My heart belongs to ………

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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I smiled at people, I spoke to strangers, I hid in a cupboard and declared I was never coming home.

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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.

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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.

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Returning back home you will still always find me with my arms covered and worrying about what people think of me.

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But I have changed and that’s because I know Çalış is with me every day.

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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.

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SENI SEVIYORUM Çalış

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