Wednesday, April 11, 2012

how now brown cow!


Ok, I lied.

The new website is not up yet. This entry, my friends, is the final one.

I bought a domain name but then there was this thing called hosting and then something-sql got in the way, and then there was a lot of downloading and uploading and zipping and unzipping of files, and then nothing happened. Forgive me while I tussle through the tech-speak. Things will be up and running eventually.

In the meantime, I wanted to tie up the loose ends: namely, why now? Why is Sharon (finally) no longer in Mongolia?

Sharon In Mongolia was born out of a very difficult time in my life, when I was sadder and dumber than I’d ever been. Everything was couched in terms of escapism. I was dodging my small failures and impending adulthood/responsibilities. I was afraid of everyone and everything and I couldn’t get a handle on the fear.

Mongolia, for me, was/is a state of mind – a slice of structured avoidance, a fond set of memories, a time when I took a small break from feeling very lame and shaky. I needed something and I didn't know what it was, so I escaped to Mongolia. Now, I’m finally leaving because I don’t need it anymore.

What I've learned: there is a distinct difference between eschewing reality for adventure vs. creating adventure out of your reality.

So who is this person that Sharon has become? Right now, she’s not the prettiest sight. Right now, I’m eating refried beans straight out of the can and sporting a bib of pink sunburn on my chest, two testaments to the person I have become in the last handful of years: somewhat lazy and vaguely outdoorsy and living the bachelorette lifestyle that lends itself to a consistently-empty fridge (although I do have a nice selection of expired condiments). Maybe I’ve always been this person. Some part of me will never quite master the art of growing up and I am glad for it.

I'm ready to choose my own adventure.

The only certainty in life is its uncertainty.


And now, to tie up those matters of the heart.

I've been shockingly candid here, maybe too forthcoming. What's done is done. I’ve written about heartbreak. I've been in deep funks. I've been pretty angry. I've eluded to it on more than one occasion. I’ve even sworn it off a few times (here and here). Admittedly, the two aforementioned entries were as much about catharsis and holding myself accountable and giving myself a stern, public ultimatum as it was about provoking a reaction, any reaction, which is something that (most) women are prone to do.

You listen to enough concerned words and women’s lib and self-doubt that you start to feel sideways. You half-hear many things. Your thoughts grow thoughts. You feel, at times, terrible and embarrassed and terribly embarrassed.

You go about your business.

The takeaway is that, sometimes, even after all of the time and personal growth and self-flagellation, you continue to love someone, in your small, weird, nonsensical way, without rhyme or reason or rationale. And, finally, without expectation and self-judgment.

In time, I’ve stopped criticizing myself for it. There’s nothing to defend against. I wish him good things. Maybe we will keep in touch. Maybe this is the sunk cost of love and loving someone.

I’m trying to forge my own path. I've refocused. I've got little-sized and medium-sized and big-sized fish to fry.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, March 9, 2012

catch you on the flip side!

I'm moving, literally and figuratively.

Contact me for the new blog address. Thank you to all!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

celebrity sighting

I stood in front of RICK STEVES in the SFO airport security line! No one else seemed to notice! I stared, openly and awkwardly, until he was directed to a separate, private security line.

In real life, he's fairly tall and thinner than he appears in his videos. His voice sounds about the same.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

I made a new goal today while I paused to watch a bum. He was placing neat little stacks of toast on a hot Foreman grill. He did this after the sun had set, right out on the harbor, indifferent to the tourists walking past. I was impressed and faintly hungry.

The new goal is to write every day, even if I touch on only mundane and uninspired subjects and thoughts. My novel is languishing in Nowheresville. I know what's wrong with it. The problem is that I adore the quirky situations and odd descriptions but there's no momentum. Let's get moving.

Today's event/thought/realization: sometimes, you can rely on the eager kindness of strangers, even if it is unintentional on their part. I say this because I felt startled and (secretly) comforted by their proffered advice and simple gestures. Now I have direction and a backup plan.

It's such a small, cliched thing to know that we're all in it together. It helps.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"The act of possession is to begin the process of its loss" [translated]

Generally speaking, I’m tight-lipped about work. I’m not about to pull a dooce, so to speak.

I will say: I’m lucky to have a job that is, for the most part, deeply satisfying and amazing and fulfilling.

The disheartening part(s): I’ve come to terms with erring on the side of caring too much, rather than too little – hence the veneer of distance, hence the defense mechanism. I maintain appropriate emotional distance. And still, I’m astonished by people, by the human condition - the capacity for generosity and great love and cruelty and plain stinking selfishness. There’s so much loneliness and pain and hopefulness and hopelessness. Widows who learn to dance again and children who steal from their parents and people who tell me so quietly they won’t make it to the next month so can we please get a move on. What to believe except the evidence. Who will listen. What does this all mean. There are so many forgotten, isolated people. Can I say this? Will these statements get me in trouble?

Why do we do the things we do?
Why do we do the things we do to each other?
How do we live with ambiguous loss?
How do we go through the motions, anyway, when we know there is something potentially painful at the end?

The boiled-down answer is really quite simple.

I’ll keep it vague: I can’t help but trace the parallels to my own life. I see the pitfalls that emerge from certain life choices. Maybe they serve as a warning sign for me. I am sitting across from my own future.

They admonish me, jokingly and too-frequently, “don’t grow old,” before they walk out the door. I tell them I don’t plan on it, even as I bite my lip. I don’t believe them.

I don’t think I’ll ever turn cynical and hardened but I pause. I want the same things that they did when they were my age, and more.


I dreamt it was the end of the world.

It was dusk. My apartment was in disarray and I don’t know why. Everything was on the floor. My friend and I were standing in the living room when it started.

We could see people screaming in the high-rise across the street. They were being attacked, over and over. There was a silent, collective diphthong of a scream and then they were gone. I ignored them and looked away.

We looked at each other. Our words were brief, emotionless, cauterized.

“Do you want to pack anything?”

“There’s no time to go back to my place,” he said.

I looked down and saw that I was wearing ugly, rust-colored red.

Carefully, I picked through various articles of clothing and stuffed them in a gym bag. I chose clothes that were comfortable, warm, and appropriate for running. The bulk of the dream was spent picking through my jeans and socks and tops. I thought that I should start to panic because the packing was taking so long but decided against it. For no apparent reason, I included a black-and-white print dress. The gym bag bulged. I thought to myself, calmly, don’t bring more than a week’s worth. We’ll be dead before then.

Instinctively, I knew we would be safe for only thirty minutes. I put on a running shoe but I couldn’t find the other. I ran around the apartment with one shoeless foot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012