We moved here from Turkey when I was 5 years old. I remember playing soccer with my neighborhood friends when my mother called me inside for dinner.

When we were finished eating, she said: “We are moving to America, son! We have to finish packing by the end of this week.”

I was devastated. I didn’t understand why. Or how.

It was the first time I was on an airplane. During the entire flight, I was thinking of my school. And my friends. And that it’s not fair.

I wondered if they speak Turkish in America. Then I thought: “Of course they speak Turkish there, all these American actors on TV speak Turkish”.

Well, I don’t need to tell you that a 5-year-old has no clue of things like Media Voice-Over…

Turkish in America

We got to Los Angeles the next day. It was a nightmare to me.

I could barely read and I didn’t understand a thing around me. Of course, I had to wake up from my illusion that Americans speak Turkish.

I woke up quick. Maybe too quick. I stopped speaking for 6 months.

My mind was too busy processing my new surroundings. I think I was in some type of shock state of mind.

Things got a little better over time. Especially when I started school.

LA has a lot of immigrants. That helped me not feel like an Alien.

I learned English. Even better than my parents. I worked on my accent to feel more like I belong. Not like a foreigner.

But years went by and I still feel like I lost a piece of my soul. It is left behind in Turkey. To this day, the only language I dream in at night is Turkish.