With the Whole World at My Doorstep‏

Sunset at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

I had the entire world at my doorstep and I just couldn’t make it to the door anymore. The walls were too big and my heart was too empty to fill any of the space. It was too far.

I haven’t been writing in weeks and I’ve left you all in the dark with no replies or sharing. Many of you are like family but how can I write a bucket list related post when my life is falling apart? How can I be encouraging you to go after your dreams when mine are all gone? Last week, I left my home, my friends, and my life in California because my husband and I separated. I drove across the country to uncertainty once again only this time I’m doing it with a child, no job, no direction, and no courage. What’s to come? I have no idea.

Climbing the Rigging on Bark EuropaFive years ago, I created something beautiful – a website about following your dreams and living life to the fullest. I had gone from living life in eastern Canada and teaching at a high school to living a dream life in California and traveling the world. Everyday was a weekend and every weekend was spectacular. I participated in wild adventures like trekking gorillas and sailing tail ships, I explored the far reaches of the world, I had a child, and I’d seen things that I didn’t even imagine possible. On my down time, I took Athena to shows, productions, amusement parks, beaches, new destinations, and on play dates. We bought a house in a family-friendly community in our favorite location in the world. I had filled my life with dreams.

But what was left was a growing gap between my husband and I. While I was building the most beautiful career, I was destroying a marriage. I wasn’t alone in the destruction, there is always more to the story than what’s on the surface, but I’m alone in the end result.
Athena and I on the beach at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Now, Athena and I are on a new journey of discovery. We need to decide on a new place to call home and a new life and a new career direction and new… who knows. I have family to turn to and enough financial support to make it to a destination, but no compass.

This isn’t my first time starting a new life but it is the most difficult. I feel like I’ve fallen off of a cliff and my life is in so many pieces that I can’t find them all to put them back together. And even the pieces I do have, the edges have broken off so it’s impossible to figure out where they belong.

When my aunt and uncle passed away last year, you were there. When I was in a car accident in a foreign country, you were there. When I discovered new countries and adventures, you were there. When Athena was born, you were there. Now, when I’m struggling to open the door and let the light in, I hope you are there.

I will always land on my feet and there is always more to come but I may need a little direction before I start my next adventure.

(I pulled this post twice because I felt like it was too personal, but if you’re going to continue on this adventure with me, you deserve to have the story.)

There is no such thing as “going back to square one”. Even if you feel like you’re having to start over, you are trying again with more knowledge, strength and power than you had before. Your journey was never over, it was just waiting for you to find it again. — Unknown

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72 thoughts on “With the Whole World at My Doorstep‏

  1. Bless your heart. Take some time and make no major decisions until you feel anchored again. This isn’t the end, just a new beginning and you will make it through the darkness into His marvelous light. Trust Him. You are never, ever alone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry it took me so long to reply. I clearly had some things to figure out. We have driven the continent from end to end and ended up almost back where we started. Athena and I now happily settled in an apartment in southern California. We will no longer be a family but Athena will always have the support of both parents.

      Thank you for your thoughtful words. When I feel alone, I reread them.

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  2. So sorry. Building careers can hurt the best of marriages. I’m older than you. Fortunately, I’ve managed to learn four things along the way.

    The important things are simple.
    The simple things are hard.
    The easy way is a minefield.
    Family first (Alicia).

    You’re smart. You’re hard working. And, you’re tough. You’ll make it through. You’ll be better for it.

    — Ray

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lesley, I am so sorry to hear this. I wish nothing but the best for you and Athena as you build your new life. You were the very first one to click “like” when I began my webcomic several years ago and that meant something to me. I’ve enjoyed following your adventures ever since. Please, please let me know if there is any way I can be there for you. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was very brave to share this part of your story. You have always been open and honest with your life, and I’m sure I speak for so many of your followers when I say we wish you the best on this next stage in your life.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh, honey, I’m sending you big, big hugs from Alaska (and P.S., our guestroom is always open to you and Athena). Hang in there, okay? I left my partner when my son was two and it was tough and I could barely hold on some days but in the end, it all worked out and every minute was golden. Follow your heart; the rest will fall in place. Cheers and lots of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Life goes on I suppose even if it is a different life than you expected. Athena and I are finding happiness in the little daily joys and I’m working on a good direction for us. Stay tuned. 😉

