Aging: That Turkish Antique Market...
People all over the world are so different, yet so similar. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, I’m sure. But this concept was so clear to me recently when I lived in Turkey.
I would visit a Turkish antique market near my home that would set up once a month. Well, it was mostly antiques, but there were also handmade items and yummy smelling kebabs.
At first I was overwhelmed. There were so many people and tables that everyone had to sort of edge around each other to move throughout. But then I started seeing the same stuff table after table: old toys, crates filled with records, and dusty knick-knacks. The sellers were absolutely drinking their Turkish tea, but the whole set-up really was so like flea markets back home in the United States. Even down to the collections of tiny Hot Wheels cars and books. Lots and lots of old books.
As we age, we can find ourselves out of our comfort zone. In Turkey, I often felt waves of homesickness. Everything around me seemed so, well, to be cliché, foreign. But then, even though I was surrounded by a different culture, “the familiar”, like the antique market, would pop it’s head out and smile at me.
Like sweet and spicy, hot and cold, hard and soft, people and cultures are a conglomeration of opposites. But as I age, I realize what a great thing it is to have them in my life. It’s the opposites that keep me grounded when I find myself outside my comfort zone. And it’s the opposites that make life, including the aging process, mysterious and intriguing, yet still familiar enough to not be overwhelming.