Now I breathe, it is scary, blurry, and kind of dark. But I breathe.
In 2 hours 26 minutes, I am going to be 26 years old. I wanted to celebrate my birthday by taking a breath after holding it for 26 years.
Holding my breath, at the beginning
So, the ones who know me in person, know the story of my first name. Tekin is the name of the doctor who saved my life during my birth. I don’t want to give much detail, but briefly, I did not breathe around 5 minutes when I was born. He made me breathe with artificial respiration. Then, my mom and dad gave me his name.
So, let’s start
So, after being a “good boy” during my childhood, the personality change that I had during my teenage years was pretty shocking for everybody around me, especially for my family. Fights with my parents every day, leaving the home and not coming back for hours without any information. Dad comes to school and hears a manipulated and exaggerated stories of my behavior in school. That old m.therfucker history teacher told my father that I climbed on the roof and made everybody dance, which is a total lie. I was in class, staying above the window sill, playing music in the class and saying “Everybody hands up!”. And this happens during a 1-hour lunch break. If you want to imagine the situation, here you go, the real images (but from old times) of my high school, it will help you imagine.
Do you know what happened after that history teacher manipulated my father? Father came to my class during the lecture. He told me “what the hell did you do?” in front of my classmates. Everybody was looking at me. I said “What?”. He grabbed my arm and pulled me out of class. I was wearing a jacket, I took it out and throw it on him, and said wtf are you doing. We had a huge fight in front of 50 60 pupils who are the same age as me. Oh yes, I remembered the name of the teacher, Münir. He came at that moment also and said “How can you behave like this to your father?”. I said “You manipulative son of a b…”. My friends pulled me away from the “crime scene” and tried to calm me down. Ohh, telling this in public feels so good. Now I started breathing out, but not enough yet. Btw, don’t get me wrong, my relationship with my father is just amazing right now. He is such a great person, and I love him so damn much! Now, let’s continue with taking a breath on other subjects.
Another case that I would like to tell to enable my lungs to take a breath is about my senior project in BSc. So, I and my friends were trying to find a project and a professor to be our advisor. We decided to play big and hard. Therefore, we went to our vice-rector, currently rector, Prof. Dr. Murat Askar. We were damn scared of him because of what people have told us about him. “He is a very tough guy, so hard to work with him, you cannot pass the senior project assignment with him” bla bla bla. Well, he is an angel! He gave us a pretty interesting and challenging project. He was a man of discipline and hard work and I just loved it! He consulted us every week, berate us when we did not do anything ,and in the end, we have done something great and won the biggest project competition in my region. Idk if he knows how much effect he had on my life, but it is just too great! Thank you, Sir, for the motivation you gave me… if you are reading this. Now my airways are a bit more open. The third subject is about people that I do now know.
Because my girlfriend lives in Norway and I wanted to move to Norway because of her, I applied to NTNU. My father sold our share in my grandfather’s old house to my uncles to collect the money that will be required during my application to NTNU. While he was doing that, I was working in my first job (which is another story that will open my airways, just wait for it) and getting my IELTS courses from a cool English teacher. I passed the exam, have written my cover letter, got my reference letters from my professors, and made my application along with a bank statement that shows I have 121000 NOK in my account. Everything is done, I need to be accepted. Do you know what happened? I got denied. Just one damn short mail. “We evaluated you, there are many applicants, bla bla bla". Full of empty words, one of those automatically created ones. While my father is selling his share in his father’s house, where he had a lot of memories, while I work 9 hours per day and trying to prepare an application, a bunch of people sitting on their desk in Trondheim, taking a look at my application and clicking on the deny button in just a couple of minutes. I always wonder who are they, I wonder if they know the efforts and sacrifices behind that application. They did not even give me a concrete reason. I mean, I haven’t even got an interview. That was a huge psychological breakdown for me, which happened during my major depression. Hope one of them reads this post, and cannot sleep tonight. Ohh, my right bronchi just opened. Taking a breath feels good. Now, let’s go back to my first job experience…
So, it is not so easy for a new graduate to decide what kind of job, what kind of career is best for him/her. I was one of those graduates. But I had one small goal, which is to save money as much as possible so that I could have more money when I go to Norway for my master’s degree, ahahaha, you know why I am laughing if you have read the previous paragraph. So, I found a job, and it is in Izmir, my city. It pays well and I can stay with my parents and save money even more. Even though I need to spend 4 hours on the road everyday. This just sounds great! So, my job is to test the games of a game company. I got some consultancy from a professor from the testing area. My relationship with my bosses is just great. We are like brothers. I started driving the company car back and forth during mornings and evenings and we go to the office altogether. Everything is just fine. One day, my bosses started thinking that being so sincere is just not cool, Idk what was in their minds. Especially the one that I was closest changed the situation from brothers to serfs and lords. We were three kids (employees), unhappy with the behavior we face and just working from 9 to 6. The tense relationship in the company started breaking me down. The way they behave to me, the way they talk to me made me feel like a garbage bag. The fights in my parents' home and the loss of hope to reach my