What happens when you swap miniskirts for hijab and clubbing for a movie, wine for juice and bacon for shortbread? When you up and leave to exchange rain for seasons and then transition from a semi-nomad, fancy-free life to one of a wife, a convert and a soon-to-be-Mum?
when someone we love moves away, our mind preserves them as they were. Here, oft friendships take a break or simply come and go but family is one of the constants. Family is there to judge you, family is there to remind you “who you are”. No matter how long the gap, how convuluted the journey, still you remember the person you last saw.
There are times in life when you start to change. Some of these changes are consious, some simply come to be. In five years, I’ve replaced late nights with early mornings and the bathroom scales for the kitchen ones. I cook, I bake, I sew and I pray. Baked beans over rice is now a favourite food and I’ve learnt to fish. I don’t know which I chose.
The girl who left, is not this woman coming back. The woman coming back won’t be the woman going in.
My pre-now life is riddled with gaps and pauses in a, resultingly, sprawling, family tree. At the root is a Mum and daughter with that parent-child bond of the kind that leaves rope burns on your hands as it weathers and tears; a mother and daughter living worlds apart. The woman she sees coming out, is not the one she expected, but one she has to get to know.
As our lives continue to change beyond recognition, I’m taking from the past to build the future on today. Like the caterpillar in the cocoon, I’ve no idea what lies ahead but if you fancy seeing it through, feel free to stick around – a world of chaos and one of calm, where birds feed on corn seed and börek burns in the oven.