January 1st, 2017 at 4:30AM was the worst moment of my life. I sat beside my husband, James holding his hand and the doctor looked at me and told me, “we are sorry but he has passed away.” James had a heart condition that we did not know about. I saw my wonderful 27-year-old husband take his last breath.
“If hard times make you stronger than I should be able to whip Superman’s ass by now.”
James and I met when we both attended the University of Texas at El Paso. I was 21 years old and James was 22. He was an offensive linemen football player and I was a javelin thrower. We knew each other simply from both being student-athletes. We started hanging out as just friends. One day I told him I liked him but wasn’t wanting to be dating anyone right then. He said, “okay, I’ll wait”.
Life is tough darling, but so are you.
I’m originally from British Columbia, Canada. I moved to El Paso, Texas when I was 18 years old. While at University, I received my undergraduate and masters degree in Communication studies. Most of the time James and I were married he was a personal trainer. He loved helping people and loved making a difference in people’s lives. I had various marketing jobs and about 3.5 years ago started being my own boss. I LOVE what I do and help small businesses with their social media and blogging. The main perk of my job is it allows me the flexibility to work from anywhere I want. The world has become my office.
I travel because I’d rather look back at life saying, “I can’t believe I did that” instead of “if only I had.”
One year before James passed away I told him I want to travel. He said okay, where? I said I want to just go around the US and live in different places. He said “the number one thing people regret before they die is not traveling. Let’s do it! (What crazy foreshadowing that moment is looking back). We sold most of our things and left on a six-month road trip around the United States. We lived and traveled through all of the southern states and had an absolutely wonderful time.
The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.
Like most tragic events people encounter, you don’t ever see something like that happening to you. I never in my wildest dreams (nightmare) thought that I would wake up a 26-year-old widow. I know that I was in denial for a little while. I knew that I did not want this to define me though. I thought to myself, the average women lives until what, 85? I have a long life then still to live. I’m going to have to figure out how to make the best of it.
The only person who decides what your future looks like is you.
I took my first solo trip to the UK and had an absolute blast. From there I traveled Europe, some of the United States and Canada, over to Asia and now I currently am traveling around South America. Although I have gone back to Arizona a few times where I currently reside, the road has somehow started to feel like home.
I stopped waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and lit the light within myself.
I have learned SO much since the morning of January 1st, 2017. I learned to be kind to myself, I learned to be my own best friend, I learned that I’m no longer the same person that I was before my husband passed away. I learned how to be strong when I didn’t want to be, I learned how to let myself feel frustrated, I learned how to slowly open up to others and most important…I learned that I still have a long way to go. The grief process never ends. There will never be a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. There will never be a time that I don’t look at a picture of James and feel like throwing up, crying, punching a wall, smiling ecstatically and going numb all at the same time.
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
I started an Instagram account 31 days after James passed away. I have truly enjoyed sharing my journey with others (If you’re not following it already, click HERE). From there, I have started this website to go into more detail on some of the experiences I have had through trauma. I love talking about my travels with readers and find that traveling and trauma go hand in hand.
I trust the next chapter because I know the author.
Thank you for stopping by my site. For anyone going through grief, know that it’s okay to be upset, it’s okay to be angry, but find what makes you happy and never stop doing that. Never be afraid to live again. You never know when your last day will come. Don’t ever put anything off.