Hi Loves! Summer has officially arrived + I am ALL about celebrating these next 93 days!! BRING. IT. ON! Sunshine. BBQ’s. Beach. Summer Fridays. Weekend trips. Outdoor Picnics… I AM READY! I hope you got a chance to read my last post, about a little of my past history. If you haven’t you can catch it here!
Although there are many things that have impacted my life, a significant part of my life has been shaped by the different places I have lived. Do you ever reflect on this as well? Today I want to talk to you loves about the biggest things I have learned while moving. There are many + they are quite important!
QUALITY TIME + CONNECTION
Growing up in Connecticut, I lived in a smaller town [less than 22,000 people] where the closest Walmart was about 30 minutes away. Although Connecticut is filled with towns, there are not as many big cities, + most of the towns have small city centers but no huge shopping complex’s. It is MUCH different than middle America with giant Target complex’s where you also may find a TJ Maxx, Best Buy, + Staples all next to one another [trust me, I love these now that I know they exist].
All that being said, growing up in this small town in CT was SUPER different than many other places in the US. We would go to the grocery store + see everyone we knew. We went to the same church that about 85% of the town went to each week. Living here truly taught me to value quality time + connection with people. You were invested in your neighbors lives + constantly saw them everywhere in town to connect with them even further. Investing quality time into your neighbors was not only a necessity, it was essential in this small town environment!
I grew up seeing the importance of quality time + how it impacts the intimacy of relationships. To this day, quality time is my second biggest love language + I value it exponentially!
Something else I experienced in Connecticut [much to my dismay!] was very little diversity. I was extremely used to most of the kids at my school looking exactly like me. Everyone was semi-affluent, + the majority of our town was caucasian. When I moved to Ohio, I found that my high school was MUCH more diverse + filled with multiple ethnicities + people of various backgrounds. It was ever so eye opening, + so incredibly needed in my life. Moving to Ohio + going to this high school taught me how to love people different from myself + truly see their heart. It also pushed me far out of my comfort zone + opened my eyes to vast differences…..that I found to be so beautiful.
I got even more distinct diversity experience when I moved to NYC: the ultimate melting pot of the US. In NYC, I was constantly surrounded by people from SO many backgrounds, each with such unique stories. I often found myself just people watching, wondering what was under the surface of each person walking by… it felt a bit mysterious but simultaneously magical.
Living in Paris was a similar story, + even moreso because it was French culture [a world away from American culture!]. They ate dinners for 3 hours at a time, + truly valued their food + family time. They were extremely passionate + loved their language so much they would fight for it. I had never experienced a people filled with that much intense passion, + such love for arts + culture as I did in Paris.
These various different moves in my life from CT to Ohio, to Paris, + later to NYC truly helped me to open my eyes to the sheer beauty in differences throughout cultures. AKA. diversity. I started to understand + appreciate the unique story of every person that crossed my path. To this day, I no longer just want to walk by a stranger + barely smile because I don’t have the time of day for them. Rather, I prefer to take a moment. Pause. Think. Maybe start a conversation. Even simply recognizing someone’s existence + showing appreciation for who they are is enough to show that you love them. The point being, it’s wonderful to be open to experiencing diversity + embrace it fully.
LOVE FOR CHANGE
These moves also helped me to open my eyes to change + different experiences. Although I loved growing up in Connecticut, my lens was very one note. Moving to new, diverse cities made me realize that change, while potentially uncomfortable at times, was simultaneously completely necessary for growth + perspective. On top of that, I got to experience so many NEW things that I would have never gotten to experience should I have stayed in one place. Although I resisted some of the moves throughout my life, I ultimately grew so grateful for how much they opened my eyes + in turn shaped my heart.
In general, moving to so many new cities also immensely helped to shape my communication skills. In a new city you often do now know anyone + can feel quite alone…..I soon realized that I was the only person who could change that! AKA. I would have to go out of my comfort zone to meet new people. This was an AMAZING catalyst that forced me to start compelling conversations + be intentional about speaking with people. Over time I found myself getting more + more comfortable talking with new individuals I did not know. To this day, when at a networking event, or casual party, I have zero qualms about going up to someone + striking a conversation. Meeting new people + learning how to communicate with them is SO vital + important for human connection + lasting relationships. I loved that starting over so many times in new places helped me to practice this skill + realize it’s sheer importance.
All in all my loves, it is BEAUTIFUL to think of where we each have come from + why it has shaped us into who we are today. I urge you to reflect on your past story + the places you have lived or experienced. How have those experienced shaped you indefinitely? How have the people you met struck you so deeply? How have the things you’ve experienced changed your perspective?
…something to think about! <3