If Only, The Two Saddest Words In The World

Today is much like any other day and yet it is in so many ways completely different. I am sat here at my usual morning çay spot with my laptop and all of you for company as I do most days. The weather although hot is cooler than it has been. There are few tourists and most of the beachfront bars and restaurants are closed. The aquamarine of the Aegean still sparkles but the beaches and hotels are deserted.

I too have inadvertently become a casualty of summer’s end; I have to return home to the UK owing to financial restraints and for no other reason. Frankly, I cannot expect Ahmed’s family to support me through the lean winter months, when most of the brothers, including Ahmed will be seeking work in the factories in the north to provide for the others. It really is hard for us in the civilized western world to comprehend that the average wage here is so low. Many of the Turkish families I know will actually struggle to pay their electric bills and will spend the winters living in darkness and cold; and in some cases with little or no food. The bar boys will return to their villages and families although some will be drafted into the army.

Back in the UK, many companies will be recruiting staff for the Xmas season so I hope that I can secure a “proper job” upon my return; only if I am very unlucky will I return to work for Poison Pen. However, when I last worked for achy face; I didn’t have my invincible invisible army of blogging friends supporting me! Over the past six months’ we have shared shedloads of laughter, sadness, photographs, recipes and heartfelt advice. We have written and read about each other’s most difficult and joyous times; commiserated with the bad and celebrated the good. And for your generosity of spirit I will always be indebted to you all.

As women we are born people pleasers and for a time I may have lost my way; spending too much time trying to make others happy at the expense of my own hopes and dreams. But this life is too short and way too precious; and I have realised that you are cheating yourself if you waste a single moment feeling wretched. I may have had to travel half way around the world to discover this but it was a lesson well learned.

God willing, the fates will smile upon Ahmed and myself and I will return again in the spring. So for now I am packing away the bikini and my trusty old Turkish phrase book. Bidding a reluctant farewell to all my new-found friends and returning to my other life a little sadder, but ultimately a whole lot wiser.

If I am not destined to return; Turkey will always own a large fragment of my soul. I will be constantly thankful for the amazing memories that I carry in my heart and will recall these happy times without regret; because at the end of the day, that’s all I can do.

I will, of course, be continuing with the “Honeymoon” stories but even I don’t know how it’s going to end! So I hope you’ll continue to join me as I have loved having you along.

112 thoughts on “If Only, The Two Saddest Words In The World

  1. CTTT – I wish you the best upon your return home. Unfortunately, the practicalities of life often get in the way of our heart’s desires. I hope you will ultimately be able to achieve both.

    Perhaps you can market your blog’s success and writing skills as a way to find work far removed from Poison Pen?

    And no thanks to us needed. You are the one who has brightened our days with your great stories.

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  2. So true. If only really are the two saddest words. I have been using them a lot in the past few weeks myself. In the end, everything is meant to be even though it may not make sense right now. Best of luck! 🙂

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  3. All the best for you.
    I was in the same position a little over 2 years ago, I decided to stay here in Spain and left all behind, was a crazy decision but worth it, of course you staying in Turkey may not be the best decision but one never knows what life holds.

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    • Mine is purely a financial decision – I briefly contemplated the oldest profession in the world but immediately discounted it when Ahmed reckoned I would only get 1 lira! I still don’t know whether it’s the right decision but do you ever?

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      • And 1 lira is nothing!
        Now, in all seriousness, these decisions are always hard and never seem right, whatever you do you gonna lose something. In my case I had a huge fight with my parents, they still are mad at me, but at least now they talk to me lol
        I sincerely wish all turns out for the best for you.

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  4. I wish you so much good energy as you face the future back in blighty, I really hope you get to go back and find some way to make it work. All the best, so many will be rooting for you…

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  5. I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for you! Hopefully a nice holiday job (Not with Poison Pen!!), and then back in summer!! *crossed crossed crossed!!*

    Or – maybe you could start the: “Support Tinky Town in Turkey” fund ^.^

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  6. Oh you just broke me a little on this post. I’m sorry you can’t stay through the winter. Your blogs are so wonderful, as is the way you interact in your life there. I hope you do get to return in the spring and yes, yes, of course YES! You have the support of so many wherever you reside.

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  7. Well, hasn’t the summer flown past – bet you were hoping it would drag and drag. Back to Blighty eh? Feel for you, Ahmed and the extended family. Get a super duper job, save madly and if it works out you’ll be back in Tinky Town in a tinkling of an eye 😉

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  8. I’m sorry you had to come to this decision. I also had to leave behind a country I loved (though not a man) so I understand a lot of what you are going through. Still looking for a job so we can both commiserate about that together! Will Ahmed try to come visit you in the UK or can he not afford it? At least there’s Skype and if you plan to return, there’s a reunion on the horizon!

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    • Ahmed can’t get a holiday visa without a small fortune in the bank or we have to be married & I must earn at least £21k for him to come to the UK and as there aren’t many Queen of the U Bend jobs paying more than minimum wage, we’ll have to make do with Skype. I hope that eventually we are both reunited with our “lost loves”.

