Starting Over: One Mountain, One Sunrise, One Adventure at a Time
And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.
I promised a man forever on a beautiful summer’s day. As the sun beamed through stained glass windows of the cathedral, wearing a timeless lace gown, and standing nervously in front of everyone important to me in my young life, I was married. From then on, I was a wife and I took my role seriously. I gave up everything to start a life with my husband. We moved to his home town away from my family, I left my dream job, and we bought a house when I wasn’t emotionally prepared. To compensate, I did everything to ensure that our life was perfect: I cleaned, organized, paid the bills, did the laundry, walked the dogs, cut the grass, decorated our home, planted flowers, painted the outside of the house, made cupcakes and treats for family gatherings, hosted thanksgiving dinner, bought all of the Christmas gifts. But it would never be good enough.
At the beginning of 2016, a week after my 30th birthday, I found out officially that my husband was having an affair. Over the last 6 months, as I worked full-time, was completing courses for my Master’s degree and lived the good wife life, he had fallen in love with someone else.
I was broken.
I was lost.
Each day following, as I struggled to find myself in the rubble, I did the only thing I knew how: put one foot in front of the other, literally and figuratively. At first, it was simply to walk the dogs. But it suddenly turned into so much more. I started exploring the trails around my neighbourhood, going on day hikes, and climbing mountains. It became my escape, my healing place. I could be in the middle of nature, alone with my thoughts, and feel free and comfortable with myself. There was no one around to tell me what to do, to give me advice, to judge me. It was perfect.
As a city girl at heart, I would have never thought that I would fall in love with nature, the outdoors and adventuring, but I did. It saved me.
Over the last year I have partied in Vegas, ridden on the back of a motorcycle, got muddy 4x4ing on an ATV, hiked the Chief, went target shooting, walked a suspension bridge, made it to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto, ran through corn fields, wake boarded, camped the mountains of Peru, hiked to Machu Picchu for sunrise, surfed in Lima, snowshoed to the top of a mountain, ice walked in Jasper, hiked to amazing waterfalls in Whistler, chased the sunrise in Kamloops, sipped fabulous wine in Kelowna, got kidnapped at gun point in India, went paragliding in Nepal, and experienced many more amazing adventures as part of this new and exciting life that is 100% mine.
What ensued this last year was the ultimate trial and testament to my strength and willpower as a human being. I suffered physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Divorce isn’t for the weak-hearted. But I learned that who I have become and where I am going is far more exciting than what I have left behind. The future is bright. I cannot wait to chase the next sunrise, to hike the next mountain, to find that next amazing waterfall. I cannot wait to get on the next plane to adventure to somewhere new. I am no longer a spectator in my own life.
I am strong and I am powerful.