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  6. Change is hard. I lost my job this year (you don’t want the ugly details, but it has been BAD. and HARD). Take some time to mourn what’s lost and gone, then listen carefully for the doors of opportunity as they creak open. And they will, maybe not at the pace you would like and are comfortable with. You were one of the first to follow my blog when I thought nobody would ever read me and I’ve always appreciated that. Know that I my good wishes are with you and I am looking forward to whatever you write.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have my prayers and support. My children were 7 and 11 when I became a single parent. Now 32 years later and after many moves, many financial and personal and family struggles, I have the blessing of two children in stable marriages and jobs and four beautiful and smart grandchildren. The end of one phase of life became the beginning of another. Someone just wrote me this:!if God led me TO this, then He will lead me THRU it. He has and He will. Whatever your belief system perhaps you can seek some of the answers there. Above all have courage to believe in yourself. Hugs, Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Begun in difficulty, as all great journeys seem to, a grand Odyssey lies before you. You have done it before. You know the patterns. You will be just fine. My best wishes. Tom

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  9. Lesley, I am so sorry to hear. may you find the strength within yourself and the support from within for your next step in your beautiful journey. Much love ❤

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  10. Hard to get through, but everything that happens to us is a chance to learn and grow. I feel your pain and have gone through many tests in life and just when we feel like there’s no light at rhe end of the tunnel, we drive through the opening to the sun on the other side.

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  11. Lesley I had been thinking of you recently and thank you for being so open about your heartbreak. I am so sorry to hear of your separation. Know that I am sending hugs and positive energy to you and Athena. I will be cheering for both of you as you find a new path.

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  12. Dearest Lesley, this is just one additional thing to cross off your bucket list. If you and this incredible community you’ve built over the last five years know one thing for certain, is that we must first be grounded before we know the exhilaration of flying high. You have reinvented yourself beautifully before, and you will do it again. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable in this space with us, and I look forward to seeing the adventures you and Athena embark on in the near future. Hugs! – Leslie

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  13. hugs. been there, done it. Its so painful but looking back i thank God for the experiences but i use every bit of it. if what i learn is to not repeat then i,ve learnt something. as the saying goes, people come into our life for a reason and a season. whether its a quick conversation in a queue or a long realitionship, we learn a lot from these encounters. Take time to heal. on a good day, prepare for a bad day and like Melody Beattie who encouraged everyone when she was in despair she asked why this, why me, why now and through her search we were able to share yet another best seller. hugs.

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  14. Such a sad post to read and so sorry you have to go through this.
    In the years I’ve been following your blog, I’ve always been impressed by your enthusiasm, strength, vision and sense of purpose. Right now, those qualities may seem to have deserted you, but they are still there. Impossible to know when you will regain your footing, but you will.
    There are thousands of people here supporting you and wishing you well.
    Of course, this is also a trying time for Athena, your husband and your extended families. May life go more smoothly for all of you.

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  15. Lesley I was so impressed when you took the time to like my posts when I first started blogging. That has always stuck with me and I couldn’t let this post go by without a comment. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason and that if we learn from our mistakes the future will be bright. Hang in there and take care of yourself and your precious gift, Athena.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Lesley, You continue to inspire with your honesty and candor. I am so excited to follow your continued adventures in the near future! You are among the greatest strong female role models! xo

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  17. Oh Lesley, my heart goes out to you. I was wondering why you weren’t blogging and now understand. I have also had many setbacks but pulled through each one. I know that you are strong and beautiful inside and out. You are such a dear friend and seems like we have been following each others blogs a long time. I am here for you and know you will find direction to your life in time. Hugs ❤

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  18. I, too, have been through a loss of a relationship, but one quote helped…”No one wants a broken heart, but the wound is where the light gets in.” So, watch for the light because it will surely come. Opportunities will come your way again and you will be ready for them. You are so strong and resilient. You will come through this.

