Wednesday, August 6, 2008

a mongolian husband

August 6, 2008

Some elements of the human experience are universal. Traffic stinks. Parking is impossible. Saikhnaa hits the snooze button on the alarm repeatedly so that she can squeeze out 10 more minutes of sleep before she has to wake up for work.

So maybe that’s why my coworkers, feeling kindly and motherly and seeing that I am not hideous and perhaps pitying my single status, are offering to find me a nice Mongolian husband. I find it so endearing. Of course, it’s all in good fun and they are not serious about it. It’s funny to me because hooking up with a Mongol is the very last thing I’d want out of this trip.

You see, part of the reason why I came to Mongolia was to mend a Broken Heart.

There, I finally said it.

I’ve never been one to kiss and tell but the combination of distance and the impersonal nature of blogging makes me feel safe and slightly reckless.

A few months ago, I became fixated on the idea of Mongolia. I thought of Mongolia for two reasons: 1) I felt like a nomad, scared and restless, and 2) Mongolia was the subject of a long-standing joke between me and a certain Someone. Somehow, I equated Mongolia’s green pastures and blue sky with closure.

I know – it seems dramatic, drastic, and slightly crazy. When you love someone like that, you lose all sense of where you begin and where the other person ends. 16 months ago, we broke each other and we both haven’t been the same since. For a long time, I was afraid that I’d never be whole again. But sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find redemption.

All this time, Mongolia stood as the pinnacle of recovery. I thought that if I could only get there, if I could walk among the crowds as another nameless human being, it would mean that I was ok. Now I’m here and my insides still ache. But I’m not as weak as I thought.

It’s not a matter of getting over someone. It’s a matter of finding oneself. Growing up is realizing and accepting that the one you love might not be the one for you. Sometimes happiness is giving up something precious for something even better.

I know myself now and my head is back on straight. Today I want to make sure that I can be the best person possible if I ever put myself out there again. What gave me the jumpstart was reading a passage written by a Buddhist monk. He writes about the Western concept of a soulmate. Instead of searching long and hard for that certain Someone, why not cultivate the amazing relationships that are already present in our lives, with our sisters and mothers and fathers and classmates and neighbors?

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been leaving little pieces of my heart with family and friends and baristas and Mongolian coworkers. Maybe it’s merely a quantitative strategy – if you spread yourself amongst many, a single person can’t hurt you so badly. But I think it’s because life can’t be dictated, constrained, or controlled by a single person, unless that person is yourself. I believe in sacrifice and commitment but I also believe in maintaining my own unique identity and living a separate, fulfilling life for ME.

So what do you do when you’ve lost the love of your life? What do you do when you’ve lost all that old self-confidence? What do you do when you’ve lost that promise for the future?

You do the only thing you can do – you move forward.

8 comments:

Eve said...

Wow Sharon. Amen to that. I love love love your writing, btw.

nanshee said...

Ditto on what your friend 'eve' said...

dang girl... you sure do know how to pull people's heart strings with them words... loved it.

hope your trip's what you were looking for... it seems to me that the mere fact that you went alone says something...

Patti said...

I really like the way that Buddhist monk thinks! And I think it's wise to cultivate all the other relationships we have in our lives...so often we become blinded by just the one. I'm sure that this trip is going to be good for you and I can't wait to hear what crazy adventures come your way. :)

p said...

remember?? I told you not to find yourself a mongol and never come back. we still have to go to vegas. don't flake on me!! hahaha j/k j/k.

but in all honesty, getting away to find ourselves is always an interesting concept. sometimes the only way to realize who we are is to get away from everything that constrains our character, (i.e. our homes, friends, daily rituals). it's amazing what a couple thousand miles can allow you to realize what you already knew. we'll have so much to talk about when you come back!! cheers to soul searching.

Carol said...

if you do find a man in mongol, please don't stay there and not come back!

i hope you have a wonderful time there and find all that you want and more... without looking for it and just go with the flow, as kristin suggested. yes, the world sometimes doesn't make sense. how you have to not want something or not look for it in order to get it. but i know that you'll have a great experience there. we've all been blessed by being able to read your beautiful writings and peek into your days and soulful ways there already.

Jack said...

I hope you find the peace that you're looking for in Mongolia. Have a good time and I expect to see pictures/hear stories when you're back. Also, if you do find a Mongolian husband, I expect a prime seat at the wedding. :)

Meggy_FFW said...

i read this & wanted to weep. i don't even know what to say except: you're so strong, & you're doing great. you know what i mean. i love you.

Anonymous said...

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