Thursday, February 5, 2015

Coincidence or Destiny?

I've always been a person that leans heavily on reason and common sense. I'm a planner and Type A. I rationalize things and make carefully weighed decisions after considering all possible outcomes and factors. But I'm also someone that, at the age of 18 while laid up in the Kenner Army Hospital with a broken tibia and fibula, began to believe that things happen for a reason. There is a strange tension between (a) the roads we are presented with and (b) our power of free will. There are people to which LIFE happens; and there are those of us that happen TO Life. I believe strongly in our power and responsibility to make choices in life and to own those choices, for better or worse.

But today I want to know......are you a person that believes in signs? Do you think things happen for a reason? Is there something greater at work in the Universe that guides us, somehow, towards the path we were meant to travel? Or is everything in life merely chance and coincidence? Do we simply SEE signs where we want them to be? In the end, this is a question we each answer for ourselves. I'm not here to convince you what your belief should be; however, I would like to indulge a little in why I've come to believe that Destiny is a truth for me.

When Zorig first said "I love you" to me, I thought he was crazy. Or at least a Casanova or Playboy of some sort. He was seeing my father and I off at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar. We had spent only six days in one another's presence and our knowledge was limited to say the least. And yet, there was something between us. A thin green line stretched across the Pacific and we were tenuously tethered. In the weeks and months that followed, he won my heart. But that's a different story. I want to lay out here all the signs that I think led me to believe in him and in us. The things that thickened that tenuous line of connection. And then the signs that have popped up, left and right, throughout these last few months to provide affirmations along this most unexpected journey.

The picture that pulled me to Mongolia.
People have asked me WHY MONGOLIA? There is no easy answer to that. Ten years ago I am not sure I was aware of it as a country and certainly knew nothing of its people and their way of life. But in 2009 my father went to Mongolia on a hunt. My cousin, Marck, accompanied him. On their return I saw pictures from the trip. They were all beautiful, but there was one particular picture that spoke to me. There is no other way to describe the effect that picture had on me other than to say that looking at the landscape, I felt an undeniable urge to GO THERE, to put my feet on that land. Gobi. Mountain. Steppe. I wanted to feel that part of the earth under my boots and to breathe its air. While my father invited me to go to Scotland or South Africa with him, I replied with nothing but disinterest. In all the world, Mongolia had become the most exotic place and I wanted to see it. So in October of 2010, my father and I declared our dream to visit Mongolia and began to make our plans.

Fast forward to this summer. Dad and I spent 21 days and 20 nights in Mongolia (2 of which were in Siberia on Lake Baikal). Our final six days was the fishing trip in the Hentiy Province. It was this trip that provided the opportunity for Zorig and I to meet and begin to know one another. They were a lovely six days, rich with laughter and adventures. But I never expected my entire life to be overhauled as a result.

Z made his desire to have a life with me known on the streets of UB during my final night in the country. He said what he said at the airport. I hoped maybe, someday, our paths would cross again. But I wasn't holding my breath.

But then, strange things began to happen. Here is a short list of some signs (others are too personal for general consumption) that I saw along the road I traveled this past autumn that allowed me to increasingly believe in my new and bright future:

