This week marks the one-year anniversary of my husband Troy and I moving to Vancouver. This weekend is always a special time in Vancouver. It’s Pride Weekend, and the Celebration of Lights, a huge 3-night Fireworks Competition. Needless to say, it’s a fantastic time to celebrate our anniversary – and we will get to do it each and every year!!!
Our one-year anniversary is a big deal to me. It’s a big deal because I like celebrations and don’t think that there are enough of them in life. So we’re celebrating.
This milestone is also significant because I never EVER thought it would happen.
My love for Vancouver has run deep in me for a long time. As a child, we’d always travel to Vancouver for concerts, dance competitions and band camp (yup, I was that cool in high-school). Each time, I LOVED being in the city. I would stay up late at night, listening to music while staring out the window at the city lights. I would dream about the sound the Sky-Train makes (the subway system in Vancouver). I was endlessly fascinated by the culture, the history, and hopes for the future – my future - in Vancouver.
Even as I grew up, when I visited, friends would tell me I came alive and relaxed when I was in Vancouver.
I’ve always loved the city. And I’ve always wanted to live there.
BUT, despite my love, for years, I told myself that I would never move to Vancouver.
I couldn’t live in Vancouver.
It was too expensive.
My husband couldn’t find work there.
I wouldn’t be able to make money in Vancouver.
So as pretty as Vancouver is, as much as I loved Vancouver, I accepted that it was nothing but a fantasy for me.
Recently, I reflected on my journey to moving here. I realized that I not only told myself these stories, I would gladly tell anyone who would listen.
I would always tell others “oh, Vancouver is so expensive. No-one can afford to live there.”
When they’d ask why I didn’t move back to BC, my response was almost automatic.
“I can’t move there. I don’t know how people can afford to live in Vancouver. It’s impossible to get ahead there.”
While yes, Vancouver IS expensive, I realized that the reason I would always say this (and believe it!) is because I was jealous of people who DID live in Vancouver.
I was jealous. I needed a “logical” reason to explain why I didn’t live there.
It was easy to say “it’s too expensive”.
It’s much harder to state the reality which was:
“I haven’t figured out how to live there yet.
And right now, I’m not brave enough to give it a try.”
It was easier to say “people in Vancouver are barely getting by so I will never move back” than to get brave and declare “I’m going to figure out how to thrive in Vancouver.”
In the end, thinking it was too expensive was about my own jealousy and ego. I wasn’t trying to be cruel. I wasn’t trying to be malicious. I thought I was protecting myself and others from moving there and going broke.
My intent was not to be hateful or spiteful. But I realize now that I was crushing not only my dream, but the dreams of others.
So here’s what I want for you. If you have a dream and you’re holding back, here’s what I wish I had heard years ago.
If you are farther from your dream than you want to be, ask yourself:
- Why am I not living my dream?
- What is holding me back?
- Why am I waiting?
- Who is telling me I shouldn’t be living my dream?
If someone else is destroying your dream, realize that their message has more to do with themselves than it does with you.
If you believe in your dreams but others around you continue to tell you it’s not possible, recognize it’s not you. It’s them. And it’s their problem.
It may be their jealousy coming through (as I’m sure mine did).
It could be them trying to protect you.
Just know that it has more to do with them than it has with you.
What if, like me, you are HOLDING YOURSELF back?
If YOU are destroying your own dreams, acknowledge it. If there’s something in your life you do want to do, but YOU are telling yourself you can’t, recognize it.
Then get out of your own way.
And go get your dreams.
Now ask yourself:
- What would my life be like if I was living my dream?
- How important is it to me?
- How is my dream possible?
- What will I do to make my dream come true?
- When will I do it by?
Perhaps the most profound thing Vancouver has taught me is that DREAMS are POSSIBLE.
Anything is possible when you ask “how is it possible?”
Just over one year ago, my husband and I asked ourselves this question. How is Vancouver possible?
Vancouver has been possible by selling and downsizing our house.
It’s possible by choosing to leave our jobs.
It’s possible if I start a new business.
It’s possible if Troy gets a new job.
It’s possible if we live in a smaller space.
It’s possible if we stop telling ourselves it’s impossible.
It’s possible when we get out of our own way.
It’s possible when we tell ourselves IT IS POSSIBLE!
I have lived in Vancouver for a year now. It was not an easy move to make. We left incredible friends behind. We left “great jobs”. In Vancouver, the housing market is aggressive and it is expensive.
But it has been so worth it.
Vancouver was my dream and I still wake up every day grateful to be here. Every morning, there are yoga mats, craft beer, beaches and hikes with my name on them. There are new experiences, adventures, challenges, and opportunities for me to learn from and dive into.
And there’s a bounce in my step. The kind that comes when real life is even better than the dreams we have for ourselves.
I know it’s possible for you too.
PS. The first step is always the hardest. I know how hard it was for me to make such a huge change. Having people support you can make or break it. Ask for the support if you need it. And if you have a friend who needs to hear this message (and needs your support), share this with them. It could change their life and have them doing a happy dance. Every. Single. Day.