Stowarzyszenie Projektów Międzynarodowych „INPRO”



by Handan KET

When Joanna asked me to write an article about myself, I just thought that where I start. Of course, you think that I should do it from the beginning and I will do it. But the point is the relevance between the old and new me. From the beginning until now. Some people say that ‘My life is like a movie.’ But in a movie with some clues, you can guess the script. Your character has some specialities and it is so stable. Like good is good, bad is bad. In the end, one of them wins. Lovers get married, heroes save the world but then? No! I do not believe stability is possible in life. Change is the thing that we experience involving success and failure mostly. That’s why I want to tell my life like a series with episodes which has a mystery for the end.

Episode 1:
Where have I come from?

I was born on the 15th of April in 1989 in Istanbul, Turkey, and named by my family; ‘Handan’. The meaning of my name is ‘always smiling, cheerful person. Just keep that in your mind for the next episodes. My family originally comes from a city called ‘Erzincan’ where is located in the east of Turkey. And in this area, life is rough with the geographical features of nature. There are a lot of mountains, rivers, drought in summers, snow in winters, wildness, and sincerity in nature and people. Some day I could understand the people like a mirror of what they see, what they
are exposed to by around. I will discover again and never forget where I came from. My family had just worked for me and my brother for years and taught us how we can survive and but it was enough for me to be happy. I always feel like the story of ‘’The Little Black Fish ‘’ by Samed Behrengi; curious about what is beyond. And my mother is a great strong woman -also worried- but always gives me courage. She always says that ‘If somebody did that, you can do it too!’

Episode 2:
Who will I be when I grow up?
I believe that every child has a painful growing part; especially in teenage times. I was always the most successful student in primary school with my grades and it gave me an opportunity; a good high school but also showed me that I had no chance of failing. I got worried and I felt stress about my future. In the last step, I failed my university exam. But then succeeded in the job, failed, succeeded again. Some people think that I succeed, some people do not. The
question is what is success? The measure is changeable according to someone but who? Why? Today I am an adult and I believe that I am so successful person about being a human. I am proud of being me. I want to tell you about an important memory from primary school. Our education system was like that; Separating children according to the grades. I was in the best class. And no one liked the worst class. Because their grades were lower. How is it possible to separate people according to the grades for teaching them? It affected me so much and I became friends with some people from the worst class. Everyone was shocked. But I was happy. I discovered how they were nice, brave, and talented too. After years I saw that some of these successful students failed and be a part of the system but not happy and these unsuccessful students created their own business or success in a company and became happier. I learned that nobody can decide about your future. Believe in yourself and getting power by own. You are your only limit. Do not let people sabotage your potential.

Episode 3
Being part of something spiritually; Volunteering

For many years I just tried to understand being human inside. How we can understand that ‘feeling alive’ at the moment. It comes from connections. Just being a part of something that makes you like you are like at home, makes you learn self-acceptance in this world with your existence, sharing the same emotions with your pack in spiritually. Especially in these quarantine days, we understand that we can stay alone but not forever. We have to be together
somehow for moving forward. When I was a child I was always reading and imagining. One day I was an astronaut, another an archaeologist in my dreams. I was obsessed with documentaries about nature too. And I wanted to be a documentary filmmaker. Aren’t you surprised? It is a part of childhood. But also it is a part of the future. You will keep this child in your heart all the time no matter what. Curiosity brings me reading, reading brings me imagining. I built a bridge with my inside and outside in this way. Then I dreamed of a social project in my primary school and told my idea to my teacher. I just love nature as you know and wanted to have trees with my school friends somewhere. And
then the idea had grown up and we found ourselves in an agreement with another school. We travelled to ‘Çanakkale’, to this school which was named the same name as my school and we called ourselves ‘sister/brother school’. We planted our trees together. And It was my first travel to another city without my parents. And I had no idea that Çanakkale would be my university city after years. In my thirties I know that; You are ‘what you eat, you are ‘what you see’, you are ‘where you travel’, you are ‘who you share with’. You are a part of ‘ the connection’.Sometimes you
become creative, sometimes part of the creation. This small Project became a reason for my big forest Project after years. My nature love brings sports love to me finally. And they became a connection. But before them, I discovered
my ‘free spirit’ with travelling.

Episode 4 :
Who knows better? Travellers or Readers? Let’s mix them!

We have a saying in Turkey that ‘ Who knows better; the one who travels more or who reads more? A Turkish professor answers that ‘ The person who is travelling while reading too. In my university times, it was not possible to go to Europe if you do not have enough money. And I did not have money either. I just thought how can I go? And thanks to ‘Google’ I found ‘Erasmus’. I had an opportunity for English because of my good high school. I focus on the goals and passed exams and had been accepted as an Erasmus student to Hamburg. Erasmus changed me a lot! It teaches me ‘The road is not straight every time and being alone gives you to be open to new opportunities.Everything can change with what you do today. Do not focus on fear. Just start the road. On this road I travelled, I met people; I learned about different cultures, different experiences. I forgot my fear suddenly. I put everything in my pocket. I become part of something and this becomes part of me. I have a lot of stories and
these stories are my guide about life. I gained self-confidence, courage, and faith in myself. When I am tired I do not stop I just change the direction on this road and I enjoy the journey. Because the point is that life is ‘enjoying ’. Carl Sagan says that we are just passengers in this universe. So small and also so valuable.

Episode 5
Find your hobby, find your society!
As you know I was a successful student. That’s why I did not have any hobbies because of being scared of failing my lessons. But I was wrong. After my Erasmus experience, I learned that hobbies feed your soul. They are your best friend. Your joy, your painkiller. In these times in Turkey, hobbies were not important but today they ask about hobbies in job interviews. I am so lucky that different cultures gave me a vision. After I finished university; I was so sportive and energetic! I did outdoor sports like trekking, hiking, canyoneering. I also focused on city sports like pilates and running. This year I joined a running club in the city and I did my first 10 km race. One day, I want to finish a half marathon and then join some marathons in the World. If I had discovered my hobby earlier maybe I would have a different life. But your hobby is like your soulmate. If you can not find it, it will finally find you no matter what. Today I love sports and try to inspire people who around me about that too.

Episode 6
Love is all we need
These experiences, these different countries, different people also taught me something. There is no one true. People are just different so their trues and falses are different from you. But there is just one thing that everybody needs to accept and love. But especially you need that to yourself first. In my twenties, I just experienced but in my thirties, I learned how to use these experiences to change myself too. Every age has an aim. That’s why I am so thankful that I did not accept people’s advice in my twenties around by me and thank you in my thirties that I did not forget this advice and now mixing it with my experiences. So I can just advise to young people that ‘Go and become young! Travel, love, want, ask, never give up, feel sadness in deep, and also have fun with your happiness. Celebrate every
moment and just collect every memory. One day it will be your series, not a movie. Because you will always change. And love yourself with everything about you because life is not being perfect. Life is being able to rebuild it again from your mistakes and remember good memories for the motivation to write your own story. I always repeat no matter what, ‘Life is so beautiful. Because why not.

Thank you for listening.
I am so excited for the next episodes.