Who inspired you this year?
Thus far, this topic is probably one of the hardest and most thought-provoking topics I've chosen to write about; not because I can't think of anyone, but because I don't know how to write about it without sounding incredibly vulnerable; maybe the most vulnerable I've been with this blog in a long time. In retrospect, that is what writing is; speaking your own truth from the depths of your heart without being afraid to.
Yet, this is also one of my favorites, because it is my way of giving thanks for these people. And if there's one thing that I felt I have done this year (and hope to do in the years to come) it's not take anything or anyone for granted.
I have a few people in mind; they're not celebrities or that has been in the news (at least on a largely scaled level). but rather my own peers. Some of them I have known for awhile, and others I have just begun to really talk to this past year. While I may not interact with them every single day, I feel like I know them well enough to look up to them.
One of the bigger questions is not necessarily who inspires me, but how and the reasons behind it.
From having these people be a part of my life, I've noticed the following things....
1. They're positive and nearly always have something good to say-Nine times out of ten, they're hardly ever upset, angry or complaining about something. Not to say that it doesn't happen, because they're human. But I've seen two of them go through some pretty difficult stuff, especially this year, and they came out of it stronger than I ever would have been. None of them speak poorly about other people or themselves. They just overall have this sort of positive energy that makes them really down to earth and fun to be around.
2. They give, and do so selflessly-Whether it's volunteering, fundraising, or personally helping me out, they're always giving something to somebody. It's inspiring, especially during a time when so many other people are all about what they can get out of the college experience, or believing that life owes them something. It's why I have started to ask myself What can I do for others, and how?
3. They show who they are and don't apologize for it-Most of what I have learned about and from these people are not from what I've heard, but from what I've seen with my own eyes. In other words, they're not afraid to completely be themselves, especially when they're around other people. That in turn is a quality that I find very rare, because almost everyone these days puts up a wall or a mask of some kind. I confess, it was a little intimidating first, especially when I battled with my own issues of self-confidence. But as I've become comfortable around them, it's what I have grown to appreciate the most.
With all of that being said, let me be clear: it doesn't mean they're absolutely perfect or that they don't make mistakes. I do not idolize them or try to imitate them, but rather have been motivated to look at my own life and the kind of person that I want to be.It is because of what I mentioned above, that I have a deep admiration and respect for them.
Those reading this may think this is silly, or isn't worth being inspired by someone for. But the truth is, you never know what kind of an impact you might have on those around you, regardless of how big it is. And if you can pick up on another's influence, it's certainly possible to pass that influence on, and perhaps one day make a change.