Here are the things I’m grateful for.

-Being blessed with the most magical childhood in Istanbul.

-Appearing in a film alongside Robert De Niro.

-Eating more Sushi than the entire population of Japan.

-Mürmur being featured on NPR, The New York Post, Sirius XM and the Paris Review.

-Overcoming my fear of looking at people in the eye.

-Meeting Radiohead - my all time favorite band - a couple blocks away from my apartment.

-Learning how to dance without feeling self-conscious. 

-Every single time a girl ran her hands through my afro in high school. 

-All the times my father took me to see the movies as a kid. 

-The moment I puffed my first cigarette to “Ballad of Frankie Lee & Judas Priest”.

-Having a friend like Nader Shirazi who I can always count on.

-Going on a life changing road trip from  New York City to Los Angeles - and then back again.

-Seeing a ghost.

-The sturdy Italian leather boots that saved my foot from being dismembered.

-Tripping over and falling on Prince.

-Spending only a day in jail while everyone else was there much longer.

-My mother who left behind everything for my future.

-The lady who gave me her $545 Leonard Cohen concert ticket without taking a single penny from me. 

-The opera singer who took a chance and flew me out to NYC - and saved my life.

-My dogs Simsek, Hubert, and Pepper.

-All of the people who saw my dumb street flyer and showed up to my apartment to be my friend.

These will be the things that I will forever cherish. I’m shutting Facebook after tomorrow. But I want to remind all of you to be true to yourselves and honest to those around you. Let’s let each other speak our thoughts instead of shunning those who deviate from the popular consensus. But most importantly, don’t let anyone condemn you for being vulnerable. Love love love. I will always give it all, even when I need it the most myself.

(Originally posted on January 13, 2018)