Approximately ten years ago, I was a 31-ish Army wife of a sniper, and mother of two sons in middle school. My husband of 12 years had just returned from his second year-long deployment to Iraq. We had married when I was 19 and surprise pregnant with our eldest son, Taylor. We had moved forward quickly to have our second child, Gavin, only about six months after Taylor was born, as I had a lot of ambition for my life. Goals that mostly went unfulfilled, due to the needs of my husbands’ career.
During the same period of time, my best friend since childhood was busy planning her wedding. We had lots of exciting events planned, and I recall saying to her that she was so lucky that she still had so many new things to discover about the trajectory of her life. I was a bit envious, believing that the cards were dealt for me, and was starting to realise that I had somehow become trapped in someone else’s life. I believed that the next thing I would have to look forward to, was my sons’ graduation and then grandchildren. The opportunity to fulfil my dreams was now out of touch.
Not even one month later, my entire life was blown out of the water. My husband was arrested for soliciting a minor via the internet, while deployed on a temporary out of state assignment. I found out he had been unfaithful, and he was about to be removed immediately from the military.
It seemed I had woken up in a nightmare that for three years I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t smile. I was convinced that I would never again be happy. I felt that I had to remain married to him for his mental health, as he was diagnosed with PTSD and a Traumatic Brain Injury. Eventually, his legal situation was cleared, and then I asked for the divorce without hesitation.
It’s hard to believe that it was ten years ago, as I write this from Bali, Indonesia…just one of the 36+ countries that I’ve been to in the past four years, since I became a fulltime nomad after raising my income by 8 times, when I was laid off from my corporate job and started an Executive Career and Empowerment Advisory firm. I’m launching my E-Commerce Boutique and Lifestyle Magazine, and starting two new businesses, one focused on guiding international business travellers with cultural lessons and training, and the other is devoted to helping small businesses cultivate their corporate culture and define their employment brand.
Sometimes we think the path is laid out for us, and we believe that we’re held hostage by the choices we made long in the past, but the reality is strange. Life can irrevocably change in one day. It takes time to process the bad times, but if we believe in ourselves and take action, the sky is the limit, and we find that we are the only ones holding ourselves back.