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Nyctophilia

by Berrak on May 14, 2015

In one of the stars I shall be living

I’ve always preferred the night to day. I spent much of my childhood looking up – at the clouds, but mostly seeking the stars during the day. When they came out at night, my inspiration was revived with them. I found escape in the night. In a house full of chaos, my favorite time was the night. When everyone went to sleep. When I was left alone with my thoughts, for better or worse.

When I moved out and moved into a room that was essentially the size of a closet in a house full of 4 other people, I waited until everyone went to sleep before tip-toeing downstairs with my laptop or book.

The night and I became best friends. Worst enemies. The quiet in the night became my confidante. The internet brought me friends in different time zones, hundreds of blogs to read when I got lonely because the world was too quiet and my demons too loud.

My writing flows the easiest in the quiet of the night. I sit here, with music in my headphones, my cat purring in my lap and my fingers flying across the keyboard. Yes, even alone in my own apartment, I use headphones. It’s how I get in my zone. It’s how I create. It’s my bubble.

Not every night is productive. Some nights, I can’t shut my brain off long enough to sleep, nor can I slow it down to pick out a single thought. Some nights, my anxiety drives me into a panic mode and all I can do is clean and organize. Some nights, the depression is so heavy that all I can do is lie there, staring at the TV, not even attempting to reach for my notebook.

The night and I have a complicated relationship – but it’s a reliable one. As an insomniac, I accept it fully. The nights I can actually go to sleep, my subconscious takes over and I wish for the sweet release the manic nights when I at least feel a little more in control.

I know it’s hard for my friends to grasp. I know that this may change drastically when I find a partner who will be by my side to calm those demons when my nightmares start to creep in. But I can’t deny the truth that the night is my most creative time. As a writer, I try really hard to get into the zone during the day, like a normal person. But the night calls to me like a siren.

“It’s just you and me,” whispers the night. Not a single distraction in the world. No phone calls, no meetings. No sunlight tempting me to come out and play. In the quiet of the darkness, I am free. I am loud. I am raw.

I cut the veins open and words bleed on to the page without interruption.

nyctophilia

 

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The One Where I Turned 30

by Berrak on April 13, 2015

gut going after dreams

Want to give me a belated birthday present? Go show Philanthropy Quest some support on Twitter and Facebook

I always post my birthday posts on my birthday. Always. This year, though, I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I mean, it’s a big milestone, and I know it’s a big deal but I couldn’t exactly nail down why. I have a lot of thoughts about it – not necessarily related to the fact that I’m now 30 but just my life in general.

There wasn’t a magical change that happened when the clock struck midnight on April 1, 2015. I was in Scottsdale, AZ with 5 awesome guys who decided that even though I was on a work trip, I wouldn’t enter my new decade alone in a hotel room. On my birthday, I was at a conference, running full speed, doing what I love. To be honest, 30 has been amazing, but it wasn’t because the Earth rotated around the sun for 365 days.

The truth about my life is that in my darkest moments, I didn’t think I’d live to see 30. Even if I did, it’d be as a failure, or in miserable circumstances.

Then I took control of my life. I made an active decision to be selfish. I chose to own who I am, and finally build the life I’ve been stubbornly wanting for as long as I can remember.

My life is made up of the untapped opportunities of the future.

I am needy .

I am the memory keeper.

I am a cat lady.

I am ugly.

I am angry.

I am passionate.

I am an aspiring digital nomad philanthropist.

I am the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m OK with that.

I am at peace with my tagged photos.

I am an Amplifier.

I am a writer.

I am 30.

I am surrounded by love because I stopped looking for my tribe, and looked for passion instead. A few days after my birthday, I stood in my apartment, overwhelmed. There were about 10 of my closest friends in my home, laughing, drinking and chatting it up. They were there for me – to celebrate me. To get to know each other through me. They chose me the way I chose them.

At one point, my anxiety got the best of me and I didn’t know what to do with myself. My awesome friend Nate took one look at me and asked me what I needed him to do – and proceeded to take control of the party. In that moment, it was like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve always talked about looking for the people who can sing back the words to my song when I forget the lyrics. The moments that matter are when we can’t be there 100% but the ones around us can take charge, like a relay. They’re the ones we trust with the most precious torch of all – our heart.

My lovely friend Jessica made a comment about me being the Kevin Bacon of our group, which made me laugh. (Muslim girl, bacon…ya get it.) But it made me happy. See, the thing about my friends is that I am not the center of gravity in any single group. I’ve always been a drifter, but now, as adults, I choose to amplify the best part about my friends. So when friends I’ve made through the most random circumstance are all in a room together, they can get along without me having to navigate the conversation.

Career-wise, I cannot be in a better place. And honestly, I will be posting a different blog about that.

Ditto to the whole dating thing. I’m taking a break for a while, but that’s a different post for another day.

I won’t do a 30 things I learned about being 30, nor do I want to write a letter to my younger self. Every single moment of my life leading up to this point has had a purpose. There’s been a reason. Sometimes that reason was that I couldn’t fight depression and needed to be destructive. When friendships fell apart, the reason was to learn to trust my gut and feel that pain to grow.

beauty of being humanThe magic about 30 isn’t in the moment the clock strikes midnight. The magic is in the moments leading up to it. It’s in the intentional decisions you make in order to live the life you want. They aren’t all life changing decisions, like taking a leap of faith and driving cross-country. It’s in the smiles you share or that hello in line at the coffee shop. It’s in the random conversations you have with someone at the bar while waiting for your friend. It’s in the decision to take a bath and read for 30 minutes instead of going out for a drink on a Friday night. It’s in the chaos. It’s in the moments after a rain storm. It’s the 30 seconds you have before your alarm goes off, when your cat/dog/baby is snuggled up perfectly against your body.

