Moments which can define us
To counteract the uninspiring blog of yesterday (even I wasn’t impressed with it) I spent some time thinking about moments in our lives which make a lasting impression on us. They can be huge events that most people would agree upon as life changing, like marriage or children, or they can be something so small that perhaps no one ever thought it had the power to change or start a course in someone’s lives.
As I sat down and thought about the small things in my life which have had a lasting impact, the first one which sprang to mind was my obsession with shoes. Now granted, this could’ve been because I was looking around and wondering what happened to a pair of shoes (later found them being worn by my two year old) but it did make me realize it’s sometimes the tiniest things in life which may carry through with us. For me, my like of shoes and my need to always check a shoe department for perhaps that one pair of shoes that I just have to have started when I was a sophomore in high school. And it started with one guy who had to ask why I always wore the same pair of tennis shoes to school. Granted, he had probably more shoes than any guy should’ve had but I was still embarrassed that someone had felt the need to comment on my
ratty broken in and comfy tennis shoes. I knew when I was old enough to get a part time job the next year this would not be the case. And it hasn’t been since, as evidenced by the fact that I even dedicated this blog entry to one fabulous pair of shoes.
Of course, I’m not at all entirely shallow and all of my inspirational stories don’t center around shoes. The other instance which came to mind was what got me into writing in the first place. I’m sure that most writers have a story which they feel like defines them and set them on the path to writing. It can be as simple as a book that they read, a family member or just a love of creating things. For me, it was my fifth grade teacher.
Every week, we had spelling words and using all of the spelling words, we had to create stories. To this day, I can remember a few of the words which were on that list because they became characters for the stories I would write for the rest of the year. I was the only child in the class who had an ongoing “series” and every week, we got to pick someone from the class who could read their story out loud. Week after week, the children would pick me because I had learned the art of leaving them hanging for the clues to the next weeks mystery. (I thoroughly enjoyed Nancy Drew as a kid and thus was inspired to have my own little mysteries.)
From that moment forward, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. That belief never wavered and I continued to write throughout elementary, high school and college, though as I grew older, I rarely let anyone read what I had written. Somewhere along the lines, the excitement I had felt in sharing my words with my peers turned into fear that they wouldn’t like what I had written.
As with most things, as you grow older, there is some of the fear which resides. Or maybe just for me it did. I soon learned that even if people didn’t like my writing, it didn’t mean that they didn’t like me. Or even if they didn’t like me, how was that a bad thing? I began to grow more confident not just in my writing, but also in myself, until a couple of years, I finally started sharing my work again with close friends and family. It took about a year of getting over the anxiety before I finally decided I was going to let the novel which I had been sitting on and working on for years out of my grasp and out into the digital world.
It wasn’t quite the fantasy which I had in my head of being able to quit my full time job and work as a writer, traveling and taking my computer with me for whenever inspiration struck (though I still know someday, I will be able to) but it was an accomplishment. Delving into the blog world was also another way for me to shake the “oh my god, they are reading what I wrote” jitters.
So, to my fifth grade teacher, who probably never had any idea that her exercise to get us to memorize the spelling words would turn into a life passion which I have worked on since, thank you. I hope everyone can take the time to realize that sometimes the littlest things can make the biggest impacts in someones lives, so try for the positive little things when interacting with those in your life. You never know what you might inspire.