girlfriend just added to it, and you know what happened? My mind got full of suicidal thoughts. The people who know me may be shocked about this. Because I am that guy who has extreme excitement, happiness, and energy all the time. And yeah, there I was, thinking about the least painful ways to die, least painful for my family, friends, and girlfriend, I would die anyway, physical pain would not matter. One day, I had a panic attack. It was so damn bizarre (and amazing when I think about it now). I was shouting, shaking. My body got contracted in the fetal position. But it was not my consciousness that has done all those stuff. Interestingly, my consciousness was just an observer. It was like a dream that I had no control, I just could watch everything from inside. The other day, I decided to go to a psychiatrist. I always thought that only people with huge problems go to a psychiatrist, well there I was. After the conversation full of tears with the doctor, she said that I had major depression and I need to start the prescription immediately. I remember the first pills, huge headache. Anyways, I used it for around 9 months. During the treatment, I had memory loss, a huge personality change, it was like “Return to factory settings”. During all these things, I continued to work in my job. Then in April (after 9 months of work), I quit my job. The day I quit, the boss that was closest to me before said that he is not going to pay for the 10 days in the last month because I used 10 days of vacation while I did not have any vacation rights. Well, let me tell you the story. So, while I was signing my contract, I told him that there are no vacations indicated in this paper. He told me that it is not a big deal, I can get a vacation when it is necessary and if it is not too much. If it is too much, he said that he won’t let me take the vacation. I said okay, that sounds fair. See what happened at the end. Ahaha, I hope he burned that 2000 TRY in a good way, looks like he needed it :) Ohh, it feels good to breathe.
The next one is about my master’s degree. So, after getting the denial from NTNU, I was like “Sh.t, sh.t, sh.t, I haven’t applied anywhere else, I need to leave the country asap, I can’t handle it anymore”. So, I applied to RTU, the university that I had my Erasmus Exchange. I got accepted and started preparing myself for the new education that I will get. I will study Business Informatics! I will be a man of the industry! Hell yeah! My enthusiasm ended up pretty fast when I got the first lecture with Advanced Data Technologies. The lecturer cannot speak English. Yeah, you haven’t heard me wrong. He cannot speak English. His level of English is “I go, you go, he go”, no joke. And his knowledge of SQL must be the other joke of this school to me. He makes so easy mistakes that even an amateur would not do. Another disappointment did not wait much to come. The professor of the Systems Theory course was too old to come to lectures. So, he recorded the lectures in videos and put them on YouTube as private videos. The videos are basically low-quality screen recordings where an old voice reads what is written on the slides in the presentation. Well, they were pretty good ASMR videos to sleep, that part was pretty successful, let me say. And now the Star of the program comes. The professor of racist and discriminative behaviors. Thanks to her, I have experienced discrimination in firsthand. Thanks, Madame, you are the one (heart, heart). Let me indicate, not all lecturers in RTU were bad. Two lecturers were just amazing, Ilze and Janis. The other two young lecturers were also good, I do not remember their name, sorry for that. Unfortunately, the ratio of the courses of good lectures to courses of bad lecturers was low. So, I basically managed to pass exams in the half of a Master’s Degree program by only self-study. Because the Mr. NoEnglish, Mr. Old, and Madame Discrimination had nothing to teach me, unfortunately. I hope life brings the same disappointment that I had to them as well. I don’t want them to leave this world without living that lack of hope and disappointment. If there is a god, hope he/she hears me out about this. If there is no god, I hope that a bat’s wing in a far Asian country makes the order of chaos bring my wishes to come true. My lungs are almost totally open. There are two more airways to open. Let’s continue…
The second one is about my acceptance to my current company, ahh what a pain it was. So, I applied to Bootcamp and then got accepted for an internship. I worked my ass off to be recognized, to get hired. When it was around mid-August, my manager and project manager called me and the other intern and said that it may not be possible for us to get the job. I was like “What?”. I worked for 5 months almost free, I worked like an employee rather than an intern, and they knew it. They told me that it is not in their hands, and it was really not in their hands. I went home, cried like a baby, knowing that even if I do my best, it is not enough. The best thing that I could get in my life is not more than being used for free with a hope of a job. Well, in the end, I got it. But the disappointment I had was huge. But that project manager and manager did their best to keep me. I know it. I know how they appreciate the extra performance I give. They are basically the first people who have recognized me. Thanks, guys, if you are reading this.
Now the last one. I am 26 years old. I have everyone in my life, my friends are alive, my family members are alive, I have a great girl in my life. But do you know what? I am sitting in front of a screen, alone in a country full of people who looks at me like they have seen a ghost when I speak English to them. I have nobody by my side, while I haven’t lost any of them. And now, I am getting treatment for the second depression that I am living in my life. This one is not as heavy as the first one, but well, some chemistry just does not work as it should be, and I need to get up again after I fall several times, with knees full of scratches and blood.
And now, me at the first second of my life and I today say in harmony: “Now, I breathe. It is scary, blurry, kind of dark, I already regret it. But I breathe. I don’t know how I started breathing, I don’t know where I was before. But I breathe” (Bergama, 10.02.1995 — Riga, 10.02.2021)