July 7 2007 . . . and nine years later

July 7th - a completely innocuous day to most people (unless your birthday happens to fall on that date - then happiest birthday to you). A day that can come and go year after year without a thought - other than who doesn't like summer time...
However - for me - it is a day I will never forget as long as I live - as it marks a complete change in my life - a switch from the comfortable and easy and into the unknown and challenging. The day I arrived to the little rock I now call home.

I decided late in 2006 that I was going to to move to Victoria BC Canada after finishing my degree at the University of Western Ontario - from my hometown of London ON. A 4932km drive away from my family, friends, and loved ones to an unknown city full of possibility that scared me to my core. I followed a slight nudge from my heart to do something for me, so I did.

Saturday July 7 2007 - I arrived here a scared and very young sheltered girl. Moving into a two month rental to try and find a job and a place to live - just two months to find a way to make money and somewhere to call home. At just under 24 years old - you start to realize very quickly just how little you know not only about yourself and about the world. Giving yourself so little time after dropping yourself into a strange city gives little time to manoeuvre and very little room for error.
I knew what I was doing -  I felt at home in Victoria from the first time I visited the beautiful city at the bottom of Vancouver Island. I also know it was a big step for me as I am a family girl to the very core (which was the blessing and yet the worst issues were for me).
What I didn't know was what I had the strength to be -I was terrified of what i would find out about myself and that I was not going to be successful at all - every single fear came to the forefront of my every thought. "I'm not good enough", 'I'm too weak" etc etc - but deep down I kept hanging on to the belief that I knew I was going to make it - failure was not an option. I had to make it and not just make it but succeed beyond everyone's expectations... including my own.

There have been many times I regretted the decision - many times I wondered what I was thinking and why I decided that this was so important. Times I doubted myself, times others doubted me, and all of this could have taken me right back where i started.... instead I am here sitting at my desk in the fantastic Lighting Store that I own chuckling to myself - wondering how it is possible that these last years past so fast and when did I become this woman - this business women.

Looking back - my roommate and best friend (who came to Victoria from London with me) told me the the morning of the day I came into this store - "to get a job or don't come home" (part of her was joking but their was a part of her that was not!).
So, I went looking for a job and wound up walking into Pine Lighting 9 years ago - got the job and started my first day with a Degree that felt useless and having no idea were to begin or how there could possibly be so many different types of friggin light bulbs to now owning the store that saved me that day.

I think we saved each other, the store and me (at least I like to look at that way). My now business partner will also attest to that as because of this store, we saved each other a few times as well.
Pine Lighting and Chrystal pushed me - allowed me to be myself and feel comfortable - gave me chances to screw up, get back up and try again - and loved me through it all. Each of these things taught me how to be a strong independent woman and that I was good enough exactly as I was and could do anything I set my mind to . And this store gave me the environment I needed to test my wings and, in time, thrive at different levels.
It was here, that I also met the love of my life - A man who has changed my life, in more ways than I can count

I love this store and I love how it is tied so tightly to me ... I love that it's failures are mine along with it's success' - that I can watch and  how it moves with me - through my ups and downs and how it forces me to continue to change and adapt myself to situations - as it needs to as well.

There is still so much to accomplish and so much to strive for - every day I look for ways to better my business - but to also better the people around me -- and most importantly to better myself.
I have so many more things to do with my life and so many more stories to tell. As I take the next step to finishing this first decade of my life on the West Coast - I begin to already ramp myself up for the next one ahead of me. I know I will meet my share of challenges and moments where I have to push myself beyond more comfort zones ... but I know I have the strength to over come and I definitely know that through ups and downs / failures and success' - I will continue to be and show more of me than I was the day before - and learn more about what that means every 24 hours.

If you are questioning a move or needing a change - or just want more out of your life - I encourage you to follow your heart - follow where it leads - especially if it is the road less traveled - you will find yourself pushed to your limits and there you can see what you are truly made of - "chase perfection and find excellence". You are strong enough - trust me ... if I am - than anyone is.
remember - you can change the world.

you will only ever be as successful as you allow yourself to believe you can be. The question will always be : what are you going to believe you are capable of?

"those of us who are crazy enough to believe we can change the world are the ones that do"



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