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The Unpopular Move

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unpopular/”>Unpopular</a&gt;

A problem that many take part in which can be easily rectified is bending to what appears to be the popular choice of what is societal standards.  Communal standards are established by following the crowd; of which many engage in. I gave in to that lifestyle when married to both of my husbands. I was always so worried about what others thought of me. However, to be content in life we need to let go of what we think our life is supposed to be based on societal standards, and look inside ourselves for how life should be based on our own approach. We have the power inside ourselves to find our destiny. Not completely of course, but at least to a certain extent. We must challenge ourselves. It is that simple.

When I moved to Colombia, I surprised many people, but more than that they were judgmental. I found myself more alone than ever before in my life, which is interesting when you delve into this subject. Why do so many people feel they have a say in someone’s decisions in life? Is this societal behavior or something else? Here I was bereft from a horrible divorce and loss of a child, yearning for change, but I encountered really bad reactions to my decision. They were subtle, but definitely there. I had friends of many years ignore my emails I would write from Colombia telling them of my adventures and happiness. People who were like family to me. They just didn’t answer me. It was hurtful. They judged me, even when they knew what I had gone through for almost three years. That is the most interesting part of my unpopular move. They knew if I had stayed and found a house in Florida, my life would not have changed, it would have remained the same. It would have been a continuation of the hell I had gone through. Yet, they felt that was the best way for me to live my life?

I based my decision to move on many factors, but the most important one was I needed to find me again. I could have stayed in Florida and done nothing to better my lifestyle, and conformed to others opinions or move to a new country and follow my dream of opening up a bed and breakfast. A dream that had not really taken shape, but it was there inside of me, deep inside with a solid foundation of anticipation. I had to remind myself of this over and over during the past years. I did not want mediocrity, a life waiting for others to change while I stood by and watched. I wanted to live. I had learned in a very hard way life is short when my daughter was murdered. I knew that I no longer could stand by and wait for others to come to my way of thinking. I just did what I needed to do for me. It didn’t fit in to others thought processes. I understand that. I really took a wild leap into the unknown. But it was my wild leap, just a short 3 and 1/2 hour flight from where I used to live. If I had moved back to Newport, Rhode Island where I lived when I married my first husband I imagine it would have been more acceptable, and a lot farther away. It would take me twice the time to get there from South Florida, then coming from South America. But it was acceptable to the standards of those who felt for some unknown reason they should have a say in what I should do for my future life. I image that moving with a guy who was younger than me also played into the detriment surrounding my move also.

Now here I am in Colombia which just made the list of Forbes Coolest Places to Visit for 2016. I have been in two articles, one in Yahoo Finance and the other in International Living Incomes Abroad and my Bed and Breakfast called Villa Migelita is open and running. I have regular guests and am meeting new people who have enriched my life. I have learned Spanish. I have continued my dream without worry of others opinions nor suggestions. My unpopular move has turned out to be just the thing I needed to do, not only for myself, but for troubled relationships with those people in my life who were wounded during a very difficult time. I have found that time and patience brought me what I needed to heal. I stopped thinking about what could go wrong, and started thinking about all the things that could go right. Is my future certain? No. Of course not, we can never have a perfect life. I understand that from my past. I just know I have made the best out of a situation that was going in the wrong direction, and I am happy I did. It has turned out well for me, and for that I am grateful. I will never know what the future will bring to me, but I am making the best out of my present moments. That is all we can do in this life, make the most of what is given to us, and then move forward from there.

 

 

 

 

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A Time for Peace Now

“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”

― Rabindranath Tagore

I do not believe in death, I believe in life after life. I am in harmony with my surroundings, I have found an existence that fits me, my truest self. When it is time for me to leave this world, I will go with happiness in my heart as I have fulfilled a dream I often thought about when I was younger. I wake to the beauty of nature every day, I do not seek more than that. For when we meet our inner desires we have found a place of spiritual refuge.

