I got divorced after 19-years of marriage. That’s something I resisted for a long time. I’m divorced and I’m actually feeling like a different person.

I resisted because I had strong fear and feeling of shame. The major belief I had was, divorce hurts the children so I shouldn’t do it no matter how unhappy I was.

I had this belief I had to hang onto this.

I asked so many women who had this experience and they told me you’re going to be okay. Your children are going to be okay. But I decided that being okay was not enough. I wanted more.

I was so living in my head. To break the pattern I started doing the things that interest me.

The aliveness inside of me was buried under shame and fear.

I tried yin yoga because I was very masculine in my approach. Very go-go-go do-do-do. I was that person. In yoga, it’s the opposite energy.

I tried belly dancing. Just slowing down makes me look so sexy. I never realized this. I also tried self-defense. It gave me an embodied experience. There was a playfulness.

As I grew up I put so much on me. I should do this, I shouldn’t do that.

It took me a while for me to come back and start being on social media again.

I just love it when they say, you never looked happier.

The power that I thought that I always had but didn’t seem to have access to was inside of me and I actually have that. People go looking for things like power and success outside of themselves and they don’t care to look inside. That’s what I was doing.

Divorce was the small opening that broke all the careful protection I had around me. Because I was so fearful, so shameful I didn’t go there as quickly as I could have.

I am happy to share I am now getting the proof my kids are more than okay. My daughter wrote me a letter.

Accepting the death of a relationship…I’m now seeing that was the right thing to do.

I learned that I was always this person but there were so many clouds and storms because I was hanging onto my dead marriage.

I couldn’t discover this part of me if I couldn’t break all my protections starting with my marriage.

Trust in surrender. It is possible. It is totally up to you to break yourself to be remade, to be reborn. You can stay broken. It is up to you. You will find something even better waiting after that.









I was single for a long time. I was online dating for what felt like forever. I was sort of in this dating purgatory for about 2-years and then I met somebody.

I was two years shy of 40 and he just literally blew me off my feet. He was everything, considerate and kind and generous and giving.

We carried on for 8-years together and literally it was perfect. There was quite little I would have changed. We started talking about retiring in other countries and we did some vacations so kind of get a feel for those areas.

I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I was very happy. We eventually did make the move from Costa Rica. I made friends with a lot of locals and I preferred the locals over the ex-pats.

Within 6-months he began to change. Issues were always around when his children would come and visit us. His children would come and visit us and there would be lots of going out, there would be drinking, of course, and then things would just explode. It’s hard when you’re with somebody who has their own children.

It’s the first time ever that I see him behave in a way…so angry. The grabbing you by the throat up against the wall the threats. I wouldn’t ever tolerate that here at home. If that happened here it would be done. In another country, when it’s not my home, when everything becomes his it becomes difficult.

The first time I happened I went to a hotel. You wake up in the morning and you can’t brush your teeth, and you don’t have a change of clothes, and I don’t have a key to the house, and I don’t have my bank card, and I don’t have any money.

When you’ve been with somebody for years and they’ve never behaved like that and you’re in another country and they have all the power it’s a really bad place to be.

By the time the third incident happened, I had kind of said, I’m done. I can’t stay here. It takes once for somebody to cross a line and once they have crossed that line it becomes very easy for them to continue to cross it

As a society, we need to do much better. When I think about everything now it just feels so surreal. There were times that I woke up and I was like, that was a dream…so surreal.

I don’t know that you can ever successfully process something like that. It still guts me…just as more times goes on that gutted feeling just seems a little bit less.

There was no genuine or authentic apologies and no realization about what he had done. It was just, how many times do I have to say sorry.

He ended up moving to a different province. When he came back I think he thought I would be so lonely I would want him back.

He started coming around and doing a lot of property damage to my home, he broke into my home, he cut a hole in the roof in the garage, he took the doors off in the garage. I had to get an order of protection.

I tried some counseling which didn’t work very well and then I found a writing group. I felt like I could purge a lot of things and that’s what worked for me. There’s no easy fix and no easy answer. You just have to know that right is right and you’re doing what’s the best for you and what’s good for you and you keep going.

For three years my motto was, get up, get dressed, and show up because you still have to go to work. You still have to pay your bills. You still have to do your things.

Have your one or two people who really know what’s going on who you can talk to and talk to them. But the writing group for me was what felt good for me. Change is hard and I felt like my whole life had imploded…it’s just trying to adjust to that change as best as you can. You just have to keep going.

We know. Our gut knows all and our gut tells us. We’re never as stuck and trapped as we think we are.

People will help you. It’s like the whole Mr. Roger’s thing…look for the helpers, they’re there. Get yourself home, wherever your home is, and get yourself to safety and to safe ground so you can plant your feet again.









When you enter into any kind of relationship you enter in with a high level of trust and hope that you’re going to be loved and cared for and also enter into it hoping this is going to be your forever relationship.

Our marriage just did not last the way I hoped it could. I wanted to be married and have a family so I was really excited to have this opportunity. There were a lot of things we were not able to work through. There was a lot of physical and mental abuse.

I had people telling me to stay and people telling me you need to leave. All different kinds of advice…a lot of pressure and what I should and shouldn’t do.

It was very tumultuous and very traumatizing for me.

I was able to look at where I had come from and where I needed to be to get that independence for myself. I realized that I needed to take off the victim mentality. I needed to stop being a victim to that relationship.

I took a lot of time, I did some counseling, I talked to friends, my church, and just realized that I was a much stronger person.

I’m thankful I went through the situation that I went through because it actually made me a much stronger person. It helped me to realize I deserve so much better than that and I don’t need to settle for that kind of relationship. I don’t need to settle for being with somebody just to be with somebody. It really helps me to focus on myself.

It took about 2-years to go through a lot of self-help self-improvement…figuring out where I could best help myself and getting to the point where I was not going to be a victim any longer.

I didn’t need to have a man in my life in order to be complete. I am my best resource. I need to be happy with myself.

There was a lot of healing that needed to come for myself.

It’s hard when you’re in a situation where you are being mentally and physically abused daily by somebody who you feel is the person who you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with.

I felt like I couldn’t leave. I felt like I was in a place where there was nowhere for me to go. I didn’t feel I had enough resources or even enough courage to just step out of that marriage and get out of that situation.

I’ve grown so much. I’m in a much better relationship now. Unless you’re in that situation it’s hard to understand why you would stay.

I’m thankful because I don’t believe I would be where I am today if I hadn’t gone through that. I don’t think I would be as strong as I am today.

I’m not going to be a captive to a situation where I feel trapped. My journey to health has been difficult because I gained a lot of weight. I lost a lot of myself. I basically lost who I was. I couldn’t figure out who I was.

I didn’t know how to grow. I didn’t know how to do what I needed to do to get myself back on solid ground.

It’s still a work in progress but it’s definitely much better.

Being able to say I’m on the other side of it has been tremendous because I’m definitely on the other side of it.

I believe everything happens for a reason. It has made me realize just how important it is to take care of yourself.

Stress definitely can cause health problems but I’m learning how to navigate my life and what it is now.

As I was going through all the processes and everything that happened with that situation it still gets me.

I refuse to allow myself to be a victim to him any longer.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m on the other side of it.

The fact that I allowed myself to go through that pain for that many years is difficult.

I needed to figure out where I was going and then look for somebody to help me.

I’m proud of how I’ve jumped this hurdle. I just know I’m going to be okay.

I want people to know I’ve overcome this. I’m not a victim to his abuse any longer.

It’s super hard to leave. Especially if you come from a religious or faith-based family. Get a plan together. Get a support group. When you’re ready to make that jump. Make sure you have a good support system in place. You think you’re going to feel victorious by leaving but it’s hard because you don’t know what you’re going to do. Look into some counseling. Don’t make the jump on your own.









I got to have a do-over again and again again, not just a relationship, but being married five times.

It was so shameful to have had the experience of five divorces. Two years ago I finally discovered what if I wasn’t ashamed about this? I’m in an awesome place in my life now and I’m the woman I am now because of the history.

I love that I get to reap the rewards of that at this stage of life.

I was angry at the pattern. I talked to my higher power and I said, whatever it takes and I meant it with every fiber of my being. I was so humiliated. I surrendered to being shown.

The pattern was I didn’t know how to be alone with myself. I had to fill the gap because I wasn’t comfortable in a relationship with myself.

I didn’t know how to love myself so I looked for the external fill of love.

If I loved myself I wouldn’t need to compromise so much on myself to be loved.