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  19. Oh Lesley!!! I have been wondering why you haven’t been writing. You kept popping into my mind but this post showed up before I investigated where you’d gone. You’re going through a scary, uncertain time to be sure. You’re not alone. We all have shitty times but we, god willing, get through them. Are you heading home to Nova Scotia? I hope so. There will be support, security and familiarity there.
    In times of darkness and sorrow, I always like to share this quote:

    “Every crisis represents not only danger but opportunity.” ~Eckhart Tolle

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  20. Hey Lesley, my sister. I am here with you. I would love to talk with you. The attacks you have faced will prosper you. I’ve missed your posts. I know that in the beginning we were able to talk then things subsided due to “blogging” / life. Email me. From delivering a still born to have no where to live for 1 year and delivering a baby on my own while sick with a disease called Anti-K, Lesely…I tell you that God is with you and Athena. This is your moment. Email me. [email protected]

    Be encouraged. Be inspired. Be who He created you to be.

    Ciao Bella!

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  21. No wonder! Separation is difficult and I wish you healing and support you need. I know what you mean about your readers being your family. I just posted a similar statement about meeting up with some bloggers. I’m in Cali and would like to help. I’ll email you with ideas. You’re not alone though you may be lonely xoxoxo

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  22. Dear Lesley … I’m sooooooo sorry to hear that you’re through a heart-breaking time. Separation is hard and scary, and it hurts and I’m sorry that you’re going through this tough time. I send you strength, courage, and peace and hope it finds its way to you. Hope you know that we’re pulling for you to find your compass wherever that might be.

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  23. Maybe now it all for you looks dark and hopeless, but in all your posts I regognized a strong woman and you are that, remember?
    I still remember the wonderful post you had written about your lovely mother. Now you have a lovely daughter.. you are not alone… You and Athena will make it..

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  24. A previous devastating breakup was the catalyst that saw me emigrate to the other side of the world, something which I wouldn’t have considered a couple of years prior but which ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. I know that in those dark days in the beginning when you are wandering lost how hard it can be to believe that the pain will lighten & how empty the words of people who offer similar tales of transition can feel when everything is still raw. But if nothing else, at least take to heart your strength & support network & that will help you keep moving forward. You’ll get there, I’m sure, wherever there is.

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  25. I am so sorry to read your news Lesley. All I can offer you is something from my own experience, that though it may be hard to believe at present that the darkness will end – there really is light at the end of the tunnel. I feel for all your family, especially you Athena and your husband at this difficult time. Sending love…

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  26. So sorry to hear about your loss.

    Don’t base your sense of value on what one person thinks about you. Remember that God has placed an infinite value on you as a person.

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  27. Leslie,
    I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the encouragement you need when you are usually the one doing the encouraging. I pray that these humble words find their way to you this morning (or whenever you read them) and fill you with peace and joy. I pray that the air around you thins and that the sea of emotions that engulfs you recede so that you can breathe. I just wanted to let you know that your blog has inspired me in more ways than word could say. I have posted on of my blog post that I came across yesterday. I hope it will inspire you as much as you have inspired me.
    https://thatnextlevelthinking.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/day-10-the-30-day-marriage-prayer-challenge-please-forgive-me/

    Like

  28. Lesley, you and Athena and your husband will be fine, although admittedly different.. Life will never be the same, but you are smart, strong and much more resilient than you ever imagined. Your next adventure is on the horizon, we are all cheering for you from afar. 🙂

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  29. I’m sorry for all you’ve been through but your go-get-it spirit will have you landing on your feet even though they may be pointed in a new direction. Waiting to hear what’s next for you. Keep your eyes and heart open.

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  30. I am so sorry to hear this. I’ve been through it as well. While it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s there. In this you will become stronger and make more discoveries about yourself. While it feels like your life is currently falling apart, little pieces are going exactly where they should be.
    Hugs,
    Tonya

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  31. Somehow, after decades of military deployments and business travel, we managed to hang together and retire. The price has been enormous. We are working to figure out who we’ve become as a couple and how to make it work in the future. I’m sad for you, but one thing has served me well. Learn from what happens and try and not to look back too much. Wishing you the very best.

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  32. Oh Lesley, I am so sorry to hear this. For a woman who has navigated the world, I’m certain you’ll find your way in this very difficult journey. Hang in there. We’re all here for you, sending love and support. I thought you might find some comfort in this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love: ““I look at the Augusteum, and I think that perhaps my life has not actually been so chaotic, after all. It is merely this world that is chaotic, bringing changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated.” Blessings. ❤

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