I open my eyes. My heart is beating fast in my chest, I can almost feel it. Mama was right, she told me to unpack my beloved jeans and instead choose shorts: “It will be very warm in Turkey!”
That was just a few days ago and now I am standing here, in T-Shirt and shorts, observing the hustle and bustle of the market – I wonder why the guide never calls it market, but souk and I make the decision to ask Mama about that.
I turn around and see more people. But I cannot find Mama or Oma (grandma). Only more people offering their goods – herbs, spices, clothes. I feel like I am in a movie and expect Aladdin to jump around the corner. So many noises, smells and impressions. I know I should panic, I should scream and look for Mama, but I am so excited – it all feels surreal and at the same time I know this is very real.
In this very moment, I decide that I want my life to be like this. I want to explore, meet Aladdin and understand the people around me. I want to hear the stories of our world and tell my own. I don’t know that life has a different plan for me, and that telling stories will be a huge, but not the only part of my true purpose.
A hand on my shoulder, my Oma scolding me for running away, my Mama being relieved she found me and hugging me. I tell her, that I want to become an explorer – and I will never forget her words: “You can become whoever you want to be!” It was one of the happiest moments, full of hope and excitement for the future!
How I even came in, I can’t remember. Huge hedges surround me, snakes hissing and reaching towards me. I look down – my bare feet are standing in mud, it is cold. My eyes going upwards, examining my body – I see the body of a fully grown woman.
But the last thing I remember were the smells of herbs and spices on a souk in Turkey. Expecting Aladdin to jump around the corner. I was six.
I am not six anymore, but I can’t remember growing up. Simply the feeling of broken dreams and nowhere to escape – overwhelming fear.
Maybe this is a nightmare and maybe Turkish nights are so hot, I dream about the cold? Maybe I just have to wake up! I pinch myself. Nothing, I am still surrounded by hedges and snakes. I am frightened and paralyzed, but I know I have to move to fight the cold.
I turn around and see a gap in the hedges. When getting closer to the gap, I see it is very narrow and the snakes are just waiting for me to come closer. But I have no choice, if I want to escape whatever this is, I need to leave the trap. So I decide to just jump through the narrow gap. I take a run-up and jump and scream, expecting the snakes to bite me.
My whole body hurts, I am lying on the muddy ground, it is still cold and I see more hedges around me, but above is a sky full of stars, no clouds and I see the moon – slowly I realize where I am – in a labyrinth. I get up, try to get as much mud off of me as possible and now facing the next decision: Which way do I go? It is dark and only the light of the full moon lights up the path. Both directions end in a dark void – I just have to make a decision and choose one direction.
Closing my eyes, I listen to my intuition and turn to the right, I start walking.