I wanted to write about this spiritual epiphany I had traveling across Canada for the first time. But the truth is, traveling by car (as someone who just barely survives the most brutal car sickness and packing ourselves in and out of hotels each isn’t the most glamorous or luxurious. Sure we got to see some beautiful spots along the way but half of our trip was full of grey, long roads with little to no scenery.

cross canada road trip

What did packing in and out each day teach me? It’s nice to be settled. It’s nice to have a routine. Growing roots in one place has a deep meaning. Sure, if our road trip was truly a “trip” where we returned to a home we were already settled into; a place where our friends and family were ready to greet us upon our arrival; a place our roots were already flourishing, the trip itself may have been easier to enjoy.

We weren’t on a trip though, we were on a journey. What I learned instead was that it’s not the destination, but the journey. It’s that we just packed up our entire lives and moved almost completely across the country.

So, what I find myself writing about is not the route of getting here, but the adventure of being here.

adventure

[ad-ven-cher]
bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
Though I wouldn’t say our move was a hazardous action, to move my business from one side of the country to another is a bold and potentially risky one. We always knew that Jordan would eventually be posted back to his home base on the West Coast. What we didn’t know for sure, was when. We had talked about multiple paths that we could take in our future together and it really came down to either him releasing from the military and applying for jobs in Niagara, or moving to the West Coast and relaunching my business. Thinking of our future, we chose the West Coast. It should also be noted that with the Canadian Navy, you are either West Coast or East Coast. You can apply for a shore posting (which is how I met my husband) but typically your family doesn’t move around to different bases. Knowing that we would settle here, meant I could truly grow my business and our family in this community.
move across country
It’s been more strenuous than I imagined it would be. There are obstacles that I personally, and we as a couple have to overcome. Obstacles are necessary though. In order to grow and overcome, we must face our challenges and push through. To become better versions of ourselves, we’re required to evolve and learn from situations that can feel like downright battles.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m a florist but I find myself leaning towards a plant analogy when thinking about what I’ve learned from this move so far, so let me explain it as such.

1. Plant Your Seeds

Planting your seeds is one of the first steps in belonging. Once you plant a seed it, it is encompassed by soil. That soil, without the seed even knowing, is taking it in, protecting it and helping it grow. The soil is your community. Plant your seeds of friendship, expertise, love, and kindness somewhere where the community is offering to help them grow. They won’t be seeds forever, friend. No, those seeds will grow roots that will stretch in a multitude of ways. They will entwine with other seeds planted by someone else in your community. The deeper your roots grow, the larger the plant (you) will become.

2. Nourishment

When you are nourished, you will flourish. Make the time to nourish your body, mind, and soul. Fuel your body with what it needs to thrive, take care of your beautiful mind and do what feeds your soul. Meditate; be in nature; walk; do whatever fills you up. Remember those helpless little seeds. Take care of them.

 

cross canada move

3. Grow Your Roots

In order to become the most exceptional “plant”, your roots need to expand. Nourishing yourself gives you the opportunities to grow. Each little root that comes from each seed is given the chance to grow deeper into the soil, it’s home, it’s community. The plant will thrive.

Join your community, get familiar with what and who it has to offer. Volunteer, network, teach, be present.

4. All Good Things Take Time

Have you ever planted a small, immature plant in your garden only to find it completely grown and fully blossomed the next day? No, I’m quite sure you haven’t. Just like a new plant needs time to grow and find it’s way, you do too. In fact, the first year I planted my garden, I remember being a little disappointed the plants didn’t grow as big as I anticipated. The second year though, in just the beginning of the season the plants were three times as big as they grew that year before. The plants needed time to grow those roots deep into the soil, just like we need time to make an impact on our community.

5. Let the Wind Blow

My parents have this grapevine that grows across their back fence. It’s not common in their neighbourhood. I asked my dad once why it grew there and it turns out either the wind had blown or a bird had picked up a seed from where he would make wine on the other side of the house. Now (and to his dismay) that grapevine flourishes. Sometimes in life, the wind will blow us in another direction. That little shift could be exactly what we need to not only survive but to thrive.

6. It’s Okay to Feel More Than One Feeling

When we pulled out of my parents driveway to begin our journey across Canada, I was overwhelmed by feelings of excitement, yet sadness. We left my family(mom and sister especially) in tears as we said goodbye. I distinctly remember periodically feeling particularly sad during that first day. But I was still also happy and excited. It’s okay to feel more than one emotion at the same time. Humans are not one-note beings. We are complex and we feel. We’re able to deal with multiple emotions at once. I say we’re “able” because I believe we are lucky to have that ability. It means we’re capable of finding joy even in the darkest of times.

I recall being at my great grandmother’s wake, looking at family photos with my cousins. I quietly made a joke about something in one of the photos and my cousins burst out laughing. Two people we didn’t even recognize gave us the nastiest stink eye. Our laughter didn’t mean that we weren’t sad, it meant that we could still find joy in a heartbreaking situation.

It’s an almost daily battle right now of feeling confident and strong but also scared and worried. As emotional beings, it actually provides us with a balance to have conflicting emotions at the same time. No matter what season you are currently in, it’s ok to have multiple feelings about it.

7. Shit Get’s Hard

Relocating has been no cake-walk. I’ve spent more time working on behind-the-scenes efforts like marketing, writing content, and starting new streams to reach and connect with clients in the past few months than I’ve ever had to do while actually working with clients. And yet, I still haven’t booked a client in my new location. Because I have no clients here yet, my husband and I are essentially on one income. It’s a struggle. But then I remember my own advice; good things take time, and it’s okay to feel this way. So I continue on and grow my roots into this new community I call home.

8. Your Only Limit Is Your Mind

What if anything you imagined could come true? Not immediately, but what if you knew that any dream or goal you set for yourself would one day happen. What if the actions you took regarding your goals determined when and how it would happen? Would you treat yourself differently? Would you dream bigger, work harder, or love yourself more?

So why don’t we do that now? Because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of failure and so we don’t even let ourselves dream bigger than what we “think” we can handle.

9. Fear

Fear of failure isn’t the only thing that stops us from achieving our dreams. Fear of success is also very real. What if we succeed and “insert blank” ( people don’t like us/ we don’t know what to do next/ we still aren’t good enough/ etc.). Fear doesn’t have to be paralyzing. It’s also okay to feel fear. I would even argue that if you don’t feel ene just slightly afraid of a decision, it’s not risky enough to change your life.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Trust that the wind will pick you up and carry you to where you belong. Create and work hard for yourself. Do the things that get you one step closer to achieving your goals and forget about the rest. Forget about the other people, this is for you.

embracing a new community

 

 

 

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