We all have songs that have meaning in our lives. “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson has significant meaning for me. When I first heard the song, I had no clue that this song would become an anthem for many adventures in my life. When I thought about dissolving my marriage, this song was playing. Every time I saw that person in my life who made my heart jump out of my chest, this song came on. It was like the universe telling me that this song was mirroring my needs.

“I’ll spread my wings, and I’ll learn how to fly. I’ll do what it takes until I touch the sky. I’ll make a wish, take a chance, make a change, and break away.” Wow. Those lyrics were a testament to my journey. So why “Breakaway?” I think it was because everything in my life changed quickly. I broke away from the past. The reminders kept popping up with no warning, and it made me feel suffocated. The thought of touching the sky was out of reach because I allowed the fear of moving forward from allowing movement.

When you are in an unhealthy relationship with either party, there are many factors to consider. One of those factors is what are you getting out of it? Are you receiving or giving respect? What about love? Is it present? Is love enough? How do you measure love between two people? If there are no children involved, are you in the relationship for the right reasons? Only you and your partner can answer this. I can tell you from experience, if you and your partner do not share the same morals and values, it will make for a bumpy relationship. My ex-husband and I did not share the same ethics. In the end, the actions of both of us destroyed our marriage. After a numbing feeling of confusion and loneliness, I began to experience new emotions. An awakening was occurring within my soul. The world was full of opportunities I had yet to un-tap. I had my day of reckoning when I recognized people who had been my friends were not who I thought they were. Questions formed in my mind regarding my desires and dreams. I had procrastinated too much over the years and recognized the pattern. I had to get to a point where I reprogrammed my mind.

My trip to Africa changed me for the better. I began to comprehend how sheltered I was. When you can experience firsthand how people live in very tiny homes with nine or ten children, you begin to appreciate your surroundings. I had my first taste of African beer. I overlooked the water at Cape Town and saw the bluest water I’ve ever witnessed. The mountains blanketed in a slew of clouds, and I learned those mountains are called Table Mountain. I flew in a helicopter for the first time. I watched as communities mourned with their neighbor because if someone missed the funeral, there were no guarantees that others would attend for them when it was their turn to pass on.

As I explored villages in Morocco, I was amazed at the open markets. I encountered herbs and spices with which I was unfamiliar. Freshly picked produce, live chickens, coffee, tea, and other items often found in covered markets, were abundant. It was unlike any experience I’d ever had. and I loved every minute of it. Casablanca is not like it is in the movie. It has its unique charm and surprises. In each country I visited, I recognized that I was breaking away from my comfort zone and becoming re-invested in my cultural education. The skills I acquired in interpersonal relations with the people I experienced would last a lifetime. The impressions taught me that I was breaking away from the subservient mindset of a doormat.

Spain taught me how to appreciate my dwellings. The architecture in Espana is overwhelming. The Alhambra in Granada, Spain, is breathtaking. A person can feel history the moment they enter the grounds. Visualization is not difficult since the guides help you understand its significance. You can experience the beauty by walking in the footsteps of the past. Royalty, art, drama, and music are enchanting combinations that teach those who listen about the impact of ancestors who fought for a better world and life.

Since Covid is preventing many people from touring the world, I plan on going to lands I’ve yet to explore. Scotland is next on my list. As I break away from the toxic relationships, environments, and structure that has held me back, my excitement builds. When I returned home, I didn’t recognize the woman looking back in the mirror. Instead, I saw a woman forever changed. I’m grateful my eyes opened. Many people worry about where their next meal is. You don’t have to leave the United States to witness this. My priorities shifted and taught me to become more alert about issues hitting close to home.
If you find that you need balance, change your dynamic. Open your mind to other areas. Don’t assume you know everything. When your heart and mind open up, it’s startling what you can learn. Use the time to break away from the negatives and utilize positive changes. The world may be huge, but in reality, it takes small steps to make meaningful differences. As the New Year settles in, I urge you to change the things weighing you down. Breakaway from the toxicity and find a healthy balance that will keep you happy. Celebrate your life. We are all continuous works in progress. Have a great day everyone!

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