I’m actually Courtney in the USA, and my friends here in Brazil call me Helena. The blended name perfectly reflects my exciting new life and identity.
No, I’m not a spy. (I wish.) In my best infomercial voice: “To see me now, you’d never guess at the age of 40, my old life shattered into a million tiny pieces.”
In 2011, I was married to my second husband, a stepmother, a homeowner. I was a respected teacher and member of my community.
Then all of a sudden, it blew away in a nasty, gut-wrenching, horrendous divorce from hell.
Everything external that had defined me was gone. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I hadn’t listened to my own voice in a long, long time.
Why is it we women so often wait for a crisis to force us to self-care and self-respect?
In the words of one of my favorite strong women,“The whispers get louder...then...disaster and the whole brick wall comes falling down.” ~Oprah Click To Tweet
And Then What Happened?
I left the USA with my dog and my worldly possessions in three cardboard boxes, setting off to find my dreams. Sounds poetic? In some ways it was, but it was also hard as hell. In the process, I learned to listen to my heart. I let go of almost everything and learned I could live with less – material and otherwise. I learned to make decisions in line with my goals and values. And in time, I made my dreams come true.
I now live in a darling home on 5 stunning acres in beautiful, tropical Brazil. I have a new man and a fulfilling life. I even have a small banana plantation! Serena the Bernese Mountain Dog is my new baby and companion, although she’s actually not a baby anymore.
I Want This For You, Too.
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