Friday, November 13, 2015

Scrapping "Normal" for The Good Stuff

**This is a guest post by the very talented Laura of The Kwerks–I enjoy her writing style; it just makes me smile.  I have loved following Laura and Ryan on their journey to simplification and creativity over the past few years.  They recently put themselves "out there" and were rewarded greatly.  Ryan was a great friend of mine in high school and it's wonderful seeing how Laura and Ryan work together to grow and create --read on!**

“We’re gonna win this.”

I typed it quickly and sent it off. Moments later, Ryan replied.


So, my husband and I have begun a new endeavor recently. I won’t lie; it’s terrifying. But it’s also good. And it’s the good that I find myself fighting to focus on, to remember, to repeat to myself in moments when the terror creeps in.

Three short years ago, we were a family of five living a pretty usual suburban life. The house, the yard, the two cars, the commute, the three kids. We home schooled our kids, which was great and challenging, and I suppose that removed us from the “typical” label, but regardless, we were on the path laid out by our culture as the ideal.

Work your way up the ladder. Rent, then buy property, then buy bigger property, then live happily ever after with your happy family.

There came a point at which we stopped doing that thing - that typical life thing - because we looked at each other and asked the question, “Do we value this lifestyle?”

It turns out we didn’t.

And through a number of months, conversations, debates, arguments, deliberations, we came out with a list of our core values. It was these things that we wanted to actually live our life for. Community, family time, adventure, generosity, simplicity, frugal living. These were some of our key values and when we held them up to our life, we found there were some things that needed changing.

Fast forward three years and here we are now, having downsized, relocated, travelled, purged, simplified and blogged about the entire process.

It was a completely crazy few years, and yet it wasn’t until we reached the point of settling into our new home and attempting to normalize our new way that we realized that these values weren’t set in stone. No, they evolved. There were new values emerging, even as we lived fully into the original list.

And it was one of these new values that brought us to this new endeavor. The value of “pursuing your gifts”.

Okay, I’m going to be honest. The word “gift” when used to describe myself is one of the most uncomfortable things I can imagine. One of my deepest fears is to be perceived as being arrogant, or cocky, or like I’m special. And so when someone refers to me as “gifted”, I tend to shift the language to “impassioned”. I have a passion. That is where I feel comfortable. I’ll let the world decide whether I’m gifted or not.

So this new pursuit? Music. Singing and songwriting. Performing.

 Yes. I know. Dreamy right? I feel like the teenage girl who wants to grow up and be an actress.

And what’s so wrong with that? I have some kind of shame built up around the idea of pursuing my PASSION, (erm, my gifting) that says to me, “You’re not really allowed to do that. That’s for young, energetic idealists. You’re 36 - way too old to believe you should be following your dreams.”

Isn’t that a horrible voice? I’m learning so.

And so, here I am, here we are, my husband and I, “The Kwerks”, at the beginning of an adventure, at the dawn of discovering what it feels like to step into something that feels like it was designed for me.

When I write music, I feel like my whole self is involved. My whole self is being used and being lit up and being fully whole. When we perform I feel excited, not terrified. When we step off the stage I feel like saying, “When can we do it again?”

But as I mentioned at the outset, it’s horribly frightful to put myself out there. To write from the depths of my being, then perform it for people, and be expected to talk about what I wrote about? Imagine! Imagine that for a minute! All of your deepest stuff coming out for who knows who to take and analyze and judge! It’s terrifying!

And yet, it’s extremely liberating. I’m learning that.

Not so long ago, my husband and I received an email from Dominion Lending Centres, of whom we had been mortgage clients. They were holding a contest. Make a video about your experience with DLC. Make it interesting.

And as if we had been throwing ourselves into the spotlight our whole lives, we casually sent a couple emails back and forth.

“We’re gonna win this.”


And then we did.

{Screen shot from the winning video which cannot be shared but you will see a version of it soon!}

So watch for our video, which will now be produced into a commercial to be aired during the broadcast of the Grey Cup and the Superbowl in Canada.

Can you believe it? We scarcely can.

**You can win the soon-to-be released single "Better Together" by The Kwerks by entering in the Rafflecopter below.  I cannot wait to see the commercial; way to scrap "normal", Laura and Ryan!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. This is very inspiring. Jason and I took the plunge to live our dreams over a year ago now and how rewarding it truly is. Yes, most people think we're crazy that two BC raised kids can love an Alberta lifestyle, including the weather. But its amazing how much joy you can find in something that is not so pleasant when you are doing what you are called to. Even after a year here we already feel like we have too much "stuff" and a purge has once again begun. So great that these stories can be so easily shared and that maybe other will take the plunge to follow their true calling.

    1. Good for you, Kim! I've been following you on Instagram :) I think it's important to re-evaluate our goals and values often!

  2. Thanks so much, Louise!

    1. Thank YOU for sharing your creativity with the world :)