Two years ago today we arrived in Western North Carolina (WNC).

It was the culmination of a year-and-a-half long journey. As I look back on the past two years I can honestly say they have not been what I expected.

Before relocating to the mountains I envisioned us spending all of our time hiking and exploring WNC, maybe taking painting or art classes, visiting galleries… you know, all that stuff you do when you’re on vacation. The stuff WE did on our visits here.

But this was not a vacation.

It was a relocation.

And we are living real life here.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it here and don’t regret the move for a moment. But this realization was an important reminder of how disappointing expectations can be if you allow yourself to get too attached.

In many ways, expectations are a fantasy. They’re wishful thinking about how things could be.

There’s nothing wrong with wishes and dreams.

But if you hold onto them too tightly, you’re sure to be disappointed when they don’t come true exactly as you’ve envisioned.

While we have not spent every day of the past two years hiking and exploring, we have been busy putting down roots. And it’s those roots that make our new home feel like home.

We turned an ugly, outdated house on a mountaintop, into a home that feels and looks like us, and envelops us each and every day with warm feelings of gratitude and a sense of being exactly where we’re supposed to be.

We’ve made new friends, who despite the short time we’ve known them, feel like lifelong friends.

We’ve become a part of our new neighborhood. Our neighbors know us. We know them. We feel like we belong here.

We’ve also dealt with many unanticipated events.

And, it’s really those events that remind me this is indeed real life.

Between unplanned trips to San Diego, dealing with aging parents and their health issues, the Covid-19 pandemic, working more than expected because of the pandemic, and my husband retiring for a second time also due to the pandemic, we never could have anticipated our life here would unfold the way it has.

But then really, when can we ever?

This has only served to reinforce my belief in the concept of let go and trust.

In following inspiration and whatever shows up in your life.

In accepting what you can and cannot control.

In learning to go with the flow.

Despite all the ways the past two years have not panned out as expected, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Because they’re evidence we’ve chosen to follow our dreams and live our lives to the fullest, come what may.

I moved here with the intention to write my book.

While I was thrilled to publish it on the one year anniversary of our move, I certainly didn’t expect to jump back into work mode here. I didn’t expect to be leaning into my online course business. And, yet that’s exactly what I’ve been inspired to do, particularly since the pandemic forced me to start staying home more. I’m proud of the five new online courses I’ve created in the past year. I believe they have the power to transform lives. I also know I never could have created them if we’d stayed in San Diego. And I know they’re a big part of why I’m here. A part I never ever could have anticipated before moving here.

Life has a way of unfolding perfectly when you’re brave enough to take the first step.

I now see that what seemed like the culmination of my journey was really just the first step into the new life I was meant to live. Into the work I was meant to do. Into the messages I was meant to share. I see this as a gift and a responsibility, and I embrace both.

I don’t know what the future holds. None of us do.

What I do know is that whatever unfolds, we get to choose what we do with it. We can be disappointed or we can look for the opportunities and gifts. I choose the latter. I hope you will, too.


10 thoughts on “Retrospection. Expectations. Reality.”

    1. Thanks Sheryl! And guess what we did today? We went hiking up in Asheville! 🙂

  1. Thanks for the inspiration. I love the image of wrought iron fence with the sky.

    1. Thanks Karen! My husband actually took that shot at one of my favorite spots near our house. I love it, too! 🙂

  2. Kathi Majors Fischer

    Hi Debbie…perhaps you remember me from our San Diego days? We moved to Colorado in 1989 and have never looked back. Have lived all over this amazingly beautiful state, raised four amazing men, and now have 3.5 grandchildren. We are so blessed to call this place home. I wish the same for you. “Into the forest we go, to lose our minds and find our souls.” Congrats on your first two years as a mountain girl!

    1. Yes, I do remember you! We love Colorado and years ago toyed with the idea of moving there. We absolutely love it here in Western North Carolina. The only hard part right now is not being able to see our family because of COVID. Our daughter and her husband are in Ohio, our son and his fiance are in Washington state, and the rest of our family is still in San Diego. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to visit.

      BTW, I love your quote… it is so true!”

      Thanks for reaching out. Good to hear from a former San Diegan and fellow mountain girl!

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