Connections

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One hour to go before everything as I know it changes. Sitting here at my friend’s apartment with a piece of almond butter toast and a cup of coffee, I am pausing to reflect and enjoy the calm before the storm.

The “storm” is one of my exciting life updates that I have been waiting to share with you. Starting tomorrow, I will be Detroit’s newest resident! For the next few days I will be unpacking boxes and settling into my new home, an apartment in a historic building in Detroit’s city center.

For those who know me well, it has been my dream to live in Michigan over the past few years. I am passionate about the revitalization of Detroit and the beauty of Pure Michigan, and I couldn’t be more excited to give back to the place that raised me for 22 years. My move is an example of the power of visualization, as I have carried a purse with a Michigan-shaped Petoskey stone as a daily reminder of home. It is amazing how five years away from my home state has created a strong desire and dream for me to go back to my roots – and it is now coming true! Over the years, I have learned the significance of home and have realized it is who surrounds me that matters to me more than where I am. In a word, what I value most is “connections” – specifically the ability to connect with others. My connections with family, friends, colleagues, and the community are what energize me and inspire me to make a difference in the world.

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Image Source: SBI

The value of connections has become especially apparent to me during my last year in Greenville. I have met more interesting people and new friends than ever before in my life. For the first time, I have prioritized my time with the people I love over the tasks I have to do. What I have realized is that people are what motivate me and are what make tasks happen, so by working, connecting, and spend quality time with them, anything can become possible.

Connections are what have drawn me to my life decisions and passions – I am a language enthusiast because it opens the opportunity to communicate, understand, and connect with twice as many people and cultures. I am an experience collector – making the most of any place I visit or live by trying local foods, attending local events, trying new activities, and meeting local people to connect with the community (and be inspirNational!). I am a design thinker – listening to the people around me (customers, employees, stakeholders, etc). to understand their core needs and to create innovative approaches to meet their needs at work. I am an artist – drawn to any opportunity to create something new – whether that means a painting, a piece of jewelry, a candle, a blog post, or a new food dish. All of these forms of art are an example of instant gratification, connecting with the simple objects in front of us to make something beautiful. Check out the book, Creative Confidence, to learn more about how we are all artists. I have practiced all of these forms of connecting over the past year, which makes it difficult for me to leave such a wonderful place that has allowed these connections to happen. However, I feel grateful that I have another place to call home, which I will often visit through work. I feel a calling for my connections to Detroit, where I look forward to reconnecting with loved ones and meeting new people who are equally passionate about the revitalization of Detroit and all that Michigan offers.

Months have gone by since I have last written a post, but many reflections such as this one have been on my mind. I have mainly captured my daily inspirNational thoughts through stories and photos on Instagram (for the latest updates follow me @inspirnationallife!). Since I last shared an update with you, I have had an adventurous summer with trips to Las Vegas, Montreal, Huntsville, Traverse City, Detroit, Myrtle Beach, Asheville, Charleston and more. What ties all of these trips together, again, is connections….ranging from connections to lifelong friends who are now getting married to new connections with professionals passionate about sustainable mobility. Most importantly, the trips have prepared me to say “see you later” to my Greenville chapter and “hello” to my new Detroit chapter. I look forward to sharing the new connections with you along the inspirNational journey that now begins in Detroit.

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2 responses »

  1. Best wishes for the move and new space. I am curious about your growing value and investment in connections. What was it like before? What is some practical advice you would give for a person looking to foster valuable connections and find new experiences?

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    • Thank you! I love your question and could write a whole other post about it. In the past I was more focused on tasks and objectives, whereas now I am focused on genuine connections with others – finding both commonalities and differences with people and learning from them. I have realized that I can accomplish tasks and objectives at the same time as I am fostering relationships – and that people are what make the tasks and objectives possible! Practical advice would be to be genuine, seek out people who are similar to you and who are different from you so you can learn from them, spend more time listening than talking (you will be amazed what you can learn), and help people connect with others (and they will do the same for you). I believe in 7 degrees of separation and have been amazed by how connected people are even when we seem different from each other. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions!

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