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  9. Had a tear in my eye reading this. I’m a hopeless romantic, swept up in the Tinky Town fairytale, and hadn’t considered at all a reality where you’d have to return to the UK. I know from my own experience that it’s bloody hard when the future is obscured by the fog of not knowing and right now you can’t see your hands in front of your face, you just have to feel your way and have faith the path is the right one 🙂

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  10. Yet another hurdle for you (and after a while all the ‘life lessons’ get extremely tedious don’t they) but everything you’ve been through to date will serve you well for this next chapter. Keep focused on the big picture, trust your intuition, and it will all work out.

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  11. Gosh, where has the summer gone?! To add to all the comments above, I am also sorry to hear you have to leave Turkey and Ahmed behind, but am rooting for you that’s it’s only temporary! Chin up and keep writing 🙂

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  12. Winter in England is bad enough, without having to spend it away from those you love and care for. I really hope things work out for you and Ahmed, and come the Spring, you’ll be back together again. There’s always, Skype. 🙂

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  13. Oh no! This has come as a shock as I thought you’d be there for good. I simply can’t imagine you NOT being in Turkey. Ahmed will miss you so much. As everyone else here, I’m rooting for you to get back ASAP.

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      • Oh the pressure 🙂 But I have lots more Turkey posts to do. Even though I’m feeling kind of swamped at the moment with all the photo clients I have here, I’ll get in at least one a month—just for you. I will so miss your stories of daily life with Ahmed, his brothers and all the crazy people you meet. And the fun photos you post. But I’m hoping you still have more in your satchel to share over the coming months until you get back. You MUST get back.

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  14. I think you’re pretty much stuck with us trailing along just so long as you keep writing. Try not to be too sad. Life has a way of working things out, quite often for the best even when it doesn’t look that way! 🙂

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  15. I can’t help but thinking that you have another adventure just around the corner. It is a strong feeling – and I’m never wrong (just ask my husband and son). And remember what Gandhi said: “There are no good-byes, where ever you’ll be, you’ll be in my heart.”

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  16. You seem to find humour and learning in any situation that you find yourself in. Hold onto that! You have created a wonderful community of admirers and that is a lovely achievement that you should be proud of. I think things will work out for you – perhaps just not always in the way you expected.

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  17. I am so sorry to hear that you have to leave paradise for now, but know that I am definitely rooting for you and wish you the best of luck! I look forward to hearing more of your stories and hope that you continue to write, because your posts are always so enjoyable. Good luck finding a good, fun job as you deserve something better than you had before, and if you must go back, remember that we are all on your side! :-).

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  18. WHAAAT, has it really been 6 months already? Gosh, I cannot believe it. We started almost at the same time on our adventures and I can totally see you don’t want to go back yet. You have done a great job building up this blog, much better than I ever could, so you must be doing something right.
    Maybe the only advantage of going back is that you distance yourself from the situation, this may give you the opportunity of seeing opportunities you miss while you are in the middle of it.
    Since you have already proven you can think out of the box, do it again! For real this time! And next spring you’ll come back with a plan that somehow allows you to stay there for as long as you like!
    Go for it girl, and follow Einstein’s advice: “Remember today, for it is the beginning of always. Today marks the start of a brave new future filled with all your dreams can hold. Think truly to the future and make those dreams come true.” The UK will be your means to the purpose!!!!
    Lots of luck to you and if you need us, we’ll be right here!

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    • You’ve just reminded me that we did start blogging at the same time and we were one of each other’s first followers – as we were both facing new starts in new countries. And you will never know how comforting it is to know that you are all just a click away!

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  19. Ah, I can feel your sadness. I know you are going to miss Ahmed and Turkey. I didn’t have a relationship while I was there, but when I left I felt that same sense of sadness that you feel. I think you have the addition of a yearning and heavy heart! I’m sure you will be able to return to Turkey. We are pulling for you!

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  20. So sorry that you and Ahmed have to be apart over the winter. Life can be so tough with austerity measures biting hard. I wish you well, Dallas. Steer clear of Poison Pen (and her groping hubby) if you can – but needs must.

    You´re right “If only” are two of the saddest words and I´m feeling them bitterly at the moment, too. Life is far too short to let things drift.

    Good luck!

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    • Marianne – am going to follow up on the teaching info you gave me! Sorry to hear you’re going through the “what if’s” too. My Grandma always used to say “if ifs & ands were pots and pans there’d be no need for tinkers” – still trying to work out what she meant!

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      • Hmmm … no idea what your Grandma meant!

        Good to hear about the teaching – you´ll be great, I just know it. If there is anything else I can help you with, give me a shout wont you?

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  21. “But this life is too short and way too precious; and I have realised that you are cheating yourself if you waste a single moment feeling wretched.”

    Ah, love your writing. Really needed those words at the moment. Wish you Luck!

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  22. Life takes us to where we need to be in strange ways. I hope that whatever happens, you find what, or where, you are supposed to end up…whether that’s back in Turkey, or a place you haven’t yet imagined.

