Fresh starts energize me. I think back to childhood- Fall meant the start of school where we would scrub up old binders and repurpose them for new classes. We would pick out our 1st day of school outfit from our closet (or if we were lucky, borrow something from a sister) and lay it out days in advance. The New Year always brings people the same sense of clean slate purpose. They say 75% of people stick with their New Year’s resolution for only a week (which is the week I take off from the gym). After that, it just doesn’t feel new anymore. That motivation and energy is gone and people’s well-intended ideas turn into hazy dreams of yesterday.

Recently, I moved apartments and I just adore this stage in the process. It is not the packing part that gives me energy, it is the UNPACKING. Nothing is new… but it is in a different place and it makes everything feel special again. My kitchen in my new place is essentially identical to my last kitchen, but I decided to mix it up! My spices are now tucked away and organized in a cabinet next to the stove, my baking things, which were once in the pantry now have their own shelve in a different cabinet. I feel like it is a fresh start to rework my organization, figure out how to rearrange my bedroom, and test out hanging my clothes by color, length, or style.

Why did I move? For one, this new apartment has a balcony, and fresh air is very important to me. I grew up in an environment that fostered taking joy in whatever the weather was in the moment. The balcony was a huge driver for me, but the bigger driver was that I had been in my previous apartment for two and a half years. That is the longest I have lived anywhere since I went to college in 2005. Two and a half years was starting to feel like forever. Two and a half years made me feel like I needed a change. In the past eight years I have lived in three different cities and in those eight years I have lived in eleven different apartments. So, you can see where two and a half years in one place was starting to feel confining!

But, as I made this transition, I realized that I feel more stable now than I have over those past eight years. I have a job I love and a community I am involved with. I don’t want my life to be a race to live in the most apartments possible, and I am certainly not planning on moving out of Richmond in the near future! So, in the future how do I satisfy my need for change while also appeasing my desire to not get stuck in a routine… without continuously uprooting my life every few years?

This is a battle that gen-y is going to continuously face. Our lives are so mobile now. We can keep in touch and communicate with anyone in the world in an instant. Actually, not only can we communicate in an instant, but we can SEE each other in an instant. FaceTime and Skype have opened up doors for how close to home we feel regardless of how close to home we actually are. Finding that stability while maintaining my sense of adventure will have to take a different form then it has for the past few years, but it is a challenge I am ready to take the deep dive into discovering.

So I ask you- as a stable adult who values changing scenery and never-ending adventure, yet is fully devoted to keeping both feet on the ground (sometimes)- how do you accomplish both?



Danielle Aaronson

Danielle Aaronson

Danielle’s mission is to inspire leaders to make intentional choices that move them to positive action. She speaks at conferences, management summits, and leadership programs as well as facilitates efforts with executives and senior leaders at organizations seeking to influence their culture. Her mantra, “be the change you wish to see in the world” has allowed her to strive every day to be the best she can be and help others recognize the potential they have to make a positive difference. @deaaronson

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