I was choosing a partner to love who were hard cases. It was a savior complex.

I totally was not in the equation at all in the game of love.

I wanted my body to move because I had so much pent up emotions. I would walk at a pace that got my heart pumping and while I was walking I would connect with the divine. I would say I’m here, show me.

God already knew the place I was in and so I just needed to get out of the way and quit analyzing it.

I kept my eyes open for any information that could help me make better choices.

Within less than 6-months I left my family, I left my job, I moved. I left anything that was familiar. What did I have to lose? I left my religion. I left anything that tried to say, this is who you are because I didn’t want anybody else showing me and telling me who I was. I really wanted to know by myself.

I took a job that was just for me to provide for myself and the rest was just playing…playing in nature and with nature, reading books, and finding connections through literature, I completely dropped off the map. This lasted for six years.

I decided this was going to be an adventure for me. During this, I met a man. He as my adventure buddy. I was purposely communicating I was interested in friendship.

I didn’t have to look a certain way, I was comfortable in my skin, I wasn’t filtering myself, I allowed myself to have opinions, I wasn’t trying to change him into something I wanted him to be.

I was choosing what is rather than the potential.

I was choosing partners where I was seeing their potential and expecting them to change if they loved me.

Expecting someone to complete you is like admitting in an advertisement that you are not enough.

I began to fill the spaces with things I love, hobbies, I began to be in groups of people vs. just looking for the one person that was supposed to be my soulmate…my everything. That’s a recipe for disaster.

I think the myth is love is a compromise. Love is reciprocal. If you’re compromising, what are you compromising on?

It took a higher perspective and a higher power and a tenaciousness to stay awake in the process. That took a lot of bravery.

I didn’t know relationships could be like this.

Another person can only enhance love. It’s not sustainable to expect another person to provide it for you.

I give myself space now instead of just reacting from a wounded place.

I didn’t even know I could ask for something this beautiful.

Put the focus on your way. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-love way.









Going into my marriage there was all this development that put me into the position to be the person who was willing to be in a dysfunctional codependent relationship for 11-years.

I had a history of having this need to be attached to men.

I think I thought I knew what I was looking for when I got into that relationship but in hindsight, there was so much more about me to learn and that’s something I think I’m learning…as a human we’re just constantly in that place. We’re ever-evolving and ever learning.

Within 6-weeks I started to sense that there were things that weren’t right but I just didn’t listen to that inner voice.

Over the years of our relationship, we mutually agreed on codependency and it’s kind of a not fun situation after a while. For us that looked like a cycle.

When we got married it kind of got better. About a year and a half into the marriage we had a miscarriage and that was devastating for both of us. About a year later we became pregnant again.

While I was pregnant our relationship got so good. There were no blips.

We both I think knew that we were settling for something other than what we actually needed or wanted and neither one of us was really willing to admit it.

It took me a really long time to get to the point where I could say this is enough. I couldn’t see how it could be better on the other side.

We made a mutual decision to end our marriage and we had some funky stuff to go down that caused all this resentment that had built up over the years escalated so the divorce wasn’t fun either but then I was suddenly single. Single mom.

I had to relearn who I am outside of the relationship. There has been so much learning on the other side of it that it’s been amazing.

Luckily I had a lot of people around me.

Many people don’t know what’s happening because of shame.

There were so many lessons coming ut of that relationships and really I think every relationship we have is an opportunity for us to learn more about ourselves if we’re open to it and intentional and paying attention.

What if I show up as love and kindness?

We’re either creating more intimacy, which is closeness, or we’re creating more distance.

I want to feel authentic closeness with everybody in my life. Deepening my understanding of what empathy is and how to create more intimacy has become really important to me.

You can choose when the time is right. Don’t feel bad, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay if it takes a while for you to get to that place where it’s time to go. You’ll get there and this is all part of your journey.

You are stronger than you think you are. When you’re on the other side of it you’ll realize you are stronger than you thought you were and that everything you’re afraid of and why you’re afraid to leave, they’re not really real.

Know that you’re going to be just fine and the fear doesn’t really matter anyway.









We lived together a little while before getting married. We married in the courthouse. We had a small wedding planned (he was in the army, he was a soldier), and he was getting deployed and would be gone for our planned wedding date so we just said, let’s go and get married now.

