Ah. Now there was a question. A good question– good enough for me to take it into serious consideration for the next week– but woefully incomplete at its core.
I mean, who inspires me to do what? To say what? To be what? What is this inspiration supposed to be like? How am I supposed to react to it? How am I supposed to answer this question?
Was I overthinking this? Absolutely, but, if we were to cut the shit and get down to the nitty-gritty, I was agonizing over this because had multiple answers to all the above.
After all, my parents inspire me. They inspire me in a lot of ways. They inspire fear in me every time they call my name or my phone. They inspire pain and panic when they open their mouth or raise their voice. They inspire me to hate myself. They inspire me to destroy myself. They inspire me to take the shovel they’ve given me and start digging my own grave. They inspire me to never be like them. They inspire me to be afraid of ever talking like them, ever thinking like them, ever living like them, ever even looking like them– lest I ever begin to become them, all because they’ve inspired so much of ‘so much’ in me.
And my old ex-boyfriends inspired me. They inspired me to never speak up. They inspired me not to say no. They inspired me to never tell anyone what happened all those days ago. They inspired me to collapse and cry in locked rooms where no one could ever see. They inspired me to wear longer sleeves, longer socks, heavier coats– no matter the weather, no matter the time. They inspired me to stare at the ground, to tuck my chin down, to keep my voice low, to know that they were the only ones who knew what was best for me.
And all my old counselors? They inspired the same. Don’t be a burden. Don’t do anything without express permission, but don’t ask for it either. Don’t talk. Don’t scream. Don’t move. Don’t tell anyone. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.
I was inspired to be quiet. To be alone. To be obedient. To attempt suicide to escape that awful, awful inspiration because my fragile, crazy, damaged ass just couldn’t take it anymore.
But… my friends, my real ones, they inspired something… different.
E. inspired creativity. Honesty. Humor. We talk for hours about writing, about art, about anything and everything, daily for 3 years and counting. She puts so much of herself in everything. She works so hard for everything. She’s so funny and sharp and clever, I can’t help but be inspired to try to be just a fraction of the same. I can’t help but want to work just a little bit harder, to hold on just a little bit longer, if only to know what she’ll say next, if only to help her when life gets her down.
H. inspired kindness. Gentleness. Sincerity. Never have I ever met someone with such a golden soul. It’s hard to believe she’s even real sometimes, someone who cares so much about other people to such a degree. She’s lived a hard life, she’s gone through so much, and yet… there she is, her hand on your shoulder. Her eyes knowing, concerned, and waiting for you to do or say what you need to without a single hint of judgement– I want that. I want to be that, for her and for everyone. To be there when the world is unkind.
P. inspired earnestness. Friendliness. Joy. He has such a soft heart, warm and kind, reaching out to say hello at the slightest provocation. Genuine smiles are always at the ready, genuine laughs are just waiting to be heard, because that’s just the way he is. A joyful, smiling, laughing soul, that carries on despite the weight it has from the life he has to lead. I want to smile with him, I want to laugh with him, I want to carry that weight with him, and give back that joy he gives to me.
J. inspired trust. Comfort. Love. I didn’t know what any of that truly was until I met her. Until I fell in love with her. We’re kindred spirits, similar souls and similarly inspired. If people were books, we’d be the same genre, and we’d both be locked and encrypted and 6 feet under. Intentionally guarded. Intentionally unreadable. Intentionally gone. But, with each other, things are different. She has my code. She has my key. She has me, and all the blood and tears and ink that seep out of my pages. And I have her, deep in my heart, deep in my soul, chapters upon chapters dedicated to the life I want to live with her in it, even if it’s not by my side.
And then there’s all the others that would take forever to list, the billions of answers I have for “Who Inspires You?” and all the things they inspire me to be.
Now, if only I could be inspired to finish this in a logical or thoughtful way. Hmm. Don’t suppose that will be happening, will it?
This tired, half-baked, 2 AM lopsided mess will end the way it began.