It is Sunday in Medellin Colombia. As a social person yet someone who goes his own way, I find my new life challenging. I spend the majority of my time in a city where I continue to learn to speak the native language but it is slow. I have acquaintances but no real friends here. In fact, in the US I have very few friends. I classify friends as people who really know you and there is a mutual desire to invest the time to know, care and sustain a relationship.
In the US I live in a North Shore Village of the Chicago area. No friends or family live close. The vast majority of my time is in solitude. Please don’t hear this as whining. I make my own choice and have made and continue to make difficult decisions. My favorite saying is if you don’t like the life you lead, look in a mirror and talk with the creator. I know who to talk to about making changes. Right now, he doesn’t have interest.
Ten months ago, I walked away from a marriage of 36 years and lost much more than my comfortable life and half of my possessions. I left behind a supportive spouse, I lost two of my children (I know it is early) and most of our friends. I am not bitter about anything but the loss of my oldest daughter. That pill is hard to swallow. I stood in front of the mirror before I made the decision to leave and asked myself, will I be okay if I lose everyone I know by making the decision. I swallowed hard and said, yes. Thinking it and living it are at two different levels.
I enjoy Medellin. When I leave here, I look forward to coming back. I am comfortable in my neighborhood, in my condo and it’s location. Of course it is not perfect but I never expected that. I am comfortable with my new career. It challenges me. It pushes me to use my brain and my experience. Working within a new culture is difficult but rewarding all the same. Currently my role takes me to the board room and to other Colombian cities. Next week, I am in Bogota and look forward to learning more about a much larger, “harder” city while I am within the guard of a company business trip.
I am happy with my new relationship however living apart 70% of the time dealing with the pressure of two different families that are facing divorce puts many hurdles in our path. To date, we have relied on the strength of who we are together and separately to get us through. The strain of family issues, travel, work bleed over into our relationship but we are close enough to recover quickly and get back on track. It is early and we will see how things play out but I believe in what I am doing.
I have done many things to change my life and continue to work on the rough edges and parts that I do not like. I have read more books this past year than I have in my life. I have begun to paint in water color and enjoy the results and the process. I have stayed healthy and, in general I am happy. We will see what the next months bring. If nothing more, it will be an interesting trip into the unknown.