Here I am, about to write my first blog post. I think no one starts a blog knowing exactly what they are going to do, am I right? I'm trying to comfort my perfectionist voice who always judges me and tries to stop me because it's not perfect timing yet! As a new year business goal, I'm going to start blogging lots of wedding inspiration, my work and behind the scenes and telling more personal stories to make you feel that you already know me! Ok, I can start with adding a photo of myself. It's easy!
First things first, let's start with introducing myself!
Who are you?
My name is Belin. It's not a common name in Canada and Turkey so I'm so used to spell my name right after being introduced. It's B-e-l-i-n. The second question is generally about its meaning.
What does my name mean? It's shorter form of Belinda, which is also my grandmother's name that I'm so honoured to carry. According to Wikipedia, it's coined from Italian word, Bella; which means "beautiful''.
The most powerful title who describes me is being a mom. I'm a mother of a four years old lady and of course we love Paw Patrol and Elsa! I'm married with my best friend and with a man who supports my job and believes in me even he's not an artist, not even close. He's an engineer that got married with an artist and I think he has no idea what I'm looking for in Pinterest for hours and hours. I'm also a daughter who never thought that being apart from my family but unfortunately we have 5,359 miles between us. I have a younger sister who's much closer to me, only 4,132 miles away, living in Hamburg, Germany. I don't know what exactly happened and how we ended up with three different cities in three different continents as North America, Europe and Asia.
I'm an open book in general, I love meeting new people and I was always considering myself as an extrovert. I don't even remember that I felt timidity in any stage of my life. I'm not becoming anti-social however I may became a little bit ''selectively social'' in my 30's. I enjoy my time being alone. If I found a time of ''doing nothing'', as a mom and a photographer it doesn't happen so frequently, but when it happens I really appreciate that with my PJ's on. I don't complain even if I stay at home for 4-5 days without going out, sometimes I don't even realize until someone asks. I'm more than okay with that! I'm trying to save my energy and time for the ones who care about me and for the things that make me happy. I worked on eliminating the people who doesn't match and respect my values and always require attention, endless energy for themselves. I'm trying to give my energy and my attention to the things that make me happy, such as craft, painting, interior design, DIY, movies... I'm planning to share some of my favorite Do-it-Yourself projects in this blog.
A little back in time, I was born in Istanbul on a snowy February Friday afternoon, and it was Friday the 13th! Just saying! I can't say that I'm unlucky at all. When it snows in Istanbul, the life literally stops. Schools are closed, traffic is messed up and I don't know if I had a good timing in my own birth on a snowy Friday afternoon. Snowy weather is not something usual in Istanbul, maybe my fate wanted to prepare my body about the idea of moving to Winnipeg in my 30's and introduced me with the real snow! After living 30 years in Istanbul, I moved to Winnipeg and I started from scratch. Most importantly, I survived two winters here and I'm still here!
The people I recently met in a wedding asked me about our coldest temperature we've ever experienced in Istanbul. I said '' it was -1 or -2 degrees but it was really humid and cold!'' and Winnipeggers just laughed. I tried the underline the word humidity and they smiled and kindly asked to me that if it's going to be my first winter in Manitoba! In our second year, I got the point and I stop comparing. It's cold and for a person who is born and raised in Mediterranean climate, it's unbelievable.
Why did you move from your home country and why to Winnipeg?
This is the second popular question I got from my new friends, soon to be brides or moms. I know it's a long way. I know well it's not easy to start from scratch. I don't have very significant reason or a thing that pushed me to this journey. I don't like changes, I married with my high school sweetheart after dating 10 years, I have my own routines and I feel a little bit anxious when there's something wrong in my plans. Did I mention my perfectionist jury who sits in the back of my brain and usually takes action when I try to sleep? I was the one who love stability, I had millions of back up plans. I never went out without checking the forecast, because I needed to be prepared! I'm that person who have an extra jacket beside an extra sweater. I was so hard on myself as business wise. Off days were big losses for me and getting rest was last option even my body or my mental health was giving some alarms. I need to do more, I need to book more weddings, 20 weddings in a year wasn't enough, I did 35. I didn't sleep properly, I ran to weddings from a flight. I didn't give the right amount of time as a maternity leave to myself. Expectations, expectations and a people pleaser, here I was. And this girl dropped everything, left the city that she was in love with, committed to start over and purchased one way ticket to a city that she never visited. We sold everything, closed my business and my studio space and we didn't leave any options hanging in there for the 'just in case' scenarios.
It's reasonable to think like ''something extremely powerful has to happen in her life.'' it's not true and it's true at the same time! There wasn't just one thing or one day pushed us to this decision. Lots of little things happened or didn't happen and I wanted to change my life, my struggle, my plans, my expectations and the culture I live in. This personal story may be another subject to share for another time. Finally, we settled down, found a house, found a kindergarten and start our business in Winnipeg last year. And this part is a response to ''Why Winnipeg?'' questions and I heard about “I was born here. What’s your excuse?" saying. I have tons of excuses. We chose Winnipeg cause we already ran away from a big city (estimated population over 15 millions of people in Istanbul), we lost our most valuable time with traffic jams, with never ending chaos. We were searching for a city that gives a healthy environment to raise a child, we were in need of more green areas to breathe, not more shopping malls. We didn't want to hustle financially and emotionally, cause big cities may give you lots of opportunities but it also has a cost. You pay it not just with your rent or parking fees, also with your time and energy. Personally, I made an observation and had a clear conclusion about where I would like to live. I've been in New York, Paris, Toronto and Singapore City and there's something common in these big cities. I realize that big city rushes me, push me to work more, to gain more, compete more! Big cities downsize my personal area so I always felt like I'm trapped in a glass bubble, I didn't feel belonging and I gave my precious time and energy just to fit in. Of course, not just the time, also the cost of living is a important criteria when we were moving. We were searching for a city that welcomes the different cultures. I know there's lots of beauty, lots of energy and opportunities in big cities, I just couldn't (and didn't wanted to) handle that in these stage of my life. I'd prefer to have that experience just as a traveler, as a tourist. We'll see the next steps and changes in our lives by time and it's okay to change. If you tried your best to make it happen and it still feels like wrong for you, don't be the victim, change the plans. Do not settle! I just said I deserve a better life and a safer place, respectful culture. I think it's worth to try! We always have choices If you feel like you're in a bad relationship, let it go. If you hate your job, just quit. Sometimes it just takes courage to drop that victim role and accept that you’re not happy and move.
Moving means to face our fears, and to believe that it will get better. I still can't believe that I'm trying to express myself in English, which is not my mother language and I hope you don't mind my possible mistakes. I'm totally writing this from outside of my comfort zone but I just don't want the wait for the perfect time and perfect level of English. I always love to tell stories and I'm here and I'm real! Maybe that would be your reason to share my journey!
All the best,