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Five Years Later: I’m Not Looking Back

When all is said and done, the last five years have brought me to a place of discovery. I have learned no matter the life we are given we must strive to walk a path that sets an example for others. We must show the world we are vulnerable but strong, loving to all who surround us even when sometimes that love is not returned. We must be fierce to protect our own self-worth, if we do not than how can we expect others to respect us? We must always be kind.  Kindness  shows strength of character; character is what defines you to the world. Without character what are we? We are just another grain of sand in the vast terrain of life. We would not stand out in any way if we follow the opinions and listened to the majority instead of following our own instincts for survival. By survival I mean our own endurance of the life given to us. Of course our lives are not perfect, we struggle every single day with something. We self-talk in our minds about mistakes we have made on our journeys, but the point is this is a journey only we take  so we must make it count.

When I was going through my divorce I had much hate thrown at me, frankly it was awful. I thought life could not get much worse and then my daughter was killed. Life did get worse. All the self-pity I felt from the onslaught of nastiness and alienation, the gossip that always got back to me, meant nothing anymore. I realized that the only thing that mattered was life, and it is very short. With that I chose to walk a path that others did not agree with. I did for myself what I needed to do to heal. Frankly, many did not understand what I chose to do. I had even more innuendos and disapproval thrown at me. I knew what I was doing, and what others thought was not my concern. I and only I knew the facts that were my life. Those facts were not pretty, nor were they fair. They were a big mess and I was not going to live that way anymore. So I left that old life. I had very few who supported my decision, yet today I think all can see it was the right decision for me. The point being I am living the life meant for me, not what others thought my life should be.

When a person does something controversial, something that does not go along with the norms of societal views it is unfortunate that instead of being embraced for being different we are frowned upon.  I needed change from the negativity that surrounded me, and with that change I have found myself. So many people say “I need to find the real me.” But they never do. They search and search but come up empty. I searched and am fulfilling a dream. Will this dream be without mistakes? No of course not. I have made mistakes in the last five years, but they are my mistakes which I will learn from, gain life wisdom and hopefully correct. I will persevere with the knowledge I lived through hell and withstood it. I am in a place now of peace in my soul. I no longer need to push my opinions on others nor be confrontational with those I do not agree with. I have learned to walk away with my head held high from those who try to harm me with words and actions.

My daughter’s death was not in vain as she taught me to live life when she died. Her death gave me strength to change what was a dysfunctional existence that was not doing me nor anyone else any favors. Now I have mended past relationships through perseverance and single-minded knowledge of what I want to carry out. Instead of reacting with anger to others bad behaviors I react with patience. I do not seek their approval, I seek their respect. I show them my real self, the one hidden for so long inside of me.

So here I am five years later leading a life of accomplishment. I would never have thought while raising my children I would one day start a business in South America, that I would speak another language nor foresee I could revise the person I used to be. A person who was fearful of living because life events had broken me. Instead of sinking to the bottom of the ocean and drowning, I swam to the top and took a deep gulp of air and dog paddled until I could swim to freedom. This freedom I feel now is not without sadness, the killer of my daughter walks free, and I still grieve deeply everyday for my daughter. I will always long for the life I lived as my children grew, for those memories that are precious in my heart. I ache inside when I look at old photos of that life long gone now. I will never replace those days, but I will make new memories that will take me to the place I seek. You see life is continuous, we must keep going forward. We must accept that circumstances change and we must do our best to learn from these transitions, even when they are abominable. Today is all we have, because yesterday is gone and we cannot know our future. My future is looking bright, but I will never take it for granted. When someone learns the hard way to live life like I did, we accept bad times and we accept great times, we accept relationships that come to us and accept relationships that leave us. We accept our imperfect selves, and we live the life we have with gratitude. We follow our own path wherever it may lead us.

Hike photos 040

Please visit my Facebook page to follow my journey

This is my website if you want to visit my Bed and Breakfast.



I am an American who moved to Colombia to find peace after the devastating loss of my daughter. I bought and renovated a Villa, am learning Spanish, and writing as catharsis. This blog will be like a book with chapters. Each blog will be about my life in Colombia and my adventures. I hope you will enjoy the many new discoveries I am making every day about myself and another culture.

23 thoughts on “Five Years Later: I’m Not Looking Back

  1. “The lion does not concern itself with the opinion of sheep”. People that ridicule others are always the weak ones, a bully is always the biggest coward. Sometimes the saddest beginnings can have the sweetest endings. You are living proof of that! Thank you for sharing your life with us.


    1. Pat what a profound comment. It is so true also. I had so many bullies in my life for so long it was very upsetting. Now I make sure to never let that happen. I had lost two friendships this year over bullying. I will not allow it around me anymore.


    2. I just love to follow your website! It is so positive and admirable. Many times per day i go take a look on what you share with all of us. Because i always find something funny, pretty, lively, cosy, happy, sweety!!!… 🙂
      It is the first time for me that i am sharing thoughts with a person i have never met…But i feel that i know you since a long time!
      Thanks to you Michelle… :):):)


  2. Dear Michele, Your words are profound and have made me very emotional. You are the strongest and most inspirational person I know. Your are definitely words to live by. Thank you! Love you. Sheree


  3. You are proof that being positive and making that first giant step forward, you can re-invent your life. You are an inspiration and a blessing to many whom you have met in this new life.


  4. Thanks for sharing, Michele. I supposedly came across you by accident, but know that God puts people in our lives for a purpose. And you have been a blessing to me, now & always. You have entered my life at the right time. Thank you. Love, Rusty


  5. Dear Michele. This blog touchwa me on so many levels. I feel inspired by your words as I am on a path to be true to myself as well. You mentioned that after Misha’s death and that during your divorse that you didn’t think that life could get worse. But it did. I completely understand being in that place and the “awareness” that comes after such a tragedy. I enjoyed this blog very much. I felt your tears as i read. I am so proud of you and I wish only beautiful things for you on the remeinder of your journey. Thank you for sharing . ❤ Nancy


  6. Your words hit home for me. Reading your heartfelt posts helps me in a healing process .
    I would hug you tightly if I could. Thank you for sharing with us.


  7. I’d love to take a walk with you and just share. wouldn’t that be fun. you me and my walker. hugs, your usa granny frirnd.


  8. Michelle your words are inspirational. You have gone through so much and still, you have a warm and kind heart! Thanks for your beautiful words and I hope the best for you.
    Greeting from Venezuela



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