inspirations turn to aspirations

I’m pretty excited to welcome the newest edition of guest bloggers for my series on defining moments and reinvention. Micaela is a former coworker and close friend. She does not have a blog, and has never before written her private thoughts out in such a public format. I think it takes a lot of strength to be so brave to take a chance and step out of your comfort zone.

I have never really been a writer so please bear with me on this. Somehow Erin’s call to write about “reinvention” morphed into an inspiration for me. I have been thinking about writing this since the day that she asked, but I didn’t know what to write about. Once an idea came to my head I didn’t think it was the right fit for what she was asking. Then I realized, Erin doesn’t care! My thought process evolved much like one of our conversations.

I am going to write about the four women that I have identified as the biggest inspirations in my life and have shaped who I am and who I want to be.

The first woman I would like to write about is my mother. Of course as a teenager, you think your parents know nothing, but as I have grown, I have watched her evolve as well. When my brother and I were younger my father traveled every week and as a single parent, I can now see how difficult it can be to play both roles. My father, as with my son’s father, was very much a part of my life. However, a lack of physical presence of the other person can be a very difficult challenge when raising children. As I went on to college, our relationship changed in that she was still parenting, but we also began developing a friendship. I have never been more grateful for my mother than when I became a mother myself. She has always offered opinion when appropriate or answered the questions I have asked. No matter what, even if she disagrees, she always enforces what I say with my child and supports the decisions I make. She recognizes that she has raised me, and it is time to step back and allow me to move forward. My mother is an amazing friend and the mother I would love to be.

The next woman I am inspired by, and always have been since I was a little girl, is my aunt Ann. She is such an amazing mother to her wonderful boys (my dream!), one of whom is my godson. And she also has a wonderful husband and marriage. My Aunt is the kind of person who will truly listen to anything that you need to say and never pass judgment. She loves people for who they are and not what they are. She takes care of those who need her without being asked, and never looks for any acknowledgement or credit in return. Aunt Ann is one of the most real people I have ever met; she has always been a source of inspiration and a role model to me since I was a small child putting on her makeup.

The third source of positive inspiration in my life is a family friend Barbara. I have known her for years and grew up with her oldest daughter, who just became a mother herself! With her five children getting older, I have seen how close the family remains. I see how often they do things together. As families grow it is so easy for siblings and families to grow apart. The family she has raised is a true inspiration to me as to what a family should be. Barbara is also just a wonderful person who has love for everyone. Anything she can do to
help another she will, and you can see her love for others in her smile. She is a wonderful mother of five and an amazing ‘Second Mother’ to many others. I aspire to be such a kind and loving person that can raise a family as close as theirs.

The final source of inspiration I have in my life is not exactly a positive one, but definitely one of the most “defining” in my role as a parent. I struggled a bit with even calling her a source of inspiration, and that probably still is not the right choice of words. The reason I have struggled with this is that this person has shown me everything I will try my hardest to never be. I am not going to get into details as I did with the other ladies, but because of this person, I know that I am striving to be the best parent I can be. My son’s father and I have a great relationship that allows us to co-parent very effectively. We do not have to be friends; we just have to be on the same page, because nothing is about us, and everything is about him. I truly believe that we work so well together because of the pain we saw caused by this woman. Through her intentionally hurtful actions, she taught me how to be a good parent. I guess that is some twisted form of karma or something.

I guess as I have written, these inspirations have evolved more into aspirations of what I would like to be, or not be. I like to think about the people and situations that have shaped who I am. I feel that is a very powerful thing to be aware of. Writing this was very ‘out of the box’ for me, but I was honored that Erin asked. I am glad I did it, after all Erin is my Oprah.

Happiness is…

…unexpected phone calls from old friends
…tater tots
…good books that you can read again and again
…friends who remind you to post a blog so you don’t mess up your final shot at nablopomo
…watching my boyfriend shave
…my brand new suv
…Friday night date nights (and i’m going to one right now)


picking myself up again

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in getting up every time we do.” – Confucius

I wasn’t sure what to blog about today, so I asked my friend Micaela. (I’m trying to make this month my final go at NaBloPoMo). Micaela is the kind soul who picked me up and drove me to work for 3 month straight after I 1) broke my foot and 2) got hit by a drunk driver. So, her soultion was to read me a few quotes, and just let them inspire me for today’s post.

The idea behind this quote has always meant a lot to me. I’ve “fallen down” many times in my life, but the moments I’ve felt most true to myself were those terrible scary moments that I picked myself up, dusted myself off and set off to make things right.

What do you think? Which moments taught you the most about yourself: the moments you actually “fell” or the moments you picked yourself back up again?

MLK Quote

I was talking to Micaela about  Osama bin Ladin’s death and my sordid emotions, and she sent me a quote I really liked, so I’m sharing it with you. I asked her if she minded if I shared it on my blog, and she said “Nah, I don’t think Martin Luther King would mind too much.

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr