I am sitting with my phone in my hand, looking at an incredibly happy photo of myself on the mountain, taken in a ski vacation with my husband, kids and sister and wondering "Can I even post this right now"? Because I am so happy, because I am with my family, my tribe, because I am outside in the mountains, on vacation. Because my friends back home are stuck in lockdown, in a cold and grey Berlin that seems like a different planet. Because I don't want to rub it in, because it doesn't seem fair how happy I am, how great my life feels and looks in those photos.
And then I think - Hell no! I earned this sunshine, this holiday, this smile. I imagined this life for myself and called it into existence. This is not luck at all. This is the result of me being brave. And I think of what Glennon Doyle would say:
Glennon Doyle writes in Untamed: "It's true. We were terribly lucky. It is also true that we imagined this life before it existed and then we each gave up everything for the one-in-a-million chance that we might be able to build it together. We did not fall into this world we have now, we made it. I'll tell you this: The braver I am, the luckier I get."
The braver I am, the luckier I get.
This is how I feel about my life here. I am lucky. But I made this luck for myself. I chose this moment, this future memory before so many other things - I chose adventure before security. I chose the unknown and uncertain over the certain I knew.
It was not easy for all the obvious reasons. But there is one obstacle in particular that makes me so proud of where I ended up and that is the fact that I reclaimed my fantasy. One year ago, I could not have imagined this life - I knew that my lack of fantasy, of imagination was a problem that was constantly lurking under the surface for me. I felt stuck: no imagination= no creativity, no dreams. I knew I needed these to create a vision of something different.
Let me give you a brief synapsis of what this looked like : I was living in Berlin, in a beautiful and cosy apartment in the centre of Prenzlauer Berg, with my husband of twelve years and our two sons. We had lived in this apartment for sixteen years, had walked every street, knew every cashier at every store in the neighbourhood. I had worked for seven years on building up my DIY platform Makerist. The company had grown, for sure, had pivoted, had even exited .. but here too - it started to feel like going around in circles, like everything there was to do, I had already done.
I needed a change. It's not that I was not happy with that life, it was I could not imagine anything different, and experienced the uncomfortable feeling that this was not alright. So I began to think about where I felt stuck, and what was holding me back. If I would decide only thinking about myself, without considering my husband, my kids, my job, my finances - what would I do differently? What would I have to do, to say to myself in the mirror : I CHOOSE THIS LIFE?
This idea of imagining to live a different way, imagining that my life could be different was central to this move, to this life. Because when I cut all those other things out, and thought about what I needed - it was Canada. It was coming home, it was the supporting love of my family here.
It is brave to put yourself first. It is brave to fight for what you want. It is brave to show this to the world - and to be an example of another way. You will never know, who sees that photo, who may need just a little push, just a little spark of jealously to get their own imaginations working.