Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The piece of my life (and how good it seems today)

One of the things I've learned to do, in this odd and unplanned life of mine, is to go with the flow.

If it can't be changed, then make the best of it ... although there have been one or two challenges to this claim of mine.

I haven't been able to get back to New Zealand.
I lost my free flight home while caught up 'in process' in this crazy country that is so in love with paperwork.

I lost my flight home and I couldn't work for the 1000euro airfare until I was legal. Finally married and legal, I had to refinance my life, slowly building a foundation for the business of photography and teaching ... getting cards printed, buying the photography website template, paying someone to code it, etc...

Gert had experienced a quietly spectacular asset-stripping divorce before meeting me, so if anything, I've been a burden to him as he continues to hand over income for his children and pay off debts from his previous marriage.

We've cautiously done stuff anyway... travelled to Spain but paying Ryan Air's unbelievably low fares and staying with Erin who had been our guest earlier in the year. We came home and held our breath till the following month ... not regretting a moment of it.

It's been difficult because people have seen the action and not realised the reality.
It's made some people who saw without knowing the truth of it all rather mean.

It's been a shitty year in so many ways.
I'm looking forward to the day when I take my income and go get my hair coloured again, or buy shoes simply because I like how they look.

It hasn't been all bad because it's been character building (even if I did whine sometimes) and I discovered photography and had time to blog and I have met so many interesting and good people.

Yesterday, after two hellishly horrible days, I finally got confirmation that my daughter and her daughter are flying into my world in April - thanks to those involved in organising it. Even writing this makes me want to cry. I could barely sleep for 'planning' last night.

Jessie and I were close from the moment she was born. I simply fell in love with her, something I didn't expect because I had always preferred dogs and horses over dolls and girly things.

She's a remarkable young woman who has probably given me most of my grey hairs ... and I love her.

When I flew out of New Zealand back in 2003, I was trying to climb out of the pit of my life post-divorce. I completed my university degree and discovered a degree majoring in literature, with a minor in anthropology isn't the most useful degree.

It came down to a choice, I was working two jobs at the time ... as an office clerk in an agricultural company and for a photographer friend who, with his wife Jude, gifted me a lovely working environment that kept me sane.

The choice was to spend another year studying, heading over to Teacher's College and a bigger student debt, or to accept a friend's offer to work as a private school English teacher in Istanbul. I said no to my Turkish friend twice, then flew out into a new and scary life alone in the big city of Istanbul.

My daughter was 16 at the time and not very interested in listening to me ... as is often traditional at that age. I left her with her dad and extended family around her and flew out.

A long story followed and new characters appeared in the 'theatre' of my life ... enter stage left, a granddaughter, oh and stage right, there's this Belgian guy.

If a psychic had ever predicted my future pre-2000 I would have known that she was a fraud ...

In the 90s my life was so different ... I was driving a station wagon with a small child and a golden labrador in the back. I was married to a teacher who, in a moment of mid-life angst, signed up and spent 4 years as an education officer in the NZ Airforce ... we were a respectable family unit. I wrote, I played with photography, I worked whenever it was possible but we lived in a few small towns over the years.

Fastforward 10 years and here I am, beside myself with joy that my '10 year old' daughter flies in in April; that I'll meet my grandchild again - I was there for her birth, and that my Belgian husband will get to meet my lion-hearted daughter who is actually 20 years old.

I was talking on the phone with her last week and we were remembering when we were living together after the divorce, she was a teenager and she moved between my ex and I ...

She said, You know mum, I've lived with a few people since you and you were so easy to live with...

We both laughed because there is no way that my teenage daughter could have said those words back then.

So, I'm back blogging and smiling like an idiot as I type ... life is good.


Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Hmmmm ... what's your friend's school in Turkey like?

Mark J said...

A lovely story Di.
Having known you for all those years, it's still nice to hear it from your own pen (so to speak). I hope Jess brings even more light into your already amazing life in Europe :)

Manic said...

This a nice story you got there. It sounds so unrealistic yet it is. Whoever said that reality is stranger than fiction was completely right. Have fun with that daughter of yours and with that grandchild.

woman wandering said...

Well, the second private school I taught in was better ... you want some details, Ms Cat in Rabat? I taught grades 3 through 7 during my two years there. They were schools for the wealthy and I usually had about 160 students spread across 8 classes.

I have friends teaching in other age levels, adult and etc, if you're wanting some contacts there :)

G'day Mark. I'm glad I didn't bore you to tears with the story. Too happy, had to write of it :)

Oh manic, my life has been making one of my Dutch friends laugh since he first turned up and met my life. He said it's like a soap opera which mortifies me and a lot of it simply stays unblogged however today's post was up close and personal, eh wot!

Anyway, you'll have to come meet them once they're here :)

Alison said...

Can't wait to meet them both and I'm so happy for you :)

woman wandering said...

Thanks Alison :) and be sure the Canucks will meet the little lionheart that you've heard all about.

Peter said...

A most touching insight into your life Di, thanks for sharing these precious personal stories.

You know, not being able to have any offspring of my own often gets me down, especially when I'm watching the strong bond between my brother and his daughter, or reading your post about Jessie.

"If it can't be changed, then make the best of it" can be a real challenge.

Enjoy April!

ML said...

I am so pleased for you. And since we are going to come see you in Sept., I can't wait to see Jessie again!
YOu and I have each had the most weird, but fantastic adventures in the last few years, each meeting a wonderful guy and traveling all over the world.
One of the greatest adventures I have had is meeting you in the first place in New Zealand and later in Istanbul and Belgium! HOw fantastic you are!

awomynda said...

What exciting news! Can't wait to meet (I'll still be here I'm afraid) and veyr happy for you.

woman wandering said...

Hi Peter, I was so happy that I couldn't resist writing up why ...

I'm sorry to read about how not having children impacts on you. Making the best of it would definately be a challenge.

As for April and the months that follow, I'm sure pieces of that life will naturally spill onto my blog sometimes :)

Lol, hi ML and thank you. It will be lovely for Jessie to catch up with you again and to meet Al.

We've had some really good times across countries over the years. Gert's working on an itinery - let's see what part of Europe we can offer up on this visit.

Amanda, I'm sorry for the reasons that keep you here but delighted that you can meet Jessie and Sahara.

Thanks :)

christina said...

What wonderful news about your daughter. I am SO happy that my wish for you is going to come true so soon. I'm sure this will be the start of many good things to come.

woman wandering said...

I hope so Christina :) and thank you.

My daughter and I used to love nothing better than a road trip, I'll have to learn to drive wrong-side of the road now that she's coming. We often lived 100s of kilometres away from my childhood 'home' and so traveling was this thing that she grew up doing.

It will be good to have my best traveling buddy back with me.

wandering-woman said...


that's all.

woman wandering said...

Lol, hey w-w ... :)
Yep, just yep.

eizmarcos said...

life is so good... felicidades for your buena onda. my buena onda is sweeping me off to chile on tuesday!

namaste bella,