I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with the type of people that you want to be. Surely some of their goodness will rub off on you if you follow them around closely enough. And let me tell you about the people that I surround myself with – they’re phenomenal. They bring humor, sunshine, support, encouragement, and happiness to me every single day. But maybe the most important thing they do for me is inspire me to be bigger than I am.
I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever. I was, like, the BEST ballerina in my 3-year old class. But most of the people in my life blow me away.
My sister has always been about as athletic as a doorstop (love you, Gin. Smooches!). One day a few months ago she tells us all that she’s decided to run a half marathon in San Fransisco. We all patted her head, told her how proud we were, and never expected to hear much more about it. And to be honest, we didn’t really hear much more about it. But one day she sent me a picture of her and some friends and WOW did she look fantastic. I called her and told her that her roots were showing, because that’s what a sister does to the other sister that suddenly looses weight. She said she lost the weight because she had been training so much. Come to find out, the girl is like a running machine. She’s up to running 4 miles now and I’ve never been more impressed with her. Talk about setting goals for yourself… I hope her tenacity and dedication rub off on me a little bit.
And then there’s my BFF, Emily. Emily is just about the bravest person I know. When we were all stuffing 4 deep in tiny apartments in college, Em moved into one by herself. Any 19-year old female college kid will tell you how uber brave this is. Then, after we graduated, she just up and moved by herself to Chicago. She wanted to live in a big city and, man, did she take that place by storm. She moved about a year later to New York which made my heart soar because she was just a train ride away, and now she will be up and moving again to California at the end of the year just because she wants a change in weather. Yep, that’s my BFF. She’s a firecracker inside a tornado and I hope her bravery and strength rub off on me a little bit.
And, of course, there is my husband. Chris started working on theater sets when we were in high school. He joined the drama club mostly because that’s what his friends were doing, but while he was there he found he had a knack for seeing stages and scenery come to life. He went away to college and I thought that, surely, he would grow up now and take a “real” major. Engineering or architecture, maybe. But he loved those damn theater sets. He called me one day to tell me that he had created a steel bender that could be made for less than $25 that could be used by public universities who could not afford an actual steel bending machine and that he was going to publish in the Yale Technical Brief. I smiled and said I was proud of him, and promptly went back to watching Sex in the City. A couple months later he calls to tell me that the editor of the journal called him and asked him to apply to graduate school at the freaking Yale School of Drama. Now, he’s 25 years old and working on machinery for major Broadway productions. Last week he got a new assignment – the Times Square Ball for New Year’s Eve! Chris doesn’t believe in settling. He just works and works until he has exactly what he wants. He’s like that with everything in his life. He wants the best computers, house, job – you name it. And he works hard to get what he wants. I hope his persistence, patience, and devotion to really BIG ideas rubs off on me a little bit.
There are lots of other people in my life who inspire me, and that is one of the things I feel most blessed with. But, if you surround yourself with these kinds of extraordinary people and then never push your own self, you’ll never be as great as you could be. I say all of this because I’ve made a major decision and I’m putting it out there in cyber land in order to hold myself accountable.
I am going to write a book. Yep. I’m doing it. I’ve always wanted to, but I have been so scared of the idea that I don’t even talk about it – well, except sometimes to Chris. I look around me at the incredible things that the people closest to me are accomplishing and their tenacity, bravery, and commitment make me want to accomplish all that I am capable of myself. And how will I know that I am capable of something if I never try? I have two more months left of my thesis, and then its time for me to start writing. I don’t know if it will ever be published. I don’t know if anyone other than my parents will read it. But I’m not writing a book to become an author. I’ll write this book to become the best version of myself. And lucky for me, I’ll have wonderful inspiration, role models, and encouragement with me the whole way.