It takes only one person to change our life for the better. It takes only one person to inspire us to go beyond ourselves and be greater.
When I first met her she seemed so sure of herself and confident in her decisions. They weren’t mainstream decisions, they weren’t the popular choice, and they didn’t seem like something any sane person was doing at the time. I saw her as someone to admire, to strive to be, a big sister type that had all of the advice on things I could possibly need: drinking, drugs, boys, faith, work ethic, and financial life decisions. She was so different from everyone that I had become friends with in college and her perspective (which seemed to give me faith in my own) was fresh.
Then there was my next friend role model. She, like the first, shared some of my less popular views. Her faith radiated from her without restraint, but it was never pressing or forced upon others. She lived within her means and was creative in financial solutions. She was confident and sure of herself in her decisions and I think this made her all the more admirable.
When my own standards of my life began to chip away and crumble based on the people I held near and dear, a light would shine through in the presence of a new friend or an old one who always shared the same confidence in themselves and their lifestyle. It didn’t hurt that they were living their life in ways that I had always wanted.
I avoided a lot of rash decisions because I admired the way the women around me lived, loved, and took care of themselves. Their self-esteem, work ethic, independence, and dedication to themselves helped shape me. They didn’t buy into trends that didn’t match their personal beliefs. They didn’t give into pressures they felt to conform. They didn’t enter unhealthy relationships just to have someone say they loved them. Their self-dedication inspired me and helped me with my own struggles of being true to myself.
As someone approached and shared their own account of how I had done the same for them, my mind reeled with disbelief. I am a hot mess most of the time. My mind is constantly flip-flopping between decisions. The only reason I decided to not try drugs was because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be able to say “I tried that once” or “Nope, never tried that”. I couldn’t undo trying it and as my closest friends sat around getting high, I questioned my own position on the matter. I had never really wanted to. I liked control. However, everyone was doing it and they were still the wonderful, loving, kind people I had always known. Did I only not want to because it was illegal and preached against? Did I only want to because my friends were doing it and I missed out on that community aspect? I gave myself time to make that decision and others like it. As I met people and listened to them tell their stories. Some parts of me just clicked into place.
I still flip flop between things. Yet I’ve become better at making choices for me according to the way I want to live. Having met people that I admire for standing up for their beliefs and reflecting some of mine has made me a stronger person.
We don’t see that in ourselves. We only see the faults and the things we wish we could do differently. We often fail to see our strengths and therefore we believe that others don’t see them as well. It is harder to recognize the good because we are so focused on our failures that it takes someone else to point it out before we even have an inkling that it is there.
I don’t doubt that the friends I view as independent, confident, and sure of themselves, don’t feel that way on the inside. In fact, when I tell them why I look up to them, they blush and turn away. They don’t perceive a hint of what I see so clearly. They see their actions as normal and keep seeking ways to better themselves and that makes it even more inspiring.
You could be the one for someone else. In fact, you are the inspiration for someone, even if they don’t vocalize it. By sharing yourself through conversations, art, and actions, you give other people a chance to find inspiration. You could be the one that helps someone feel normal. You could be the one that shows someone value in themselves. Be you. You could be the one.