I used to be a person who wanted too much, the void of not having everything I desired kept me seeking more and more. I reject that way of life now. Looking back on my past I realize my best moments in life were with my children in the Smoky Mountains every summer. Showing my children the beauty of nature, showing them life was more than new clothes or the best video game. We would spend those summers exploring and enjoying time outdoors. A precious memory held in my heart was with my deceased daughter riding our bikes through Cades Cove. We had to get up super early to take the hour and a half drive, but Misha was as excited to do this ride as I was! Every summer we would look for hummingbirds to come to the feeders and we would look for bear sightings. This particular morning we arrived at Cade’s Cove to ride our bikes at around 6 AM, the park closed to cars on Saturdays until noon. We saw many deer, squirrels, birds and the beauty of  nature in glorious quiet solitude while the clouds occasionally graced the path we rode. It was lovely. We rode in the splendor surrounding us, we saw wild turkeys, more deer but no bears. Then when we were nearing the end of our journey there they were in front of us! A mama and two babies, we both stopped quickly and stood and watched.maxresdefault The joy we shared was exhilarating! We kept our distance. The mother was aware of us but we felt no danger. The little cubs played and climbed up and down the trees. We spent a half hour sharing this wonderful experience, our only communication was through our eyes. Finally the mother wandered off into the woods with her precious babies following her. My daughter and I rejoiced in the moment. These memories carry me through days of sorrow when I miss her so much it hurts. These summers were what made me dream of retiring somewhere that had mountains, nature, and streams. I held my dream in my heart in times of turmoil. I always felt if I could just be with nature I could correct the problems that plagued me. We went to the mountains until my daughter was sixteen and my son ten. It was after the last summer in the mountains my marriage really started falling apart and I put my dream into the recess of my mind.

If I can say anything favorable about the death of my daughter it is this, her death gave me the strength to move forward with my life. I filed for divorce twice from my ex. The first time was after the last summer I spent with my kids in the Smoky Mountains. It was a summer unlike the previous summers. The family of my ex would send  the abusive cousin to stay alone with no supervision at my in-laws residence. He was drinking and getting high every night, destroying their mountain residence. He picked on my daughter constantly and  rode a golf cart around at night drinking and smoking. She wanted so badly to fit in, but I did not want her to be around this kind of behavior. Our time in the mountains was no longer fun, but stressful.  One time he even cornered my children who had taken two tubes into a lake in the resort. This cousin and a friend took a small boat and cornered them and held them hostage under a man-made waterfall, scaring them both, as the water was strong and soaking them while they desperately tried to return to shore. My daughter came back when she was finally able to get away crying because her little brother became terrified, and she felt responsible. I had enough and told my husband this and we left the mountains early never to return. It was sad.  I filed for divorce for the first time shortly after that summer. I eventually went back to my ex for a short period.

The second time I filed for divorce I would to never go back. I wrote about my relationship and how I finally got the courage to leave here. The following years can only be described as hell. I found a great lawyer who kept saying to me “I will get you divorced!” I never knew from day-to-day what my soon to be ex would pull. He called the police on me, he tried to have me committed, he sent the Department of Child and Family Services to my house and this was all before my daughter died. I never knew what was coming next. Then my daughter died by a cold-blooded hit and run driver who left her on the side of the road for hours, until her body was spotted by an early morning motorist. I hit rock bottom the moment I learned of her death. I was in shock for several months after, not even knowing what each day would bring for me. My move to Colombia saved me. Now it is six years after the fateful day I left a marriage that was a sham. I have the peace I sought for many years. I no longer neglect my heart. I no longer make excuses for myself as to why I stayed in that situation for so long. I now focus on the place I am now, and I genuinely appreciate my life. I still have problems but I no longer try to rationalize anything. I accept this is part of life and I spend my days trying to make myself a better person for my well-being, I have put myself as number one in my life. I left a situation that became unbearable, and I started the long journey that has brought me to this place of peace.

The moment I awake hearing the songs of birds I feel gratitude. I know I have been given a gift that I cannot explain. I know it took courage to move; to drastically change myself and my lifestyle. However, when my child died I transferred all that was amiss into worthy, and I did it in her memory. Life will never be the same. I live and grasp each moment like life support. Her death made me look at everyone and everything differently. You must do what is right for your soul. You can’t wait until the moment is right, because that moment may never come. We are all going to die someday, and with that thought we must choose to live. We must make hard choices if we are in a situation that we find detestable, if you wait for the right day you may never see it. I am firmly embedded in Colombia, I know I can never go back to what I had before, and I do not want to. When we make strong choices it is usually because we have a past that was destructive. My choices will continue to be my own from this day forward. I will accept the consequences based on my decisions. I have found a time for peace now, and I embrace it.Taz , farm where wedding 077