it’s not what you’re leaving, it’s what you’re going to

It’s not what you’re leaving, it’s what you’re going to”.

The house we owned was beautiful—’beautiful’, a word that describes aesthetic superficialities. It means I really, really liked it. I felt at home in it. I felt surrounded by beauty. It was a dream to build.

Using pens and pencils was a hobby for me—just like my sister and brother enjoyed romping around the neighbourhood on their bikes with friends, I enjoyed recording my daily routine in a green leather covered locked diary. Every evening before bed I wrote the great events in my life: “I woke up, I made my bed, I ate cheerios…” I also loved to draw — drawing house plans. Once each room location was decided, I perused the Sears catalogue to colour coordinate and decorate each room—from towels to wallpaper to utensils. I clipped each item according to its room designation and created a binder of ideas for that home.

Then, with every saved penny, I made small purchases for this home—black and white tumblers in a royal blue kitchen. My mom declared I was wasting my money—I would surely change my decorating style before another twenty years had elapsed! (Eventually, I did give the tumblers away, but blue remained a fav).

Nonetheless, I continued with my passion. As a twenty something nursing student, living in a modest two bedroom, fifteen year old apartment, I didn’t forsee a potential for my unrealized childhood dreams. In fact, I had all but given them up for a life as an overseas nurse—choosing to live in simple surroundings, much simpler than my already modest apartment.

And then I met someone—who enjoyed chatting about world events, shared my interest in spiritual things and had similar career interests. He needed to finish his education in a different part of Canada, but fifteen months later I joined him and we later settled in a small Prairie town.

The house plan begun in my head as a young child, and constructed in my early thirties, we had the opportunity to build. Watching my pencil drawn sketches become a scroll, designed by an authorized architect, purchasing those copies, hiring the builder and watching the foundation poured—this was surreal.

Walking into that finished home for the first time, in awed thankfulness—remembering each wall colour decided, each faucet chosen, every detail meditated upon—these were all an expression of me, and my childhood dreams fulfilled.

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But then, once again, dreams began to change. In pursuit of simplicity, capturing a more focused life, it was time to dream dreams again. The dreams have shifted, again and again. And I am reminded it isn’t what I am leaving, but what I am going to…life is an ongoing string of pursuing new dreams.