Today I would like to introduce to you, the first post of The Love of a Good Book, 'My Heart Belongs to' feature, which will run throughout February!
Throughout school I longed for acceptance, being bullied for most of my time at secondary school, left me isolated and full of loathing.
But the acceptance I needed was from myself.
I had taken on vicious opinions of myself. Suddenly I was the chubby four eyed girl, the one who wouldn't speak up.
I hated myself!
After leaving school I tried so hard to shake off the stigma I felt I carried.
But it never worked, I could lose weight, ditch the glasses and have dutch courage before a night out but still I would avoid mirrors, cover my arms and walk with my head down.
Back in 2009, I boarded a plane with family.
When I landed it was incredibly hot, i had never known heat like it.
I tried so hard to keep my jacket on but even I had to admit I was melting!
Tentatively I looked around, then slowly I took my jacket off.
No one said anything, I felt the warmth on the tops of my arms and started walking.
Little did I know that after removing my comfort blanket, I would find the place that helped me to accept me,
That's why my heart belongs to Çalış Plajı!
Up until going to Çalış I'd never understood that free spirited happiness I've heard of, but throughout that holiday I started to feel lighter, more carefree.
I found myself forgetting to worry about my 'fat arms' and all my other flaws.
I smiled at people, I spoke to strangers, I hid in a cupboard and declared I was never coming home.
But most of all I started to like me, I always believed it was a myth that if you liked yourself other people would start to like you too.
But then people were paying me compliments, asking to stay in touch, suddenly I didn't feel like the outcast. I felt like I belonged.
I found a place where I could be a carefree happy version of me.
Returning back home you will still always find me with my arms covered and worrying about what people think of me.
But I have changed and that's because I know Çalış is with me every day.
it's in my memories, it's in my tattoo and it's the mindset that guides me to talk to people, to smile more and if I never find another place where I belong, at least for a little bit of every year, I know I belong in Çalış, because my heart belongs there.
SENI SEVIYORUM Çalış