The magic about 30 isn’t about being 30. It’s in any day, any age, any moment of your life.

So take a deep breath, set your intentions, and figure out what it will take for you to be happy.

I chose Seattle. I chose being a freelancer. I chose to stop dimming my own light to make others happy. I chose to heal.

I chose me – scars and all.

Oh and don’t worry – the ridiculous selfies aren’t going anywhere.

me

 

“Ma pensée, c’est moi: voilà pourquoi je ne peux pas m’arrêter. J’existe parce que je pense … et je ne peux pas m’empêcher de penser.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

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Do you believe in soul mates?

by Berrak on March 30, 2015

I’m an avid reader and when an opportunity comes up to read a book that’s outside of my preferred genre and topic, I’ll jump on it to expand my horizons. When I first began reading Soul Sessions, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it at the end. I mostly read it in the comfort of my couch, with my Dot purring on my chest as usual.11066782_10102921732980534_7561294165989381019_n

As the book dived further into the idea of us having multiple lives, soul mates and how our past lives affect our path in this life  – I felt a little uncomfortable. The book is very well written and I could fall into the story, following Nick Dalton’s path as he explores his own past and spiritual path.

One of the most interesting passages of the book, for me, is when they’re discussing life plans. Although we still have free will, we “tend to follow the path that has the most energy associated with it.” Nick’s spiritual guide goes on to explain that “synchronicity and intuition are essentially a cosmic global positioning system, communicating with us to ‘re-route’.”

In my personal experience, this mostly aligned with the way I always listen to my gut. On the most basic level, our instincts are usually right, even if we’re distracted by other life events, environmental and relationship factors. I personally don’t believe in reincarnation, but this book explores intuition, free will and soul mates in an interesting manner. Although we’re exploring it from Nick’s perspective, I could draw certain parallels to my own life and how I view my life’s path.

While I was reading, I thought about one of my favorite movies – Serendipity. It’s all about destiny, signs and one of my favorite lines is when Jeremy Piven’s character says “Maybe you’re laying here because you don’t want to be standing somewhere else.”

One big theme that the book touched upon is the idea of soul mates, and how we have a “soul group.” I do believe that soul mates come in many forms – and more often than not, the relationship isn’t romantic in nature. In my life, my soul mates have been those who helped me be true to myself, and they’re the ones who remind me of my song when I’ve forgotten the lyrics.

Even if you’re like me and you’re skeptical about the idea of reincarnation/multiple lives, this book is an interesting exploration. It’s really well-written and will definitely make you take a moment to pause and evaluate the relationships in your life, your own life path, and whether or not you’ve been really listening to your own intuition.

 

Soul Sessions image

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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I used to cringe whenever Facebook told me that someone tagged me in a photo. I could feel the color draining from my face as I clicked to find a candid photo of me staring back at me. A photo that I had no control over. A photo in an unplanned moment. All I see is the imperfections, even after telling the world about my body image epiphany.

God, my hair.

Why do I have that weird look on my face?

My necklace is uneven.

Oh my god, is that how I look now? I have got to lose weight. 

Is that…is that a zit?

Ew.

WHY IS MY FACE SO RED?

Should I ask them to untag me? Everyone looks so great and then there I am.

But I’ve been completely unfair to you. To myself. To the memories. To that girl in the photos who is surrounded by love and having the time of her life. [click to continue…]

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Current Status

March 18, 2015

(Warning: This is a stream of consciousness post, also known as word vomit.) I’ve talked about how I am always aware of how I feel and if I can’t figure out the root cause of a feeling – I dig until I do. Self-awareness isn’t just a fad for me. It’s necessary. When you grow […]

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Featured Seattle Event: SAM Remix

March 5, 2015

One of the many, many…many things I love about Seattle is the abundance of events and culture. In addition to all of the great breweries, hiking spots, the amazing coffee, wineries and live music venues, Seattle has incredible museums. Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is one of them. It’s a shameful admission that in the two […]

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I Love…Fridays: The One on a Saturday

January 17, 2015

Hello loves! I was swamped yesterday so I didn’t get around to posting this but don’t fret! I still love a lot of stuff and here’s your dose of positivity. I love…being excited about buying furniture and appliances. Because #adulthood. I love…finally having a solid group of girlfriends that I found after moving to Seattle. […]

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I’m Needy. So Are You. And That’s OK.

January 12, 2015

“I’m needy. You know this.” This is something I tell my friends often. When I meet new people, I warn them about my neediness, because I know it’ll come up. My friends know this all too well about me, and they fully accept it. “You are, but it’s OK,” they tell me. Of course, there’s […]

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I Love…Fridays: The One With AlltheFeels

January 9, 2015

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you may notice that I have obnoxiously become Little Miss Sunshine, full of love, gratitude and OMG ALL THE FEELS. And guys…it’s not going to stop. So I figured this was the best time to bring back I Love…Fridays – because I need […]

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