Peace Community: Vivien Francombe

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Hi my name is Vivien Francombe and this is #MyCanada

I was born and raised in Toronto and I have to say I love this city. It always amazes me how every time I go out exploring, I find new places that I've never seen before. Toronto is my home and I'm proud to say that it is.

All my life I've tried to escape following others and doing what's expected. I don't want to stay in the norm; I want to get out of my comfort zone. So I decided to go to school at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. I didn't know a single soul on the west side of the country, let alone on the island. I was scared for the move but I was also extremely excited.

I went to Vancouver Island University for 2 years. In those years, I found a part of myself that I didn't even know existed. I believe that the beauty and nature that is British Columbia helped nourish me into the person that I'm becoming. I have since fell in love with Vancouver. It's a perfect balance of city life and nature and is one of the reasons that I've decided to make it my home in the future.

Since being in BC, I've really been working on myself and practising new habits that I believe will make me a better person. Changing your mindset can be hard at times. It's so easy to slip back into old habits without consciously thinking about it. One thing that I've been working on the most is judging people less. The truth is, we have no idea what someone's life has been about. What struggles they've been through and what accomplishments they've achieved. To judge someone just by one glance is the most unfair thing we as people can do. Working on this has given me a new perspective on people who are on the streets. I could think of a hundred different ways that my life could have gone to have me end up right where these people are. Most of these people just need some help and how can we say we're a community if we deny them a chance? What I've been doing is on my way home from work is making sure that the 2-3 meals of left overs I packed get handed out to people on the streets. Every single person is grateful. We as a community need to get together to help these people. That's why I like to support companies like Peace Collective. You give back to the community. I'd love to get involved in that!

My passion is to better myself in the ways that I think are best. Not what my family, friends or coworkers think is best for me, but what I think is best for me. It took me a long time to understand that and really listen to myself. I've narrowed it down to things that make me happy and make me grow more into the person I want to be. Photography has always been a passion of mine since I was little. As of right now, I have an old camera that still works and is great, but I feel like I can produce much better quality if I have proper equipment. I'm saving up for a new DSLR that I believe will help my passion shine. Another passion I have is mountains. I love every inch of a mountain as if it were my own body. Mother Nature fascinates me with her beautiful landscapes. When I'm on or near a mountain I automatically feel happier, so I've decided that I need to be and live by things that make me happy. I'm saving up to move to Vancouver by autumn. I'm constantly pushing myself to chase my passion because if I don't, the only person it hurts in the end is me. Why choose to not make yourself happy when you are in control of it.

Since realizing all of these things, I will always tell someone to follow their dreams. I will also always remind them to enjoy the process as well. Getting there is the greatest part of the journey. Becoming your true self is the best gift you can give to yourself so don't hold back! If I can be this happy without having reached my end goal yet, I can only imagine how happy I will be when I do. That in itself is the drive. Happiness is the drive. But like all the quotes say, "Happiness isn't a destination, it's a state of being" and we would do well to remember that.