Category Archives: Relationships

Reflections from Nashville

Standard

Phew! What feels like gust of wind, and my first three months of my post-MBA career have gone by. It all started with a move to Greenville in July, and has since included two trips to Michigan, visits to Charlotte and Columbia, a month spent in Nashville for field sales training, a quick weekend in Chicago, and now back to Greenville. I have been “on the move” throughout, living out of a suitcase, and tonight is one of the first times I have been able to sit and share some of my most recent stories. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have not sat down for more than 5 minutes to relax (besides sleeping at night) in over a month. That phase is now over though, and I am back to “normal” life.

As the hectic few months came to a close last week, I decided to capture some reflections during my flight from Nashville to Greenville…

Living in Nashville as part of my sales training was one of the biggest blessings for me. On the weekends, I spent some time exploring and learning about the culture, which helped me reflect on the lessons I have learned over the past few months.

My first lesson from Nashville is the power of resilience. I have never realized how resilient I am or can be until facing the past few months of struggles…from a shooting of a colleague in my apartment complex, to family health issues, to going through a new challenging work training, to ending a long term relationship after I learned that my significant other wasn’t the person I thought he was. With each challenge, I felt extreme stress…lack of sleep and appetite and spontaneous tears. At the same time, I felt myself grow closer to God, praying consistently, and keeping my focus on my long term goals of good health, happiness with friends and loved ones, and positive impact in my career. I have bounced back from each hardship, potentially with a few more wrinkles and dark circles under my eyes, but also a wider smile to express my gratitude on the good days.

22008417_10155826498214524_799013112500385414_n

Country Music Hall of Fame

My second lesson after spending time in Nashville is…country music is a powerful healer. After watching live music almost daily at my hotel and on Broadway Street, I felt tempted to get on stage and pour my heart out. I toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium, both of which told inspiring stories of the musicians from years past, who are no different than you and me, except for their incredible music talent. If you really listen to country music or just music in general, you realize how much you can connect with the artists as they sing about love, hardship, and daily life. I felt so connected to those performing, and at times empowered by their words, particularly about moving on from those who bring us down. One day you may see a country song written by me after all that I have faced lately :).

21765341_10155826497684524_8769651901083079018_n

Inspiration from the Country Music Hall of Fame

Similar to the country music lesson, I have been reminded how dancing soothes the soul. Nashville has no shortage of places to dance, and I took advantage of many of them. I have never felt so liberated to dance however I want whenever I want. While Nashville is known for bachelorette parties, I was happy to also run into a couple bachelor parties and had a blast. Every kind of dancing you could imagine, from salsa to line dancing to R&B, I was doing it. I have learned in yoga class that our hips carry a lot of our stress, so dancing helps us let go of that negative energy. So if anyone ever critiques your dance moves, just tell him/her that you are relieving stress and there can be no judgement :).

21768282_10155826505289524_1380657970427029346_n

Inspiration from the Country Music Hall of Fame

And finally…being far away from loved ones has reminded me the importance of a strong support network. I met the best community I could have asked for in my new apartment in Greenville. My friends from high school, college, and grad school have been there every step of the way through phone calls and weekend visits. I couldn’t be more grateful for them and many of you reading this post.

Nashville, and the country music that went along with it, was a strong reminder that I, and all of us, can bounce back from our struggles through the support of family and friends. We are often stronger than we give ourselves credit.

While a few more hours of sleep are in order now that I am back home in Greenville, I feel empowered and eager to start my next chapter. And I can’t wait to share more inspirNational stories along the way. The inspirNational me is back…using travel as an opportunity to reflect, become a better version of myself, and help others do the same.

Advertisements

I Am Grateful For…

Standard

With a little over two weeks until Thanksgiving, I am reminded about the importance of gratitude. I have decided to start the month by thinking about what I am grateful for every day. When I think about one new thing that I am grateful for every day, I am reminded about how lucky I am and I feel a boost of optimism in my daily life. I have expanded this reflection into a daily discussion with my boyfriend, which has been very enjoyable to reflect and think about everything that we love about each other. While many of our thoughts are personal, the effects have been so powerful, and I wanted to share the experience with you!

Source: thechineseconquest.com

Source: thechineseconquest.com

This post is an invitation to say “I am grateful for…” every day until Thanksgiving. And better yet, it is a challenge to think this way throughout the year. Where to start? Think about your health, your family, your friends, your job, your daily conveniences, your hobbies, your guilty pleasures…and you will easily create a list. Try discussing what you are grateful for with your loved ones. You will be amazed by the joy, healing, and memories you will experience!

For more inspiration, check out my previous post, Attitude of Gratitude!

InspirNational Insights from Senior Citizens

Standard

Holidays bring families together and are one of the unique times that we spend with multiple generations. As I go through transitions in my life, I seek insights from those older than me based on their life experiences. With Easter weekend behind us, I focused on the senior generations (my grandparents and their friends) for some wisdom. When I think about how many changes I’ve faced in my quarter-century life, I can only imagine how many changes the senior generations have faced, in terms of their families, friends, careers, health, technology, and societal trends. I find it interesting that my generation, the one preparing to climb the corporate ladder, the future leaders of business, government, and healthcare, are so focused on the climb and comparing ourselves to others. While I am equally guilty of this, I think it’s time to take a step back and think like the senior generations. Over the weekend, I was reminded of the priorities and mindset of many senior citizens, which I describe below:

  1. Protect and be grateful for your health. Health is the only aspect of life that guarantees we can live. I find when I ask my grandparents how they are doing, they first discuss their health and say some variation of “I am grateful to be alive.”
  2. Put your relationships (family, friends, significant others) above all else. The people in your life are who will share your happy moments and your challenges with you and will be there for you when you are in need. Visiting two nursing homes this weekend reminded me that what brightens the seniors’ days is not how successful they were or how wealthy they were, but how many family members and friends they have to enjoy the adventure of life.
  3. Take each day as it comes. There is only so much planning and anticipating we can do. While planning for the future is a good idea, dwelling on fears about the future is a waste of energy and instead we should focus on finding joy today.
  4. Do what makes you happy. Only you know what that means and only you can control your mindset about what each day brings you. As the old saying says, money doesn’t buy you happiness. It may be your family or friends, your hobbies, your career, your faith, etc. Regardless of what brings you happiness, make sure it is part of your daily life no matter what life stage you are in.
Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

I hope we all can appreciate these thoughts and seek wisdom from the generations older than us, who have interesting stories and important life insights to share. Interested to learn more? Check out this Daily Mail article.