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My Inspiration!

May 9, 2011

I try not to have “heroes” or “idols” in my life, because in my past I’ve gotten burned with putting human beings up on a pedestal. I have learned the harsh reality, at a very young age, that heroes are human beings too and they do make mistakes and disappoint. Whenever I come across the question of “who do you idolize?” on various social networking sites, I always leave the field blank.

However, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have people in my life that inspire me. I know what you’re thinking, “potato-potata”. But there is a difference between idolizing someone and admiring a person’s good traits. It’s a thin line, but it’s there nonetheless. ;-)

For this week, I feel like acknowledging the real men in my life, who inspire my inner strength and help shape the person that I am today. Keep in mind, these men are not on a pedestal, I know of their faults and negative sides as well. But I do see and value their good traits, for what they really are. I won’t name names, but only their relation to me, as I wouldn’t want to embarrass them too much, if they shall read this someday. :-p

The first person I want to mention, is my grandfather. He was a cook in the US Navy, back in the day, very strong and an excellent chief. He grew up a little poor and knew what it was like to be hungry, along with his siblings. He had vowed to never let anyone go hungry again and my memories of him are often around the wonderful meals that he would make for the family. My earliest memory of age six, is when my grandpa inviting me and my sister into the basement of his home, where he kept the special cookies and chips. He was sneakily giving us special snacks and telling us to not speak of it to our cousins or grandmother upstairs. The fact is, many of my cousins and other relatives are highly conservative, snooty, and judgmental. Myself and my siblings are the black sheep of the family, with our liberal ways, and we don’t “fit in” with their clique. They often thumbed their noses down at us and we always felt like outsiders, at gatherings. But my grandpa was different! He may have been well off than most people he came in contact with, but he never showed any arrogance about it. He cared for all people, especially their stomaches, and he often would stop and dig into his pockets to pay for a person’s meal. If not that, he would take joy in cooking a huge feast and delivering the food to struggling families in his dark blue Cadillac. Not only that, my grandpa was very wise and he always treated people with respect and dignity, in spite of their differences or lifestyles. When my grandfather spoke to me, it was with wisdom, love, understanding, and respect. So, in family gatherings, I was always hanging around him the most. He passed away, from cancer, some years ago. But he still visits me in my dreams, giving me wise advice still. A lot of times, I believe that my wise words on any subject comes from him, his spirit whispering in my ear. He is my inspiration on how to treat others. :-)

My second mention is my oldest brother. As a kid, he was my idol and hero! I looked up to my older brother a whole lot, part of me still does. He is highly intelligent, open minded, and a lot strong. He is also ex-Military, as he had served his country under the US Army. I remember as a kid, when bullies would physically attack me on the playground, and I’d shout out in tears, “I’m gonna tell my big brother! He’s strong and in the Army! He will get you for this!” And my big brother did chase away my bullies and beat up one teen boy who had beaten me pretty badly in the streets. And one winter as a teen, I was without a winter coat and needed one, so my big brother gave me his bomber jacket. I still have that coat and wear it every winter, even though it’s old and a bit tattered. I can afford several jackets, if I wanted to, but I can’t part with that one… it’s special to me. But then my idolization was broken, when my brother went into some years of reckless and self-destructing behaviors, ruining his life. I was a lot upset and disappointed in him, even told him so in angry shouts. But, he became an inspiration to me later, because he did pull himself out of that darkness and now lives a settled and normal married life. And in his struggles to not stay in the darkness, my older brother inspired me to not stay in my own darkness and to change my life for the better. I fought hard to get out of my life of depression, with him in mind. :-)

My third mention, last but not least, is my best friend who is also an Army man (I suspect there is a theme within whom I gain inspiration from! :-p). I have mentioned about him a few hundred times within this blog, because he is awesome. He is the most stubborn and hard-driven man that I have ever met! Telling him that he “can’t” or “shouldn’t” do something is a direct challenge to him and he will fly head first into ANYTHING to prove that he can do it! Usually, this kind of arrogance would bother me, however… whatever my best friend sets out to do, he DOES IT, with precision and talent. He never gives up and he keeps fighting until he makes the doubtful person eat their own words! And I have had my share of eating crow, believe me. His fighting spirit and moxie is what motivates me often to never give up. Even when something looks futile, I just remember him and try again. :-)

I do feel a lot lucky to have or to have had such wonderful male influences in my life.  I do get my inspiration from other things and past figures in history too, but it’s nice to have  a few real and familiar faces in mind, when traveling through life’s journeys. ;-)

-D

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