A blogging friend of mine, Marcia asked a question: What Inspires You?? In life, who or what has inspired you to want to be more. I get a little choked up about this subject…
My 3rd grade teacher, Miss StJean was the single biggest inspiration in my life. I had a difficult upbringing and when I entered her classroom I felt like a different person. She made me realize I was smart, I was kind, I was capable, I was special, unique, a treasure and most of all that I was worth it. Things on the home-front got considerably worse after I left 3rd grade, but she made such a profound impression on me that I never lost that feeling of self-worth. I used to teach classes in stress reduction and raising self-esteem and for years I used her as an example. What troubled me was that she never knew. So in 2000, from Alaska where I was living, I tracked her down in Rhode Island where I grew up. Not only did I get a chance to tell her who I was and how much she impacted me but I flew back East and spent time with her. I visited the 3rd grade class she was still teaching at the same elementary school I attended and then went home with her for dinner. Re-meeting her and thanking her was one of the high points in my life.
Carolyn didn’t remember me. I didn’t stand out to her more than any other child which made this even more poignant to me. She was just being herself. She didn’t remember giving me an extra candy so I could give it to my little sister. She didn’t remember me as the princess in the Nutcracker. She didn’t just do her job. She embraced it, gave of herself and made a difference just because of who she is. She didn’t know that in passing, by giving a piece of herself to a lost, scared, hurting little girl that she made a difference not only to me but to the woman I had become. She made a difference to my children because of the person I grew into. She has made me, every day of my life want to be better to the people I’m surrounded by. We will probably never know the impact we’ve made on other people as we go about our lives. But I made sure she knew how much of an impact she made on me.
Since then I’ve had many other people who have made an impact on me – including many of my blogging friends. My children have been significant in molding me into the mother I am. Inspiration can come from a picture, a few words, a smile and a nod, a hug, a friend. Inspiration can be given in passing without us ever being aware of it. Now I don’t ask myself the question who inspires me. I wonder, who can I inspire??