A little under a year of being together he was deployed for a short mission, it was supposed to be a diplomatic escort, and from what I was told his convoy was hit and he was killed in action.

It was kind of tricky because he was a soldier and he did have dangerous work and he told me from day one this is what I do and you have to be prepared for this, but nothing…nothing prepares you…nothing.

I actually don’t remember everything, I just remember ending up on the floor. His daughter came in and I had to tell her and she started crying.

There is a whole ritual army wives go through when someone’s husband passes. Those first few days really are a blur. I just remember we made a checklist and I remember pulling out the checklist. I don’t know without that checklist if I could have even gotten up in the mornings.

Of course, there were people to help me, but now when I look back on it I wish I didn’t have a checklist. I wish I could have been in my own space. I wish I could have just sat there on my own but life isn’t like that. You have responsibilities and you just have to get through them.

One of the few silver linings is her mom [my step-daughters] and I got along fairly well and we lived pretty close by each other. Her mother and I really leaned on each other at that time. She really helped me a lot. We’ve always stayed really close.

Last year for her 16th birthday what she wanted was for me to adopt her, so she’s my adopted daughter right now. We just have this amazing connection. Of all the bad things that happened, I did still come out of it with a family. They’re just amazing.

Moving and selling the house. I changed my name back to my maiden name not after my husband passed. It was more selfish, I just kind of wanted to in a way wash away the pain…to distance myself and come into a new place.

I spent a lot of time on projects while still having a full-time job. I went back to school again. I completely occupied my time. I think getting back to normal really was Anna and our daughter because I was trying to avoid what happened and avoid the pain.

All the denial that I was dealing with…I had to help her work through her grief so I had to work my own way through mine. I did a lot of denial. Many many months of denial.

They talk about anger and you really do get angry at a dead person. I still have that emotion ‘til this day. It’s totally irrational, but that’s just grief. That’s one thing I’ve learned, grief isn’t rational.

I think I learned this about grief…acceptance doesn’t mean no longer is there pain, the pain is always there…the feeling of loss is always there. I don’t think I will ever get over that. It’s just the more you accept that loss has to be a part of your life now and that’s hard sometimes. You want to feel like you’re moving forward and loss feels like you’re moving backward. Loss feels like you’re missing out on something. Loss is a part of life.

There are a lot of things I did after losing my husband. I don’t know if I did them on purpose for healing or I just happened to do them.

I just figured it out. Sometimes what he used to say to me would haunt me. He said I chose you because you’re strong and I can tell if anything happens I know you’re going to be there for my daughter.

I told myself, I know that I can and I’ve proven that to myself over and over again when I’ve needed to.

After he died I got involved in causes that impact soldiers, particularly Wounded Warriors and doing that and thrusting myself into helping other people helped. Helping someone with their grief is very different than just volunteering to give someone a meal or wrapping gifts on Christmas because it requires a lot of emotional presence from the volunteer.

It’s a script. No one ever asks me how do you feel or how did you feel. Those questions never come up.

Because of that, nothing is so terrible that I could never speak to you again. To throw a person away? Never.

I don’t know how other people come out of grief, but I came out of it appreciating my relationships more. Trying to make time for my relationships more, saying how I feel right now because you may not have tomorrow to say it. I don’t let petty things get in the way of me being with the people I love. I think the relationship that has grown the most because of this is the one with my mother.

I’d rather argue and get through this and then resolve it. That way if anything happens we were honest with each other and told each other how we feel.

Trust your network, trust the people around you but also make space for yourself.

Grieving isn’t about getting over something. It’s about accepting the loss. It’s okay to have good days and bad days. If you are feeling good about something it’s not a betrayal.









I was with my now ex for almost 14-years. I found out he had been married to another woman for the last 7-years of our relationship.

Intuitively my soul knew that we were not meant to be together and I ignored it.

We had this pattern where we would have fights and break up. All of my friends were like, Lany get out of this relationship. This is a toxic relationship for you. I knew it, in my heart of hearts I knew it but I was emotionally attached to this man.

I didn’t cry at all. I haven’t cried since. I was actually pissed because he’d left me stranded. How do you do that to a human being? I was mad that he’d lied to me.

I look back at the relationship and it’s tainted. There’s things and ideas and things that I thought I had where I really truly believed that those things were real and then looking back it’s so…I don’t know what the truth is. I have no idea what was true. Zero. And I have to live with that.

