I’ve been blessed with many people in my life who are encouraging and supportive. I’ve had big dreams and challenging aspirations; a situation which is not likely to change. 

I have been told several times the past couple weeks I’m ‘inspiring’. My face turns red repeating it. I have a hard time accepting complements, this one makes me fumble worse than most. I have been trying for several years to be completely genuine, shouldn’t I take being ‘inspiring’ as an signal of arrival at my destination? Sadly, no, accepting the complement and not paying tribute to what fuels me would be proof of a lack of authenticity. The truth is, my inspiration comes from the people around me. Some have inspired a sense of indignation and refusal to mimic poor behavior; while others have opened my heart and mind to developing the most beautiful parts of myself.  

I’m only ‘inspiring’ because I’ve been inspired. 

The people who inspire me most are usually the first ones to encourage me. One of the Operators I work with called me ‘inspiring’ the other day. My face turned shades of crimson and I stuttered; I rarely have the confidence to offer such complements to others, especially not to someone I’ve only met in person once. What she doesn’t know is, for years, it’s been the other way around. Her positive attitude and friendly, polite, professionalism is out of the ordinary in the police environment. I know her name and her voice on the phone and I decided I’d rather be like her, than the people who give into their bad tempers and take it out on others. I’m not perfect but I keep practicing and I find the moral support of another friendly voice on the end of the line, inspiring.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the strong shouldered men who have treated me like a lady and been self confident enough to be vulnerable and honest. Every woman has a past and most of us (myself included) have been tolerant of behaviors we knew were wrong. I have been fortunate to  cultivate many male friendships: some are men in my family, some are co-workers and others I had the good fortune of bumping into along the way. The best men in my life taught me not to accept less than the best treatment from a man (or anyone else.) Most of all I was inspired to be the kind of lady who was worth only the best. A classy woman acts like a lady and has a mind of her own. She is: ambitious, independent, kind, tough, fair, appreciative, forthright, patient and industrious. She’s the kind of woman everyone is glad to have around for any reason because she is worth her weight in gold as a teammate, a cheerleader or companion.

Finally, I have several dear female friends and we’ve spent many years connecting deeply. The good female friend is a rare and beautiful thing: She will have shared the best and worst moments of life, from the mountain top moments to bitter disappointments. She knows all the flaws and failures but still sees the best traits glowing more brightly. No matter how much time passes between connecting points she is always your friend. The best kind of female friend is a dream chaser. She puts her all into her current passion and will follow it with defiant bravery. Her way of living forces everyone around her off the bench and into the dream arena but a he doesn’t just inspire dream chasing; she encourages it and tempers it with solid advice. Without women like that in my life, I couldn’t be that kind of woman. 

Therefore, I am just myself, completely ordinary but I have been inspired.

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