My house was in contract, and I now had 6 weeks until I was moving back to Ohio. I was excited about going back to the US, and leaving Canada. I was done with Calgary. But fear also struck and struck large. I would now be moving across the continent, and driving with my 85 pound lab. How could I do that? I had driven between Atlanta and Columbus by myself, but never across 2 countries, and with a dog.
Fortunately, I had a good friend who was in need of an adventure, and volunteered to join me. She had also gone through a betrayal, and we were in the same place. It was a perfect idea. She flew up to Calgary a week before I left my home. I enjoyed showing her around Calgary. My tribe of women had grown by this time, and we all got together quite a few times for my final celebrations.
And suddenly it was time to leave that home. We left early in the morning. As I looked back in my rear view mirror many times as I left Calgary, all I could do was cry. How did this ever happen to me? How did I become a betrayed spouse? Why was I now leaving my life with my then husband, while he was sharing his life with the other woman? Looking behind me just hurt. So with my girlfriend at my side, I knew I had to just keep looking forward. And together we turned this adventure into something wonderful.
As two women and a big dog, we set off down Highway 2 towards the US border. In Lethbridge, Alberta, we stopped at a park to walk the dog. The wind was howling, but the sun was shining. As we walked along, my phone rang. It was my then husband. And he was angry. He thought I took way too much stuff. OMG!! He didn’t help out at all during the entire home on the market and getting ready to move process. I had to do all the sorting and make all the decisions myself, which he did not just agree to but didn’t want any part of. I took more bags and boxes to Goodwill than I care to remember. I gave away a lot of stuff, and sold a few things. I took what was mine…my clothes, personal items, books, kitchen stuff and family items. I left him all the furniture. Though he had been living with his girlfriend for quite a few months already, he was angry at me for taking the silverware but leaving the plates that were wedding presents. He was also angry that I took the modem. It was weird. I was angry, sad and confused. How could he now complain about me taking a few things that I had to make the decision about, when he took my marriage and future from me. (I didn’t know it at the time that my future would be so much better). I made my points to him. He said he understood. And then that was it. We hung up, and 2 women and a dog were on the road again.
I was a little worried about going through the border crossing, but that ended up being very smooth. We were pretty much just waved through. Then we were in Montana. Spent 2 days there, stopping in Helena, Billings and Bozeman. The mountain scenery was gorgeous, but having lived outside the Canadian Rockies for 13 years, I was very familiar with the mountain views. Then we were in North Dakota and the Badlands, and the scenery there just blew me away. It was desolate and beautiful. We stopped at the town of Medora. Though it is a tourist town in the summer, in April it was very quiet. This trip that I had worried about, stressed about, and lost a lot of sleep over was turning out to be something pretty great.
As we drove through these Northern states, we talked non-stop. We also laughed a lot, and did our share of crying as well. And we ate a lot of popcorn and other junk food along the way. We did try to stop and have at least one good, healthy meal every day.
I had recorded a series from Katherine Woodward Thomas about Calling in the One and Finding your Soulmate. We listened to some of these recordings as we drove. Great discussions stemmed from these about love, betrayal, relationships, our lists of what we would look for in another partner. 6 days of driving and the conversations just never ended. For me, it was great to just talk out some of the emotions that I was feeling, and to have a good listening partner. This was, and still is, very important to me.
Monty, my 85 pound lab, did great on the trip. I had spent a lot of energy worrying about how it would work, traveling with him, but he turned out to be an expert traveller. We did stop and walk a lot, which actually made the trip a lot more fun for me. We walked in parks in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. What a great way to see the United States. And my girlfriend and I had a great system down for getting gas, walking Monty, going to the bathroom and getting snacks. He got enough exercise that when we in to have a nice meal, he would just sit in the car and wait. And he did great in hotels. There was only one where he had to use an elevator, and he did that no problem. Though he is gone now, I still have so much love for that dog. He was with me through my darkest hours, and then on this fabulous adventure. I still love you, Monty!
6 days after leaving Calgary, we made it to Columbus. Our traveling adventure was over, and I was now going to begin the next phases of my life.
What I had so much fear over, and spent so much time worrying about, turned out to be quite easy. That is what I am finding happens to me so often. I have all this fear, but when I walk through it, not only was it not hard or bad, but rather pretty easy. My hope for everyone reading this is that when fear strikes, you can walk through it to get to the other side.