Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Hardest Week of My Life

WEEK 1 This new decade is going to bring exciting adventures, a new chapter in my life. I look forward to this new adventure, however, the first week of 2020 has been quite a struggle emotionally.

For years I have been having marital problems. As I struggled with my own issues of self-identity, my marriage also had it's issues. A few years ago we separated, but still lived together in our home. After returning from my adventure this past fall, I was told it's time to sell the house and get a divorce. 

For me selling the house wasn't an option... yet. My youngest just started high school and has many friends in the neighborhood. I grew up moving and going from school to school. It was one of the most difficult experiences as a young teenager, an experience that effected me emotionally on many levels. I vowed when my kids were born, I wouldn't let that happen to them.

Financially we couldn't afford two households, nor did I want my son to leave his school district and friends. I had lost my job earlier (unfairly by the way, which is a whole other story of discrimination). I spent weeks trying to figure out a solution that would be the best for my two boys. I discussed the options with both of them. Knowing my youngest would pick living with his dad, we decided the best for the three of us was for me to pack up and leave Maryland. The most difficult and heart-wrenching decision I have ever made. It was the best solution out of a bunch of awful options.

The county we live in is one of the most expensive places to live in the US and I was starting over from scratch. Finding a good paying job for a 50 some year old mom with a hole in their resume was difficult. I wasn't getting any responses from the hundreds of jobs I applied for.  For me to survive financially on the East Coast I would most likely have to work two maybe three jobs. That isn't the life I want to live. Yes, some consider that to be selfish, as I was told that by several friends and family. Even an ex-friend who I hadn't heard from in two years shamed me publicly on Facebook. It was very frustrating and hurtful to hear these opinions. But good friend and mentor from my days in television told me... "Don't second guess why you made the decision, you two are the only ones to know the reasons, we on the outside don't." 

Someone who hasn't been in my life for two years has no justification to judge me or my decisions, actually no one does. No one has been living in my shoes and knows what is going on behind the doors of my home. It has taken me a couple of weeks to accept this and not to care about other's opinions. I know deep down in my heart this is the best option for my boys and I. I have a lot of healing to do, and I need to be able to support myself once again. 

There are times I look back on the past 20 years and tell myself I should of done this or I should of done that, but I need to move forward and live in the future. We only have one chance at life so I need to make the most of it. 

Yes this living the Jeep Life is a dream of mine, but under the circumstances it wasn't how I dreamed it was to happen. I am making the best of it and forging forward. One thing I learned on my last adventure is to let the adventure lead you. My life's adventure lead me here to Colorado. 

I left my home and kids a week ago and headed West to Colorado. Del Norte, Colorado to be exact, this is were my adventure partner, Neil, is based. We thought we could start our second adventure early since my circumstances had changed.  

I left with $500 and whatever I could fit in my Jeep. I left everything in the house as not to disrupt the lives of my kids.  

I arrived in Del Norte one day before the New Year. Neil had already purchased a slide in camper for us to live in. It was in his shop garage as he had started the remodel. We are on a super strict budget so the remodel will take time. For now we are doing the basics.

It was a difficult four days trying to remodel the camper as well as live in it in the garage. We still have more changes and upgrades to make but for now it's out of the garage and in a campground. Our simple life in a tiny home begins. 

Not only dealing with our home issues, I have been dealing with missing my kids horribly, words can't even describe the true nature of these feelings.  I am a dedicated mom and would do anything for my kids. To leave them is one of the hardest , most unselfish things I've ever done. 

My life has taken a huge turn. I am back to the laundromat and living in a camper no bigger than my walk in closet. I have no job and am living thousands of miles from my kids. It's a struggle every day to keep pushing through.

Then there is the issue of Neil and I trying to make a life together as we begin our new adventure. It's quite an adjustment. Especially for a grumpy old man who has been living on the road by himself. To add another person to his life 24 - 7 has to be an adjustment. 

Add to the situation Jersey, poor Jersey girl suffering from cancer. We finally eased Jersey of her pain a week after I arrived. Losing a beloved pet is hard. Another piece to deal with. 

Neil and I both forge on making the best of our situation looking forward to the good days ahead. For now we are buckling down on spending and working hard to make enough to get by.

We have used my winch several times and I am getting pretty good at this recovery thing. Learning so much about it from Neil. We have rescued a couple of folks even a plow truck. 

We have taken a couple of vehicles to the salvage yard. Northside Salvage has been great to us. I am learning from Neil the great benefits of a salvage yard.  I will share those in my upcoming post on our On a Budget Camper Build.
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  1. I have a strong feeling it will all work out for you.
    There going to be good days and bad days. That's just life. No matter who you are or where you are. I key is to hold your head up and march forward.
    There is a reason a rear view mirror is so small and a windshield is so big.

  2. Tammy,you are a very talented writer!