I journal a lot. I also have a coach and a circle of sisters that allow me to express feelings and emotions when they come up. But I’m learning I’m grieving the idea of what I thought I had and now I know what I really truly want in future relationships.I can honor the good and I can honor the bad. I had to do a lot of forgiveness work towards him and towards myself.

I’ve been dating and I’m finding out what I don’t want. When it comes down to the core of what I want, I want somebody who sees me. Who really truly can see me for who I am and accept all of me.

I worked with a coach and worked through a lot of old stories and old traumas that didn’t really have anything to do with him.

There was trauma bonding and it was really recognizing I was in an abusive relationship never knowing it though.

We never know what people are going through. I’d never talked about my story on social. To this day very few people know. We don’t know this is happening on a regular basis because people think of domestic violence and they think of physical abuse but there’s so much emotional and mental abuse within relationships and we justify it and we say it’s okay.

A lot of us stay in it not realizing what we’re in.

He would attack my character and I would sit back and go, oh he’s just having a bad day.

I would justify it as maybe it was my fault. Maybe I didn’t express myself properly. I would turn it back around on myself and I would carry the burden of the fault and the blam and let him off.

I just stepped into who I am even more. It has been a process.

He planted all those seeds and I watered them.

I have moments when things pop up and I journal through it. I sit and I reflect and I own it. I honor it,  and I recognize what that is, I forgive myself, and then I let it go. That’s a practice I had to really put into place because I could easily beat myself up.

How did I become this woman? How did I become this person? I had to learn how to take ownership of my choices within the relationship while also not beating myself up. I had to relearn to love myself, I had to reevaluate my worth and my value.

I am trusting there is a person and a soul that is out there for me.

It’s not about you, it’s about them. They have made choices to be deceptive and to live a lie. Own your part in what you allowed because if we just blame and deny our responsibility we don’t get to grow. Don’t beat yourself up. Own your actions and know that that’s not going to be allowed going forward.









I had been married for 14-years and I just decided that I wasn’t growing and I got a divorce.

I suddenly had a lot of free time so I started writing. I always wanted to write a mystery novel, I’m a mystery novel fan and so that’s where I went. I got creative and started jotting down notes and putting together short writing periods every day and I started my first novel.

I wrote my first mystery novel and I was going through a really ugly divorce…no one could be adults. Right in the first chapters, I killed someone and if you look at the description it was my ex-husband.

It was hugely cathartic on so many levels. It allowed me to work through not only on day-to-day issues that were frustrating me but as anyone knows who goes through a healing process, a lot of these things that come up for you are things from your childhood that you should have exhaled a long time ago. It was the beginning of a very healing journey.

He felt scorned and out of that was constant attacking. If I’d know then what I know now I would have ignored it.

There were so many times when I wish I had just ignored it all and risen above it but I fought back, things escalated and made it worse.

It grew into this cathartic adventure into this is what I do for a living now.

There was a pattern that I tried to break so many times I realized it wasn’t me who needed to break it.

I never realized how disconnected I was from myself. I would never cry. I was really proud that i never cried about anything. That was one of the things that came up. I had been stuffing my emotions for so long. I think the violence in my books was my way of letting some of that out and thinking about what created that stuffing down for me.

The anger was holding the tears down. Once I had an outlet for some of that anger the tears started flowing.

Dating is just not my thing. It was odd because it had changed so much. When I met my husband there was no online dating.

During my divorce, my father passed away. As I was getting the company up and running my sister passed away. Then I had to take care of my mother and then my mother passed away. It’s only been in the past 3-years I’ve been able to get out there.

I think I thrive on change in some respects. Staying positive and moving forward has not been difficult for me and sometimes I wonder if it’s denial or if it’s just I’ve sort of developed with all that loss that whatever is going to happen is going to happen and if I sit there and dwell on it I won’t move forward.

I have a great outlet. I love hiking and running.

It can change in a minute.

Get up out of bed every single day put something on your notepad or calendar that helps you move forward. Baby steps if you have to but don’t wallow in it. Be grateful for the time you had with those people and move forward because it’s your life now. You can’t get stuck in the past.









When you go through a bad divorce you always think the worst, but life turns around and happiness can be found by anyone who wants it.

