As some of you know, I just came back from a 3-week trip to Italy, something I’ve been talking and dreaming about on this blog ever since I started writing it almost 7 years ago.
Two years ago, I got really close to going when Terreeia told me she had some friends who were going to be at their house in Italy. We could stay there and tour around. It seemed like the opportunity had arrived.
Just one of the little alleys in Cortona, Italy. Photos by Maria Killam
When I chose to finish the house with drapery (which is just as expensive as a trip like that) instead of going to Italy, a lot of you were shocked and appalled. But then, making that decision got our house on the cover of Style at Home the following spring, so then it didn’t seem like such a bad idea after all (maybe).
Lunch in Cortona overlooking the courtyard where Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed
When I finally did get to Italy last month, I loved it just as much as everyone else does, but I didn’t experience any kind of, “OMG, I can’t believe I’m actually here, pinch me!” type of feeling because I have worked really hard to make this trip happen.
(Okay, I did feel that a little bit when we arrived in Tuscany. That was my favourite place!)
But this trip didn’t happen like, one day I’m innocently working in my studio, and the next day I’m in Italy.
I think when people say, “Oh, wow, pinch me, I can’t believe this is happening to me,” that’s more in the realm of winning the lottery.
Most place settings in Italy looked like this. And with paper napkins that looked and felt like fabric!
Like when a pretty girl gets plucked off the street, and suddenly she’s walking the runways in Milan the next day. That’s more of an, “OMG pinch me, I just won the lottery” kind of moment.
Inside the restaurant. Loved the combination of the carpet and chair fabric.
To have the life you want, though — to achieve dreams that aren’t lottery kinds of dreams — you have to commit to something, and work for it.
To have a dream come true requires effort and setting a goal, visualizing it as a reality. It also requires doing something, it requires going beyond your comfort zone. In other words, it requires becoming who you know yourself to be.
To build something, you need to get outside of your shyness and your financial realm. There are things you need to step beyond in order to achieve.
In my life, what I know for sure is that as long as I’m doing something, my life will alter. Something will happen, something will change, I will get what I want.
Frances Mayes’ (Diane Lane’s) driveway/entry in Under the Tuscan Sun
For contrast, here’s an example: when we rented a house in Vancouver 8 years ago, I would visualize that house being renovated. New floors being laid, an extension being built. I loved that it was a rancher, I loved the view, and I loved the location. I never wanted to leave.
When the owner gave us our notice and let us know they were ready to tear down their old house and build their dream home, I was actually surprised. I was that convinced that all my goal setting and visualizing would make the dream of owning that house come true.
Instead, we had to move into a townhouse for two years, where Terreeia and I continued to build this business to where it is today.
Then, Terreeia found this house online and suggested we move to the country where we could be close to my family. That’s when I realized my dream of owning a rancher-style home had just come true. I’d been quietly working away at it the whole time, and now, here it was. The floor plan was perfect for two, and it required only a renovation instead of a major overhaul and an extension like the other house.
Sometimes you have to regroup. Sometimes there’s some pain in making a dream come true. It’s like building a muscle: it gets a tear, and when it’s rebuilding itself, it gets bigger.
You have to give up something in order to get to where you want to be. You have to move your foot forward and take the next step and be scared and just do it. I would much rather live in the city than one hour outside of it. But living close to my family is more important to me than living in the city, so I’ve set up my life that way.
Diane Lane’s house in Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes‘ house in reality)
When I first started searching out the world of colour courses, I did a few that really didn’t move my career in colour forward at all, but what they did do for me was help get me really clear on exactly where my niche was and where my personality and gifts could truly be expressed.
Someone said to me this summer that things must be different for me because I’m living my dream, but you know what? The only difference between living them and not is the decisions we make along the way. Whether it’s going to Italy, buying a home, or taking our businesses to the next level, we can’t just sit there and hope our dreams will come true. We have to make them.
If you are at a place in your life where you’re ready to do something to achieve your professional dreams in colour and design, attend my workshop and become a True Colour Expert.
What’s your best ‘pinch me’ moment?
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness when you walk in the door, contact me.