So where were we? Ah yes, I left you on the edge of your seat (I’m sure!) with an itch. Hmm, I better rephrase that.
In 2011, after 2 1/2 years of working my if-any-desk-job-will-work-it’s-this-one I started feeling that familiar longing. I say longing because there’s really no other way to describe it. Other than an itch which makes me sound horribly contagious. Which I AM NOT.
Then I read a book. Not usually a big OMG moment. As an avid reader that’s what you do. Except this time it was an OMG moment because this little book got me thinking about my life. As in, how much I wasn’t happy with it (specifically career wise). The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau gave me a glimmer of hope that I could follow my dreams and be successful. The spark inside grew bigger.
Then my step-brother died.
Life = Short = Unpredictable Ending = OMG DO SOMETHING NOW!
All bets were off. I NEEDED to start living the life I WANTED to live and not the one society TOLD me to live. I wanted to scream because I was right back where I was in 2006. Standing on the edge of something HUGE and scared (again) to take the leap. And I started thinking,
How many more times am I gonna do this before I jump?
I was tired of ending up in the same place. It’s like banging your head against the wall and expecting different results; IT HURTS and no matter how many times you do it, IT STILL HURTS.
I’d given this unfulfilling career path 18 years of my life! I think we can agree that’s more than enough chances. So I began making plans. An exit strategy if you will.
In March of 2012 I had a heart to heart with Brandon about my dreams of coaching, publishing my novels and selling my art. I told him my heart wanted to be in Vancouver. We had LONG TALKS about how to really do this; ones I’ll spare you the details of. I enrolled in a coaching course in June and dedicated all my spare time to creating my business. When I wasn’t studying or going to class or working full time, I painted. I created a shop on Etsy and sold some of my art. Things were moving. All except the Vancouver move. We still had LONG TALKS about this.
Over the course of 2012, little things began to change in our life that started pushing us towards taking the BIG leap to move. We both started seeing life from a different angle. By September 2012, Brandon agreed to the move. He’d been quietly watching as I pursued my dreams and felt inspired to make some changes too. He dreamed of a career that would make him happy. We set a move date for May 2015. It still seemed like an impossible goal for both of us, but we were taking the leap. I wasn’t happy with the initial move date. It felt to me as though I’d just agreed to put my life on hold for 3 years. On the other hand, Brandon had agreed to move to Vancouver…so….YAY! I held out hope that as we got closer, the move date would be bumped up.
In December 2012 we upped the date to 2014. By January it was upped again to September 2013. Life just kept sending us signs that delaying the move wasn’t in our best interest. Plus my job with the government wasn’t a sure thing anymore.
Back in April of 2012 the government began cutting positions and laying off employees. It was right around my let’s-follow-our-dreams conversation with Brandon. (See how life can start sending you signs?) I worried that I’d lose my job before I was ready to quit. More LONG TALKS ensued.
A program called Alternation was implemented so that people who were looking to leave the government could “swap” positions with those that were affected by the reduction. It ensured (or at least tried to) that those who wanted to stay – stayed and those who wanted to leave – left. Of course it’s much more complicated than that but that’s the gist.
In February 2013 I put my name on the alternation list to leave. Brandon and I both agreed that the earliest I could accept an alternation was May. Every day as I walked to work I sent a little prayer out to the Universe for an alternation in May.
It wasn’t just that I was tired of working at a job that no longer made me happy (though I was). I wanted to spend the months leading up to the move 100% focused on my business. Accepting an alternation meant I’d not only have the time, but also 6 months of pay as part of the alternation package. A nice cushion that would help ease the burden. (To which I am SO THANKFUL FOR!)
The Universe (or whatever you choose to believe) heard my pleas and in May I found a replacement for my position. I said goodbye my desk job on my birthday, May 9th. Happy 34th Birthday to me! The next day we hopped a plane to visit friends in Seattle for a few days then on to Vancouver for some apartment/neighbourhood hunting. May was a whirlwind!
We sold our house in June and moved back home with my mom July 2nd. And that’s where we are now folks. Operation Make Your Dreams a Reality, YO! is in full force.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I intend on blogging about our journey; the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s my hope that our journey will inspire others to follow theirs. 🙂