read as often as I’d like. ‘I don’t have time’ to blog as much as I’d like.

I don’t say these things out loud because they are excuses. I write about how being busy is an excuse. How can I make excuses like these and tell people if I write the opposite? That would make me a hypocrite. I never say those things… out loud. Thing is, I’ve been saying it to myself. Reasoning with myself. Fooling myself. I shared this quote before but it is relevant here, it’s by Richard Feynman “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

This morning I ordered the Dvorak Keyboard. Took less than 5 minutes. Yet I’ve been telling myself to do it for weeks, if not months by now. The only difference between today and every other day I wanted to order the keyboard is the fact that I remembered to put it on the list this morning.

I did something different this morning. I sat down at the desk and asked myself what the most important small tasks are. Sometimes the tasks that only take 5, 10, 20 minutes are very important yet I Continue reading “Choices”

Old School Turkish Music

I have some old school Turkish music playing in my earphones right now. I don’t know where this post is going to take me with this music on.

Usually, whenever we have this music on, it’s a Friday evening. Perch already cooking. My dad and I playing backgammon.

Those are some of my fondest memories. I look forward to making these memories with my own kids. It’s so crazy to think that I may be a father within a few years. Why wait? “There’s never a right time.”

I look over at my sister. She’s fully showing now. She’s pregnant. Pregnant. That’s crazy to me. At times, I still don’t think it’s fully clicked.

Then I look over at my fiancé. I know she’s eager to have kids. She’s going to be a great mom. It’s all pretty crazy.

I’m 25.

3 years ago, I didn’t have these thoughts. 3 years ago, I had just graduated. 3 years ago, the hardest decision I was making was deciding on the best restaurant for date night.

Now look at me.

We must grow up and we should do it quickly. Seneca said something like: When you see an old man with grey hair, he may not have lived long, he existed long. He writes better than me, but it was along those lines.

I don’t want to exist long. I want to live long.

I don’t think I should have to wait until Friday evening to have those types of nights with my kids. With Eliz. With my sister and her husband. With my parents. My in-laws.

Age 22 is easy. The world is laid out in front of you. Go ahead, do with it what you will. I was fortunate enough to have finished university. Although, I still contemplate if I would have gone to university knowing what I know now. In any case, I was lucky enough to be able to go to University of Toronto. I was luckier still that I found a great job.

I should’ve been studying. I had an exam in a few days. My final exam in university, ever. It suddenly hit me. What’s next? What happens after that exam?

I told myself I should probably find a summer job. At least something that will put money in my pocket while I look for a “real job”. I went on the career website from UofT and found Bazinga. Few months later I was a full-time employee. I had a hand in it but I know Fate played a role. As Fate usually does. I digress.

I was saying 22 is easy. 23. Even 24. Then 25 hits. Suddenly, we’re all expected to have changed overnight. To be ready to make these big-time decisions. What prepares us for big decisions?

I’m talking big time decisions. Decisions like, when should I buy a house? When should I get married? When do I have kids? Where do I live? Do I stay at my job? Is this the career I want? Is this the job I always wanted? Am I passionate about this?

University doesn’t prepare you for this. Experiences may prepare you for these types of things. However, by the time you’ve gained experience, you’ve already made the mistakes.

Few days ago, a friend of mine and I were talking about my blog. He mentioned how relatable it is. I’m ecstatic when my friends say they enjoy the blog. It’s an amazing feeling.

He mentioned that he reads blogs to get tips. He said it may be a good idea to share how I was able to come to these realizations. How I bring myself to the point of taking action.

Then I think to myself, am I the right guy to be giving that type of advice? I ask again, what have I accomplished?

In my personal life, I believe I’m doing excellent. I have a beautiful fiancé, an incredible person. A great dog. Supportive family. Great friends. I feel like I’m gloating here but I’m trying to show my appreciation to them.

I’m thinking about what I’ve accomplished professionally. I’m not where I want to be but then again at 22 I didn’t know where I wanted to be at 25. I was taking it “day-by-day”. What a short-sighted way to live. Letting everyone else dictate my life instead of setting goals. I’ve changed that now. Maybe that’s a tip. Set some goals for yourself.

Take an evening. Put on some old Turkish music, or whatever else you’re into. Pop open a nice bottle of red wine. Be with yourself. Think. Decide what you want. You. The goals can always change. They often do. At least you’ll have a great starting point.

Now take that set of goals, and if you have a partner, share it. Your goals should be aligned. Again, I must reiterate, these are things that I am still working on. Eliz and I discuss this often. I try to understand her. Oftentimes, I’m too pushy. But the communication needs to be there. If my partner and I are striving for the same goal then we’ll have a much better chance of achieving it.

I think that was another tip. Communicate your goals with the one person that will help you achieve it.

I mentioned big decisions earlier in the post. Questions that I had. Questions that I continue to ask myself.

