...you all know I'm really just giving myself a pep talk, right? So when Jacqueline contacted me and told me that my writing had inspired her and her boyfriend to "Do it NOW" and make their dreams come true, I actually got a little teary. Really? Me? Don't you know that I'm a big screw up and talk a big game and am still learning to play well with others on the playground?
As Jacqueline and I corresponded through e-mail, I knew that I had to share her story with you all. Enter my first ever "Do it NOW" Hero feature, where one reader will be featured in an interview that details how he or she is making it happen and getting the life he or she wants. It doesn't have to be a tale of world domination (in fact, I've been thinking a LOT about the fallacy of "big" dreams for all), but it can be something as simple as, "My boyfriend and I talked forever about going to the Caribbean, and we finally just said eff it, and went."
I hope you're all inspired and tickled by Jacqueline's story as I was. Get out there and Do it NOW!
What was your dream, desire, or goal?
Dan and I knew from the moment we went to Golden, BC that we wanted to live there. We were skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain and stayed here and we instantly fell in love. The next week Dan and I were searching out properties. We checked on dinky trailer homes, large lands that were outside our budget and we were a little frazzled at first, but then the perfect opportunity came up and we found an acre of land. It sat empty for 2 years while we decided if we made the perfect decision or not and life had other plans for the both of us. We knew we wanted to put SOMETHING on it, and we thought a little camper trailer would be perfect. We were looking for a little 1975 Winnibego, retro style that we could take in the winter and ski with it and park it in the summer as our "summer home" on the land. Last month, we found it on Kijiji and Dan bought it 2 days later.
What sort of roadblocks were preventing you from reaching or realizing your dream?
There were lots, and there still seem to be. Life got messy for a while, and we just had land, that was stressful and money was tight owning 2 properties (condo in Calgary, Land) and me renting my own place in the city. Our neighbor turned off the fresh water taps from the river and we were forced to think of alternative ways to get water (a well....) there is no electricity on the land and we were so awestruck at getting this awesome Winnibego in such great condition we sort of forgot how to use the heat, furnace, electricity, water tanks and other things.
Had you tried any means to reach your dream that had seemed to fail?
Instead of the land we had an offer on a nice little trailer in Golden. While we were waiting for the house inspector and real estate agent to show up so we could seal the deal we waited in the restaurant parking lot across the street a flock, I am talking 7-8 giant crows surrounded our Jeep and would not move. It was the strangest thing, Dan turned to me and said "This is not good. Something is wrong with this house" and sure enough about 15 minutes later Dan found large amounts of unrepairable water damage in the house. We called off the deal, the silver lining was that we got the land instead. Someone had just backed out of that deal that day and it came available. Everything works out exactly as it should.
Another roadblock was that Dan and I had some of our own relationship trouble in the last year. We thought we would have to let go of the land and move on. But the land would not sell, and we could not bear to be apart and well, that all worked out in the end too.
What finally prompted you to "do it now?"
Dan called me the day the Winnibego came for sale. He told me the price, I winced and then said "Do it now. We will regret this if we don't." We bought it the next day, we had to scrape and scurry for the cash, but when its your dream and you want it, the universe finds a way to give you exactly what you need.
What have been the after effects of "doing it now?"
Last weekend we went out to the Winnibego/Land tightly wound city folk. And then this amazing thing happened. We slept, we ate food, we connected, we saw 800 butterflies (which are the opposite of crows in our world) we saw a deer feasting on our land and we figured out the perfect place to put the trailer so we can see wetlands, mountain and a beautiful willow tree no matter what. We felt human again. We felt like we had a purpose and a passion. It seems to be right under our feet. Its not all pretty, sometimes we feel like we are "homesteading" but its a start. Everything starts somewhere. Dan applied for a job in Golden on Monday morning (cross your fingers!) and we are talking about just dropping it all and making a PERMANENT move out there. Time, place, and opportunity, and TNR might have another story on her hands.....
What sort of advice would you recommend to those who are sitting on the fence about their dreams or goals?
Just do it. I know you hear that a zillion times a day. But, life is really NOT that serious. People quit their jobs, move across the world, take ridiculous risks daily. And some people end up on their parent's computer room floor when that doesnt work out, but they never regret it. Been there and done that too. Its part of life. If you keep doing what you do every day you wont learn, you wont make mistakes. Mistake is my middle name. Thats ok. Oh, and a 1975 Winnibego starts conversation, puts a smile on everyone's face and you can see a PANORAMIC view of the mountains when you are driving it. Its a shit eating grin on wheels.
And last but not least, is there anything you wish you had done differently in pursuing what you wanted?
Oh probably, but here is the thing, its so insignificant I can't really even think about it. I mean, water, electricity, "homesteading" those are all tricky, but, at the end of the day when you sit on your deck made from free palates from Rona onto your land and see the man you love thinking of how he can make it work every day of his life all the mistakes are worth it. They really always are.
Thanks, Jacqueline! How many of you want a Winnebago RIGHT NOW? What do you think of Jacqueline's story?
If you want to be featured as a "Do it NOW" Hero, I'd love to hear from you! Use the contact form, or e-mail me at thenakedredhead (at) gmail (dot) com.