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  23. Lets hope this is your last winter trip home and you find a way to make enough cash over the next year to fund staying out over winter in future i think you should seriously consider the book option xx

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    • Alternatively there is always the “don’t sit on it, sell it” option Paula!!!! Not sure where to start with the book thing – I did love the IT package you recommended a while back guess I’ll have to do some research. Hope you’re okay?

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  24. Oh man…today’s the day for people being inside my head. Good thing I love you all and that I have so much room! First Tink…gotta tell ya..this bit here…

    As women we are born people pleasers and for a time I may have lost my way; spending too much time trying to make others happy at the expense of my own hopes and dreams. But this life is too short and way too precious; and I have realised that you are cheating yourself if you waste a single moment feeling wretched. I may have had to travel half way around the world to discover this but it was a lesson well learned.

    Holy turkish turkey tink…this is ME. I am there, was there, am now going elsewhere because i’ve learned it!!! Scary crap coming my way, but ready willing and able!!!

    When are you leaving to return to the UK? And where in the UK? Sorry for the questions but I find I just have to know. And you already know this, but we are not going ANYWHERE. As long as there’s a Tink, there’s a Tink-er (er, that’s us i think).

    Sending my prayer up to the ‘let tink find a decent job outside the pp but still leave her time to work on her long term plan of getting back for good’ gods.
    xoxoxo
    R

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    • Hello lovely Rhonda! I will be leaving for sunny Devon in the next few days, it’s difficult getting a flight at the moment because lots of people are leaving because of the Turkish/Syria conflict. If I leave now I’m more likely to get a job in time for xmas. I’m both sad and excited for you too; it seems you are facing some challenges but with new challenges comes new and exciting opportunities so let’s hope that there’s something good out there for both of us and our guardian angels are looking over us. Take care x

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      • Amen Tink. Devon is quite beautiful I hear, I wish you the best of luck with the job. I am Tink, new challenges, adventures, future, it’s all changing. Scary shit, but exciting too, but right now scary is out running exciting…hoping for a lead change soon. I’ll be thinking of you and looking for you so don’t disappear. Always here, always willing to spew on your page…meant in the best possible way of course. Cheers to you…and to me….we’ll both work for OUR future happiness! xoxo

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  25. I just learned this old adage, “In the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay…then it’s not the end” and I find comfort in it, perhaps you will too. Wishing you safe travels!

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    • Oh bless you Marla and thank you. Loved your post too very honest and sums up how most of us feel from time to time x

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  26. I have read manyof your posts posts and enjoyed them all .
    No doubt that you have excellent writing abilities and you write from the heart .
    To know whether you can sell your writings as suggested by a previous commenter , may I second that and suggest that before you get back home, maybe you should look for a writing course to attend , such as creative writing or the like, at your local college , Uni or community center .
    It may cost some money but it will definitely be well worth it.
    Its not enough that you have followers that enjoy your posts and encourage you ,but it is time to put some academic / professional work into it .
    Good luck

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  27. Money, visas – when will the world get it right and let us have our heart’s desires … ? Eyes, and everything crossed it’s not the Poison Pen, anything but the mop and spills brigade – but no, you need a plan, something that will offer the flexibility for a long-term solution. That’s what I’m wishing for you 🙂

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  28. Wishing you all the best and hoping for a happy ending to the Honeymoon stories. I assumed it was going to be happy and will not settle for less 🙂 Take care.

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  29. I was still in the Algarve when this came out, Tink. How’re things working out? You’re doing a great job at staying positive and cheerful. (I know you must have a snuffle or two when nobody’s looking) Hope it all goes the way you want it to.

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  30. Thanks so much for finding my blog. You obviously have attracted a serious number of followers – congratulations!! Turkey is a great country despite the machinations of the legal and administrative systems. Over the last 20+ years we have spent as much as six months a year here and never tire of the friendliness and superb hospitality. I look forward to looking through your back issues. Very best of luck over the winter in the UK. We are about to go back there for a few months and read that it is very cold and wet!!! Alan

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  31. Change is difficult under the best circumstances. My #1 Son has always enjoyed visiting Turkey. It’s on my list of desired vacation destinations!
    Thanks for stopping by my Post!

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  32. I’m just catching up, and understand your mixed feelings about leaving Turkey! There’s a point in every day that I miss the beautiful country and the people I got to know so well. I hope you’re looking forward to your return to the UK and new amazing experiences.

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  33. I lived in Turkey myself for 2 years and totally get what you mean! Worked there myself as well.. Back in the Netherlands life is different and good in some ways but like you said ” Turkey will always own a large fragment of my soul “. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing & caring!

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  34. I am also just catching up….where are you now? Your story really sings to my soul. I have lived it. The same stories can be told about the Greek Islands. You are brave! Are you going back???!!!

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  35. Pingback: BOOK REVIEW: “The Art of Choosing” by Dr. Sheena Iyengar | GlobalEd

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