How do I get these questions answered without making the mistakes? Well, Warren Buffet said “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”

This is the one tip that I want to give everyone.

Read. No, not another article. Not the news. Not the sports section. Not even that business magazine.

Read a book.

Don’t watch the game tonight. There’ll be another game on tomorrow. You can catch highlights.

Read a book.

Read business books. Read psychology books. Read books about meditation.

I recently began reading Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu. This book was written over 2,500 years ago. I’m not that far into it yet and it’s already making a huge impact on my thoughts.

Only books have this influence on me.

I believe that to answer those questions, that I, as a 25-year-old man, have about life, I must read. Read about my career. About my goals. My aspirations. I believe those questions are answered in books.

We’re not the first batch of 25 year olds to walk this earth. Others have made mistakes. They’ve found the right way to do things. They had their trials and tribulations. We will too. The way to limit the mistakes is to learn from them. It doesn’t mean we must make the mistakes. I can simply read about someone else that made the mistake.

With every new book I read, I see things differently. I feel enlightened. Books are changing my life. They will change yours too.

Read a book.

 

Decisions and Regrets

I think I have some time right now to write something. As usual I don’t know where my mind will wonder off to. I don’t know where these words will take me.

Did you guys know there is a different keyboard? Supposedly, it’s actually better than the widespread keyboard that we all use. I was thinking about making the change after reading about it but I just keep putting it off.

I say I don’t put things off anymore but clearly I do. I guess now I am getting better at prioritizing things and making sure I don’t put off things that are important to me in that moment.

The challenge with that is, what is important to me in the moment always changes. One day it may be important to make money. The other, to spend time with family. The next to work on my body, and mind.

The real challenge is the ability to be able to work on all of these things every day. I don’t want to be a CEO of a huge company if it means I’ll be away from family. I don’t want to have loads of cash if it means I won’t get to enjoy the things money can buy. At the same time, I don’t want to grow old and have regrets.

What if I started that business? What if I just took some time to learn more about this? I wish I travelled more. I shouldn’t have sold that house. I should’ve spent more time with my loved ones.

These are things I don’t want to say on my death bed. Whenever that day may come. Seneca wrote something along the lines of, we are mortals in our fears, yet immortal in our desires. How true is that?

We think we can postpone things. Put it off and do it ‘someday’. That someday may never come. It took me nearly 3 years before I actually started my own business. It’s not a huge success yet. It will be. Maybe it won’t be this online store. Maybe it won’t be the thing after that. I’m at ease knowing that it will be a huge success. Even if it doesn’t make money, if I put my absolute best effort into it then I think that will be enough.

It will be enough because when I’m laying on my deathbed I won’t have that regret. I think, at this point in my life, that is important to me. To lead a life where Old Mehmet can look back and say “Those were good memories. I’m glad I tried it”.

We wouldn’t have had Niko if we listened to our parents. Well, it should be noted that Eliz’s mom was actually on our side and said we should get him if we want. It’s not like the rest of the parents were vehemently against it but they didn’t think the timing was right.

That’s understandable. We’re still young. They felt it would be like giving up our freedom. We won’t be able to travel if we wanted. We won’t be able to enjoy ourselves. They made decent points. They thought we wouldn’t be able to take care of a Doberman puppy with Eliz at school and me at work. These were all sound arguments.

In the midst of all these conversations that spanned a few weeks Eliz was telling me how much she wanted a dog. I think I was driving the car and she was going on about that or maybe she was talking about something else. I actually don’t remember what was being said but I remember thinking about us in the future. Thinking about being old and grey. Looking back on these days and saying to ourselves “What if we got a dog? We really wanted one.”

I turned to her, probably cut her off, and asked if it was going to make her happy. She replied yes. I knew getting a dog was going to make me happy so we decided we would. That’s what was most important to us at that moment. I discuss family and relationships with parents but sometimes only you know what’s best for you.

I didn’t want to regret not getting a puppy. We still talk about that decision. Eliz was the catalyst. She’s the one that really pushed it. I’m glad she did because Niko is awesome. I love this dog to death. It’s crazy how much having a dog has changed me.

Even if it turned out to be a disastrous situation, I still would have been happy with the decision because it was our decision. It wasn’t flawed by the influence of our parents. If it turned out to be a bad decision then I would’ve looked back and admitted the mistake but I still needed to make that mistake. That’s life. That’s where learning happens.

This is how I feel about my online store now. It’s how I feel about my work at bazinga. It’s how I feel with relationships with loved ones.

I’m going to try new things. I’m going to get out of my comfort zone. I’m going to be vulnerable. I think when I do these things that’s how I will grow. I’m going to make mistakes. I already have made mistakes in my online store. I’ve already made mistakes with this blog and it’s only my 9th or 10th post. I learn from it and move on. I’m just glad people are reading.

