Do you find yourself thinking about far off places or dreaming about a different job or wondering how you would feel if you were healthier?
I know I have. It’s human nature to imagine ourselves living a different life then we exist in now.
Shortly after graduating from high school, I traveled to the west coast to visit my brother who had moved there to go to university. I was totally in awe of the beauty of the mountains, the endless ocean shores and vibrant colors of the trees, grass and lush gardens. It was so totally different from growing up on the prairies. Don’t get me wrong, the prairies are beautiful too but the west coast gave me an unbelievable energy and desire to be outside – even when it was raining. Plus, the mild weather was so welcomed by this girl who essentially turned into a hermit from October to April every year because it was too stinken’ cold to go outside!
I began dreaming about moving out there but that was all I did – dream. I had no idea how I could possibly make it happen. Plus, I couldn’t help but worry about the prospect of leaving my dad behind, afterall, he and I had grown very close since my mom’s passing when I was 13 years old.
Shortly after my visit, one of my closest friends moved to the west coast and was constantly telling me how awesome it was and giving me hints that I should move out there too. For the next 10 years, I constantly thought about how life would be out west but I still had no intention of making it a reality, I mean I was in a committed relationship that I wasn’t prepared to give up for a new geographic relocation.
Well, something totally unexpected happened. My relationship crumbled and I was left totally on my own in a city I had no connections to and no job. Talk about stress and heartbreak. Once I got back up and brushed myself off, I realized I can do whatever the heck I want now because there was nothing standing in my way. Just like that, I decided my west coast dream was going to become my reality because if it didn’t, I would life with regret.
So the job search began. I found an incredible opportunity to work at a university on Vancouver Island in the same city as my friend lived in – Victoria BC! While I was still totally heartbroken over the end of my relationship, I was so excited about this new opportunity to live the life I had been dreaming about for 10 years.
I still remember driving through the mountains, hopping on the ferry and disembarking in my new home town. It was April when my new journey began and for those of you who have been on the west coast in April, you know the amazing colors as flowers are blooming everywhere and the trees are all lush and full. I felt this amazing sense of calm wash over me.
Interestingly enough, this move was instrumental in helping me discover the lifestyle I wanted to live and it changed me into a person who was full of life and eager to embrace it. I even went out on a kayaking adventure with a group of people I had just met and who I soon came to realize were very experienced kayakers! I, on the other hand, had kayaked once before in a very sheltered area around New Zealand. This time we were crossing open waters to explore a small island about a 2 hour trip – one-way without wind. Needless to say, there was wind! It was an amazing adventure that tested me physically and mentally, and it took me a solid 12 hours of sleep to recover! But I digress.
Very shortly after I moved, my relationship was rekindled but under my terms. If my future husband wanted us to be together, certain things had to happen and there was no way I was leaving this paradise I found. As a result, we did get back together and began our life together. Now we have three awesome children who are learning that they have control to create the life they want to live. Granted, there are still many choices that me or my husband must approve of but I think you get the point!
My choice to transform into a west coast inspired life has been one of the best choices I have ever made. My dad was right, sometimes we just needed a kick in the butt (ie. my relationship ending) to gain the clarity and confidence we need to transform in a way we want.