Inspiration: a force or influence that inspires someone.
Personally, I have rarely been inspired by a “force”, but the “I” in inspire is relevant. One can be inspired by money, though this is rarely the true case, inspired by love, by family or even by their own will to be successful. People have often been the source of my inspiration. As a child, I was often inspired by teachers, particularly the weird, eccentric ones. I still remember Ms. Jones, who would sing things such as “My Favorite Things” loudly while we worked. As her student, I didn’t like her at all. But years later, as I still sing her songs, I remember her fondly. She was not afraid to be different, she demanded respect and she was happy with her life as a fourth grade teacher. Those qualities inspire me, especially a person that demands respect with no regard to whether or not they’re cool.
Over the years of my early adulthood, I felt totally uninspired. I became a mother at an early age and gave up on my college dreams. I was always fairly successful in my career, due to my strong ability to articulate myself and my motivation to provide for my child, but I did not feel inspired by my life. I seldom stopped to appreciate nature or revel at a beautiful piece of art. It was rare that I even felt inspired as a mother because I was too busy working just to meet my son and I’s basic needs. As Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes staff, writes in her article, “What Inspires the World’s Top Leaders”, your line of work has something to do with how inspired you feel. Individuals who hold creative jobs or jobs in the public interest tend to be more inspired than others. The top five most inspired industries include fine arts, religious institutions, sports, professional training and coaching, and non-profit organizational management.
Long before Uptown Studios, I drudged through my days at a call center and the highlight of my life was a good episode of Dr. Phil or a glass of wine on a Friday night. I grew antsy and contemplated what life would be like if I had finished my degree. I no longer read, which I had loved all of my life. I no longer drew or rode my bike. I simply existed and for a while there was nothing I felt passionate about.
Then one day, I met her, the “force” that inspired me. She was beautiful and funny and driven. She was pursuing her degree and she inspired me to do the same. Well, sign me up! I signed up for a full load of classes. I spent my weekends studying with her and every time I got an A, I proudly showed her just how smart her partner was. I was inspired! Inspired by the drive to be educated enough for my girlfriend. Little did I know, the process of earning my degree would last longer than the girlfriend!
Through the six years it took me to finish school, I went through ups and downs of inspiration. Really interesting classes would at times inspire me, exceptionally intelligent teachers would inspire me, the light at the end of the tunnel, otherwise known as graduation, would inspire me. I changed my major from Graphic Design to Public Relations because I lacked inspiration to be creative after a 9-hour work day, night classes and being a full time mom.
And then, after countless long nights, many sleep deprived work days and many moments lost with my child, I did it! I graduated from CSU Sacramento. I felt proud, I felt free, I felt successful and I felt inspired. I had inspired myself! I was the first person in my family to enroll in college and I did it while juggling so many other responsibilities.
I became inspired again on March 12th. After waiting patiently for years, I was offered an opportunity to interview with Uptown Studios! I was offered the job of Project Assistant, a perfect match for my skill-set! I was so excited; I could feel inspiration creeping back into my soul. On my first day, I was asked for MY opinion on a design on a client’s work. My opinion? Wow! Rarely do you get to voice an opinion when working for the man, as I had done all of my adult life. Now, I sit here, writing this blog, sharing my story of inspiration or lack thereof with you. Once again, I am beginning to feel inspired!