Getting the key to put on the Eiffel Tower keychain ...
So there I was, dreaming of moving to Paris, with an Eiffel Tower keychain in my pocket that I'd received at a conference all about living and working in France.
At the time, the "how" was completely invisible to me. We didn't have the cash to pay for an apartment in Paris. We had no idea what to actually do.
But through this experience, I learned that the "how" is almost always invisible to us. We don't need to see any of it at all.
We simply have to know that we'll take the steps we need to take if ...
we start with a vision.
But here's the thing:
How can we take steps if we won't allow ourselves to want what we want?
How can we take steps if we don't let ourselves dream as BIG as we want to?
That's where it has to start: with a vision that you allow yourself to have with your whole heart.
So I let myself dream of having a Paris apartment. That dream infused my daily life with a new and intangible richness.
In 2007 -- three years after I attended that conference -- something unexpected happened.
A "how" I could never have foreseen made itself known.
In 2007, my husband and I had sold our home in California and moved to NYC. We had decided that NYC was halfway to Paris (getting closer!), and we both really needed a change.
Plus, our daughter was attending NYU and we wanted to live near her.
And most importantly, we needed the money from the sale of the house to pay for her education.
But in 2007, we were handed something unbelievable.
We went to NYC without having jobs but knew we could find something. Sure enough, my husband scored a job at Columbia University -- and the day he went for his orientation, he called me from there.
"I just finished orientation, and you will not believe what I found out," he said. "For each parent working at Columbia, the university will pay 50 percent of their child's college tuition equal to or less than what it takes to attend Columbia. If both parents work at Columbia, the university will pay 100 percent."
I was STUNNED. I made sure I understood: even if she is at NYU?
"YES!" he said.
That day, I went online and applied for about 10 jobs at Columbia. Within a short time, I had one, too.
Which meant that for her sophomore, junior and senior years, our daughter's NYU tuition would be paid by 100 percent by Columbia. We still paid for her housing and other expenses, but it meant ...
We had enough cash to buy a Paris apartment.
In the summer of 2008, we bought the apartment that we're now living in: a studio in our favorite neighborhood, Le Marais.
I attached that Eiffel Tower keychain to the key, and I have never taken it off. I'm including that photo again from my previous blog post because it means so much to me!
For several years, we lived in NYC and rented the apartment to vacationers and used it ourselves whenever we could.
But then in 2016, life took another turn.
I'll tell you more in another email.
What I can say today, for sure, is that I never worry about the "how" anymore.
When I restarted my business this past spring -- focusing on providing digital products and programs to support coaches and others to create their dream life -- I didn't worry about the "how."
I have a vision for what I'm creating now. I've written it down. I've FELT it within my body, heart and soul. I say it to myself and out loud every day.
And then, I take one step, or several steps, every day toward that vision.
More next time ...
Oh! Did you see our episode of House Hunters International? It aired in 2009. :-)