I am about to rant, please bear with me.
A pet peeve of mine: the word “inspire.” I’ve heard it often: “I want my story to inspire others” “I share this because I want you to be inspired” “I hope this inspires you”. And all I see is white, usually blonde, beautiful women in their cozy homes, or at vacation, or at brunch. Alternatively, I see lean, handsome men looking pensively at something in the distance, hair tussled, shirt nowhere to be seen. The pictures themselves blend into one another, this so-called inspiration clearly reduced to a theme, a cliche, a blur of aesthetic shots and coffee outings. It grates at my nerves— the gall of these people. What am I supposed to be inspired by? Your tired aesthetic that has been copied off of dozens of other influencers? Your life that is free of struggle and pain? Please.
You don’t set out to “inspire.” Someone who says that and believes it signifies to me egocentrism and selfishness. It tells me this person is insecure and needs to feel like The Savior to make it through the day. It makes my eyes roll; think about it: those who say they want to inspire usually live the dullest lives. They post those annoying, generic motivational quotes and call it life advice. They probably go from party to party, get so wasted they can’t remember their own names, and call it a spontaneous, fun life. (and of course, they post it on social media) They never go beneath the surface to examine their pain and misconceptions and prejudices. They are shackled by their need to impress and be accepted.
So, listen to me, because this is a truth of mine: you don’t set out to “inspire”.
You set out to live:
To live a good, honest life.
To see beauty and fun in the smallest moments.
To be kind, to be humble, to be of service.
To give great hugs, to pet all the dogs, to be the friend with the coziest home and the yummiest treats for her guests.
To be the person who loves a bit too much, too loudly, too joyously
To leave your community, your home, your friends, a little bit better than you found it.
That, by virtue of being a really damn good life, becomes inspiring