At times it’s really difficult to decide what is the most important thing to me because it’s ever-changing. My workaround for that is to ask Future Mehmet if this is something he ought to do. In Tools of Titans one of the guests said he visualized a conversation he had with his future self. He asked himself questions. Received guidance. I haven’t sat down and tried this exercise yet but I think I will begin to do before making big decisions. In a way I did it with my decision to get Niko. I just thought about my future self and if this decision would be regrettable. I found the answer after thinking about my self on the death bed because for a while I was on the fence.

Doing this more often will undoubtably make me a happier person because as dark as it is to always think about my own death, I think, it will make today that much brighter.

 

25 and counting

I think I’ve decided what I want out of this blog.

I blogged a few years ago for a few weeks. I was totally fake. I’ve deleted all of those posts now. I blogged about technology and different products. I had this idea in my mind that if I blogged about technology then maybe I’ll get a following and it would lead to more sales for bazinga and/or I’d get sent free tech stuff. Well, that lasted less than a month. I couldn’t continue with it anymore because I just was not that interested. I was trying to be someone I’m not. I couldn’t keep it up.

Now, I’m just writing. Simply spewing my thoughts into a wordpress blog. I don’t hope to get anything out of this now. I’m just enjoying writing. Putting out some real thoughts. I guess this is what they meant when they said “putting yourself out there”. That may be a cliché.

Well, it’s what I’m doing now. Being myself when I write. 25 year old. ‘Normal’ 25 year old.

I guess I’m normal but I hope not. It’s funny how we want to fit in so much during our childhood years that we get good at fitting in. I don’t want to fit in anymore. I find myself challenging the status quo. Why should I get stuck in traffic everyday? Why should I buy a house I can’t afford to be handcuffed to a mortgage? Why should I eat meat?

I’m 25.

26 in March. It’s not too far away. Friend of mine did something and I jokingly said “You’re closer to 30 than 20. Grow up”. I said it jokingly, but damn. It’s true.

We are growing up and sometimes we may not realize it.

When I first started at my job people were so shocked when they heard I was 22.

“Only 22? Wow good for you.” Now I’m 25 and I hear that less and less.

I didn’t feel much different. I mean it’s only 3 years. Am I supposed to feel completely different? Reading has helped me realize, yes, I should feel different.

I read something like “If you are the same person you were 3 months ago, then what have you been doing for 3 months?”

Holy shit. This guy is talking about 3 months. I’m here saying I don’t feel any different after 3 years.

I’m starting to take a cold, hard look at myself. At my life. I have this vision of my life as a sailboat. I think it came to me from something my dad once said. You can let the current take you anywhere or you can get behind the wheel and go places you’ve always wanted to go.

There are big changes in the near future for me. My fiancé and I have made some decisions that I won’t share here just yet. Still have to tell my family and friends first. Probably, the only people reading this blog right now but I think I should tell them in person.

I realized before making these decisions that it’s great to just step away from things and really concentrate on what I want. Start With Why. I haven’t read this book yet but from what I’ve heard about it, I think I get the gist of it.

I asked myself why about a lot of things lately. One thing that has changed significantly for me is how infrequently I watch sports now.

I was a fanatic. I couldn’t look away. This may be okay for some people but I have too many teams. I watched Galatasaray games. 90 minutes twice a week and if they lost my entire mood changed. I would snap at my family. I would get mad for something incredibly insignificant.

I watched NBA. Raptors games. GSW games. Cavs games. Whatever was on. Sit there and watch. 2-3 hours a night.

Football. I’d watch the Giants every week. 3 hours every Sunday.

I’d watch other Turkish League games. 90 minutes a game.

Barcelona games. 90 minutes twice a week for that too.

If nothing else was on I’d watch tennis. I’ve never played tennis in my life but I’d watch. 2-3 hours a game.

Look at all this time. Wasted.

That’s right, wasted. On what? Why did I watch so intently?

As if I was going to excel somehow by just watching sports. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch, but not nearly as much as I used to. Now, if my team loses, then oh well. I’m not going to let it affect my mood. Life is way too short.

These guys are making their millions whether I’m upset after they lose or not. It took me a long time to realize this but that’s the reality of the situation.

What I was trying to say is I’ve decided that this blog will be about my life. It will be about a 25 year old kid trying to make it through everyday struggles.

I have a wife-to-be. I have a Doberman puppy, Niko. I have family. I have friends. I’m marrying into another family. I own a home with my financée.

Thinking about all of these things can weigh heavy on me. I grind my teeth at night. Especially when I’m stressed. I didn’t know about this until my dentist said I’ve already deteriorated some of my teeth.

That’s no way to live. I shouldn’t be so stressed about my life that I’m waking up with headaches because I grind my teeth all night long due to stress.

I’m starting to take a hold of the wheel. I’m going to start steering towards things that make me happy.

This is what I’ll write about. As much as I can. My life. My trials and tribulations. My decisions. I’m not perfect. Not even close. I’m learning as I go, as I think we all are. Hopefully, if you’re are reading this my experiences can help you too and we can all learn together.