Personal Story – Journal Writing Helped Me Claim My Desire to Move to an Island

April 1st, 2022, marks the 22nd year anniversary of arriving on Salt Spring Island to make this place my home.  Prior to moving here, I was living in Prince George, BC, where I was a medical social worker at the hospital.  I had a great career job, I had completed my Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree at the university there, had lots of friends, and was also healing after a painful divorce.  I had been through a tumultuous couple of years, and during that time my dear friend, Chris Leischner, whisked me away on a road trip and said, “there is this island I want to take you to and I think you will love it.”

She brought me to Salt Spring Island, a place I had never heard of and that took us more than a day to get to.  It was October, pouring rain, and the weather matched my mood at the time.  I remember buying a yellow rain jacket, some blue rubber boots, both from Mouat’s Clothing store on the island, and I put them on and stepped out in the pouring rain.  I walked alone on the boat docks in the heavy rain beside the small island village of Ganges.  I still can remember the feeling of the cold rain going down the back of my neck and soaking my sweater under my new rain jacket.

I also remember feeling invigorated, alive, in a way I had not felt since getting divorced.  Our short visit to the island ended and we returned back up north to Prince George.  Life continued, but something was different.  I could not stop thinking about this island we had visited.  It started appearing in the pages of my journal.  I noticed I was writing about what it might be like to live on this island.  I noticed I was writing about how I wanted to make a change in my life, to make a fresh start.

Seeing these musings and then what became clear desires, emerge on the page, gave me the courage to leave my job, pack up everything I owned, and move to this island where I did not know a soul (much to my parents concern!).  I was 30 years old, had a u-Haul of possessions, a bank loan and an impulse that this new adventure was the right thing to do.

I arrived here 22 years ago.  I got a job at a spa, and shortly thereafter started my own training and consulting business in the area of burnout prevention for helping professionals, which had been the focus of my MSW studies at university. A short time after moving here, I met Peter, my husband for the past 18 years.  We have been blessed with two sons who are now teenagers becoming young men.  I know I am where I am meant to be.

I don’t know that I would have ever moved here if I wasn’t a journal writer.  My decision to move here was the result of writing about it first as a seedling of an idea, that grew stronger into a desire, and through writing about it over and over again, became a plan of action that changed the course of my life.

Journal Prompts

What is something you have done in your life that first started as a seed of an idea in the pages of your journal?  Something that you might never have done or dreamed about and taken action on, if it weren’t for seeing it declared in the pages of your journal?  In other words, what inner truths have been expressed on the page and later became your reality in life?

Feel welcome to leave a comment below to share a story about how journaling has shaped choices you have made in your life.  We learn from one another’s stories.  Thank you!