I was married for 20-year and prior to when I was married I had a collection as many of us do. Mine happened to be the passion for dolls, specifically Barbie Dolls. I had them displayed in the home.

Babies came along and I needed that room for my daughters. I needed space and I had no place to put my doll collection. I did the worst thing. I packed it up and I stored it in my garage.

As time went along and the marriage started to fail I began thinking of my future and what I was going to do with this collection. It started weighing heavily on my mind.

I don’t know what happened, but sometime between the time that I picked up 1-2 loads I went back, and the garage was completely empty, and my collection was gone. It was quite shocking because I didn’t expect that.

It’s bringing up those feelings of how could this happen? Why would someone be so cruel? Someone that I was with and loved and had children with and they knew how important these things were to me…what happened?

It was very hurtful. I was sad. I got very angry. It was horrible. When I say I was angry, I also wanted to get revenge. He had a collection himself. I could have very easily taken from that collection. I wanted revenge, but I didn’t ever take it.

I’d had enough of the anger, I’d had enough of the hate, I’d had enough of the arguing. I just let it be.

Still, I feel it now…how could this happen? It was so hurtful.

After you go through these periods almost like grieving…it sounds ridiculous to say that…grieving over material things. I got to this point of, as long as I have my girls and I have the things that they want then I’m going to be okay.

You get to a point where you can’t live in anger and if you want to have a good future you have to start changing your mind.

I don’t want to live an angry life. I wanted to forgive him for it.

I wanted to live a life of clarity and focus.

For a while there I thought the world was coming to an end because my barbies were gone.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t need a lot of things. It’s all about where your focus is.

Things matter, but there are so many other ways to make memories.

Protect yourself. Make sure those agreements are in writing. Look and focus on enjoying life with your loved ones. Spend more time with your family Enjoy adventures. Protect yourself and enjoy life without having a bunch of stuff stacked up all around you.









When I graduated college I was here in the states and I did what I thought was expected of you which was I graduated, I found a job, I met someone, got married, had the kids, had the house, had the cars, the private schools, the vacation and I thought that was what my path was going to be.

I found myself in a place where I had to make a decision. Do I continue this life where I almost felt like a zombie…I had lost myself. It was more of a numbing sensation.

I chose me and my kids. Because becoming single would mean that I would be a better mother and a better person.

I was married for 13-years and I got used to him being there and my kids being there. When I found myself single and I would be home alone, that was very scary at the beginning.

Take time to understand who you are. The person you were before getting married and the person you were while you were married is not the same person after marriage.

The independence part was learning it was okay to just take time for me and learning that when my kids were gone it was okay to sit down and read a book or for me to watch a Hallmark movie and cry or just give myself permission to learn who i was.

I discovered the person that I thought was no longer there. I learned that I did have the determination and the perseverance to make things happen. I learned that if someone told me I couldn’t do it that I was going to prove them wrong. The Latina in me came back out.

My husband was American and a lot of the Latina part of me, the culture part of me was no longer there, and I started to embrace it again.

I learned especially in the first few years that I was in no way in a place to make hard decisions. I was so dependent on what he did and what he thought and what he said that for a while there I made some very bad decisions or poor decisions because I didn’t know any better.

It was just us three and I started to feel stronger and they got to see that side of me that I hadn’t shown them in a while.

My ex-husband and I got along. We didn’t put each other down. We didn’t have the kids pick sides.

I became overly protective, especially my daughter. I coddled her because I felt guilty. That was not necessarily the best thing because I didn’t let her grow up on her own for a bit.

My mom came and stayed with me and helped me with the kids.

It was like we were roommates. We were having a life together but we weren’t together. It was almost like it was a natural thing to happen. I did have some support at church.

Believe me, there were a lot of mistakes along the way, but when I fell down I got up and tried it again.

It was just a matter of stepping back into the person I was.

I probably grabbed onto the things I learned in college life which was just keep moving…focus on what you are doing.

Make sure that whatever decision you make is a decision you can live with and it is a decision that aligns with you. If you decide to stay married you’ve got to give it 100%. You’ve got to do the work to make it work. At one point or another, neither one of us had the energy to give to it.

If you choose to leave, do you have people you trust, people that support you, people that can be that positive influence because it’s not easy?  It’s almost like you need to have a plan so you’re not just stepping into the unknown without any kind of support system.