Picking Up The Pieces

I think it’s time to shed some light on what’s been going on in my life the past few years. When my world was ripped to shreds. It was emotionally draining and heart breaking. Only partially, because of Covid. When it rains, it pours 🙁

I had just moved to Charleston, SC in September 2020, which, I fell in love with, when I competed in the NPC Junior Nationals there. I found an amazing place in Mount Pleasant (a suburb), a few personal training jobs at great gyms, and had a fantastic Christmas season as a UPS holiday helper. Things were looking up. I was finally settling into my new place, making friends, and starting to feel at home, when it all fell apart, shattered.

My last day of working at my new fabulous jobs was my Birthday, March 22, 2020. I could no longer train, because of this new life-threatening disease, Covid, that the world new nothing about. I spent weeks, months, homebound. Scared from watching the news, walking or running for miles down Hwy 17 for fresh air and exercise, lifting weights on my porch, and getting freaked out every time I had to go to the grocery store. Just lost, alone, and scared with my little monkey dog, Dioge.

Then, one random day, my dad calls and asks if I’d be willing to come back to Ohio to care for my grandmother, so she could spend the end of her life in the comfort of her home. Since Christmas, she had slowly deteriorated. He didn’t know how long she had left. It was my grandmother and I had nothing going on, so of course, I agreed. I quickly packed up my apartment I had finally settled into, threw everything into storage and started my long journey back to Ohio. All in a few days.

I arrived the evening of May 19, 2020, exhausted after driving 12 and a half hours straight through, and quickly fell asleep. The next morning my father and I were in my grandmothers kitchen trying to decide where to put her bed, so she would have a clear view of her beautifully manicured yard, when Riverview nursing home called to tell us we should come quickly. They didn’t know how much time she had left. We rushed over to see her limp, frail figure lying lifeless on a hospital bed. She brightened up at our site. Barely able to speak, she uttered a few words. She knew we were there (that’s all that matters). I spoke to her for the last time 🙁 She passed that night.

At the same time, my good friend’s husband was also on his last legs. He had been fighting a brutal battle with cancer for years. I stayed with her for the next couple of weeks to help her, while she aided him and her heart was ripped to pieces.

I had just walked in the door from picking up her brother at the Cleveland airport, when it happened. A hospice nurse walked out of the bedroom and announced, “he’s gone.”

I sat there in shock, her brother rushed to her side. It’s like the dying now when they van go and their loved ones will be ok.

He had been a warrior until then. An amazing man with a soul to match. I continued to aid my friend for a few more weeks, while she was grief stricken and broken.

Then, the worst happened. My best friend, my everything, my sidekick, Dioge, was taken from me. My heart was ripped to shreds and still is. He had been slowing down for months in his old age. The last weeks were gut-wrenching, watching him struggle to walk, eat. I should have put him down sooner, but I was selfish and couldn’t bear to live without him. On his last day, he cried for the first time, and I knew. I put my baby to sleep. I have tears in my eyes writing this. No more pain Dioge 🙁 No more suffering.

In the midst of all this, I’m trying to have a positive outlook. Trying. Everything happens for a reason. Right? And I will try to discover exactly what that reason is while circumnavigating the globe. Clearing my head and opening my eyes to the opportunities that lay before me, like a blank canvas, yet to be splattered with color. I will find my way. My journey of healing begins August 24 as I board my first flight to fabulous destinations around the globe. The sun, the waves, the world is calling. Tahiti hear I come.

My first Workaway in Tahiti aboard Samba :) It will be transforming
My first Workaway in Tahiti aboard Samba 🙂 It will be transformational.

I have a thirst for adventure. Always Have, Alway Will. My tag line is YOLO (You Only Live Once) or in my case ++++ times, yet I continue to live my life to the fullest. Since, we're here for only a short time, I take advantage of everything that comes my way. I want to seize every moment, see and experience all can. I have been very blessed. So far I've had the opportunity to travel to over 30 countries, fought (in a cage) yes fought, lived through a tragic head-on collision with a semi, strut my stuff on a stage in 4" heels as a bodybuilding bikini girl. (I'll get more into those later) Yes, most would say I'm crazy, but I continue to push the button. My new, crazy obsession is to travel the globe taking on and conquering new challenges. I want to surf in Sayulita, Mexico, run a marathon in Greece, bungee jump in Macau, etc. (My bucket list is long). As I embark on my challenges, I plan to share with you my trials and tribulations leading up to these challenges, budget travel tips & tricks (I'm a very thrifty traveler), fun exercises to prepare me for the task ahead, new exciting things to see and do in the locale I'm in, restaurants to try, the people I meet, etc. Join me in my adventures :)