  • My book club read "The Snow Leopard" which references the merry attitudes of the Mongols (which I was very much drawn to during our visit) and mentions the shaggy Mongol ponies;
  • On Oct 31st, while attending an adult Halloween party here in Colorado Springs, CO, a man walked in wearing traditional Mongolian clothing--a deel and gutul (boots). I guarantee that no one else knew what/who he was;
  • I received this fortune while out with my advisees one day for lunch, during a period when I was doubting whether this relationship could really come to be;
    Fortune perfection?
  • One of my nicknames (and NO, you can't tease me about this and prefer it not be referenced at all) is queen. After I moved into my apartment in late October, I discovered that the liquor store in the nearby shopping center is Queen Liquor;
  • The very first family I approached about adopting my beloved cat of 10+ years, said YES;
  • Twenty-one days ago I applied for a HS English position at the American School of UB (one of two International schools in the city). As I am not AP qualified, I was not a good fit. However, the hiring consultant (whose last name happens to be Diamond--Z and Dad, you should know that connection/sign!) made me aware of a position that hadn't yet been posted on the website--Elementary School Librarian. Now tell me, what are the chances that a Qualified Librarian would be looking to move to UB at the exact moment that a Librarian position was opening up? If that isn't confirmation from the universe that I'm traveling the right trajectory, then I don't know what is. Oh.....and I was offered the position today! :)
I have a couple of friends that think I lead "a charmed life." I don't know that I believe that, but I do feel beyond lucky in this moment. I am in love with an amazingly kind and strong man who happens to love me back with the same breadth and depth of feeling. I have parents that taught me that "anything is possible," and siblings that cheer me on and reinforce that belief. While they are certainly scared for me as I move forward into this new life, they are 100% behind me and share in my excitement and fears. And I have phenomenal friends and colleagues that have been encouraging at every turn. Because I am surrounded by good people that happen TO LIFE, they are able to bolster me in moments of doubt or uncertainty. What a gift!

So I wonder......what do you believe? Is it coincidence? Or Destiny? Serendipity or Fate? Or God's plan? Or nothing? My beliefs have changed over the years. Perhaps yours have too. But as I prepare to simplify my life to pack up and move to Mongolia, I feel strangely sure that all previous paths were training for this current trail I tread. Strangely confident that this is the man I've waited my whole life for...and excited to be embarking on my greatest adventure. To date. :)


  1. You asked so I will give you my thoughts. I read recently that we are all stardust ghosts walking this planet in meat coats. I know that sounds a bit strange but when I think about your question, I think about my 45 short years here on this planet, my own path, things I’ve wished for that have happened, things I’ve not wished for that I brought upon myself, all the events and people I’ve met and the places I’ve been fortunate to visit. It’s a journey different from all others, yet I feel that in some way there is a connectedness to the universe and many others on this planet. I’ve tried God, read about Buddhism and studied Native American spiritualism. My beliefs may be profoundly different in ten years, but what I put here is what I know to be true now.

    The universe is vast and immeasurable, yet we are all on this small planet circling a sun in this galaxy that is one of several thousands in an infinite black and endless space. Yet there is a pattern and things that happen that are follow a course. I absolutely believe that there are those of us circling the sun who have a certain energy, a certain awareness, and a fire deep within from an early age that yearns to find answers, connect with people and find meaning in this life. Others simply wander the earth through their years, taking little risk and choosing to be “happened” upon, but they are important also. Those who sense a fire and energy from within seem to have a certain consciousness, their souls become restless and they yearn for meaning in their lives regularly, from an early age. Connections and experiences are sought out and with this awareness comes sensitivities, I believe, to forge new paths and draw in brilliant new connections.

    I often think of the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, and though it brings on a feeling of nostalgia, it is to me like sitting by the ocean – it makes me feel small and puts things in perspective. But we aren’t just dust; we are part of this amazing and vast universe (see fractals and fractal art), and we came from energy and will go to energy, in a special pattern... one we will probably never know for sure. Someday, when I am reduced to mere dust, I hope my dust will shimmer and shine brighter, and I hope it to gloms onto other similar dust that will go forth and create new energetic and fire-full souls and energy within the universe. I am glad our paths crossed at one point, Heather, and I can be sure that my stardust will shimmer brighter as a result of knowing you.

  2. Oh Angela, I love your words here. Our paths are unique, but there have been similarities. I too have tried God, studied and read up on multiple faiths, and while I've never found a spiritual home in any particular religion, I find I feel a spiritual connection with the earth and with people that get me and whom I get. I, like you, have also been seeking answers, connecting with people, and searching for meaning in the world. Perhaps that's why we connected so easily way back when. I think this is what beauty is when we live it.....we can feel the paradoxes in life, the tension between yin and yang, light and dark. I'm glad to travel in the same time as you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.....I'm still thinking on some of them. Love ya, Heather