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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tiny Resolutions Jan. 19th: DARE, by guest writer Nuray Önoğlu (Izmir, Turkey)

Nuray with one of her fan clubs
Ed. note:  Martin Luther King Jr said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase".  Today's guest is a Turkish photographer, translator and retired palentologist living in Izmir who lives that faith. This brief bio fails to convey the force of spirit that is Nuray Önoğlu , a smiling bundle of positivity, courage and creative talent who also cooks, translates poetry, connects deeply and inspires me regularly.  She has an amazing story, only a portion of which is written here.  Thank you, sister. --jls 
Nuray.  in the first picture she is
 exited but unsure.   Her father has
 given into her request to go to 
secondary school, and this is her
 official school badge ID photo.
  She worries:  What if he changes
 his mind, as he did with her
 older sister? #2, today.
Today's resolution:  DARE  
I am not going to give all the credit of what has happened on daring, but I am pretty sure that my life would be very different without daring a little.

I was born in a small village in eastern Anatolia where daughters were not appreciated much, though  my parents were slightly different.  They couldn’t expect me to learn even to read and write, let alone to get proper education. Most girls weren't allowed to continue schooling after elementary level.   Still, I have a degree in geology, a PhD in paleontology, worked as an academic, as a geologist, retired and now am translating books from English into Turkish.   I dared to ask to continue my schooling as a child; as an adult I dared to keep going.

I am a person who lives a life that is positively beyond my wildest expectations. Chance, coincidences, serendipity all have their fair shares in it, but also many things happened because I dared.

insect photos by Nuray
Examples are numerous; I will tell a few.  When I was told by colleagues that I needed a special number of publication in specific journals to be able to apply for the micropaleontology course organized by late Prof. Dr. Lukas Hottinger in Basel University, I dared to write to him, explain what I did and asked if I could participate and on what conditions. (Jana, this looks like asking a little isn’t it? But at the time I didn’t feel like just asking, I needed courage to do it).  He was one of the nicest people I have ever met, greeted me warmly and also opened other doors for me.
When I had to accept retirement at a relatively young age, I knew I needed to find a new vocation. I have always been a keen reader and some of the translation I read really sucked. I used to think to myself that I could do a better job.  Perhaps I could translate books? But I had no proper English education, having learnt it in courses and improved it mainly by reading, and who was going to give job to a retired paleontologist as a translator? Would I, if I were them? Probably not. Then a friend made me aware of a job advert of a publishing company. I applied. And to my surprise they wanted to give me a chance.  Currently I am working on my 24th translation, 22 of them published.

Nuray, center front, with ii artists
When a friend told me about i am we interactive image , the global net-art project by Wolf Nkole Helzle, I joined the group.  I was just curious. Then I started to keep my photodiary in the platform.  After participating in the first exhibition of the group with two photographs, I dared to ask if we could have the second usermeeting/exhibition in Izmir, Turkey and ended up organizing the whole event. It was such an enriching, beautiful experience despite all the hard work I had to do.
"Eat on the grass
Hurry up
Sooner or later
The grass will eat on you"

Dare to ask, dare to try, dare to stretch your comfort zone.  Maybe not every day, but every now and then.  Life is full of surprises and some need us to have some courage, to come true.
And most importantly, do not afraid of appearing ridiculous every now and then. To be ridiculous is dare to be fully human.  
                                               -----Nuray, Izmir, January 2015


Shelly said...

Oh, Nuray, you inspire me and make me happy. Thank you for your story and this post. I can't wait to meet you some day.

Nuray Önoğlu said...

Thank you Shelly. That would be a very happy day, I am looking forward to it.