One of my best friends is a jazz diva. This year she won the Black Canadian Award for top jazz performer. Any minute now, her star is going to burst across the sky, and people will unfairly call her an overnight success. I first heard her sing 30 years ago. There is no language in which ‘overnight success’ will describe her.

I feel like this journey has a similar element. People seem to think that I am all of a sudden throwing my whole life up in the air, taking on this grand adventure, and doing something sudden and extreme. They worry I’m having a breakdown. They hint at a mid-life crisis. From where I sit, it is neither of those things.

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You know how sometimes you need a sign? Mine was in Ireland.

When I had my sons in my early twenties, I knew that I would be in my forties when they were old enough for me to live and work internationally, which by then was already an entrenched dream. When I undertook a solo journey to Ireland 5 years ago (WOW – 5 years already!) it was the recognition that this dream was still alive and still what guided me.

I changed jobs after that trip with the idea to gain a new skill set that would take me overseas. Four years later, I am on the eve of departure.

My overnight success. My sudden life change. It’s actually just the slow-growing natural next step of a path that’s been laid out for years. That I can’t see the next step until it’s there, and that other people don’t see my path for themselves doesn’t make it any less the right step at the right time for me.

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