A year ago, I left beautiful, engaging, inspiring downtown Kelowna to move to farm-town Chilliwack, BC.
Unfortunately, instead of trying to make the best of the situation and take it as an opportunity to learn and grow as a Christian and an artist, I went full-workaholic. After all, everything was perfect in Kelowna. I was inspired daily by the scenery, cool downtown shops, and engaging communities I was a part of. Chilliwack obviously couldn’t compare, so instead of trying to flourish, I retreated into my mind and became bitter and closed-off.
Now I’m waking up. It’s been a year, and as far as personal fulfilment goes, it’s pretty rough to reflect on. If I could give advice to myself a year ago on how not to lose myself when taken out of my “natural habitat”, I would say to focus on these three things:
1) Find a Faith Community
In real workaholic fashion, as soon as I found a new job, I gave it “open availability”. Including Sunday mornings. I don’t know if I was mad at God or scared of opening myself up to new people, but I couldn’t convince myself to priorities finding a community that supported and helped me grow in what I proclaimed was the most important thing to me, my faith. Now, a year later, I’ve realized how easy it is to let your beliefs and values slide without a community of people with the same faith around you.
2) Start a Journal
When I left my “home”, I was feeling every kind of emotion. Resentment, failure, doubt, disappointment, it all came swift and walloped me, especially in the first few months. Instead of processing, I got angry. Then I pushed it down. No one wanted to hear me complain all the time, so I didn’t (or at least, tried not to). But I never got over it. When people ask how I like it here, I still say with a stone-cold expression “I hate it”. I needed to process what I was feeling and why in order to move on and I think journaling would have helped with that.
3) Find Inspiration Anywhere
I’m still trying to figure this one out. In Kelowna, I felt like I knew who I was and what I was meant to be doing, at least on a week-to-week level. When I moved, I tried to numb my heart. I didn’t believe I could be inspired or be myself here. I also didn’t try. If I could go back, I would try. Although not to the extent that they were in Kelowna, there are the things that inspire me nearby- nature, dance, cute little coffee shops. And who says new things can’t inspire? Don’t let yourself be dead to inspiration just because you’re living in FarmVille.
I hope you can learn from my mistakes. It’s easy to lose yourself when you go through an unexpected change. But letting who you are go because of resentment of fear won’t get you anywhere. God gives you unexpected changes for a reason, so work through them, grow from them, and don’t give up.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Written by Karis Duncalfe…In high school, I thought I’d be an actress. After high school, I had my mind set on business school. Now I’m unsure of where to go and what I’m supposed to be doing. These sides of my personality are clashing right now, and I’m trying to teach them how to work together.