Monday, December 21, 2015

Keep At It - Reach Out to Those Who Motivate You

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The movies have portrayed the scene right - sipping a freshly brewed cup of a coffee while listening to the rain gently tap the window panes sets the perfect atmosphere for creative types to let their minds drift off into their creative outlets.  I don't know whether or not this setting encouraged some kind of inner yearning within me to play the role of a mysterious artist, but at least it finally inspired me to write.   

The past few weeks, I've had a difficult time trying to come up with meaningful, inspirational messages to share with those who stumble upon this page.  Between getting ready for Christmas, pursuing new creative ventures, improving upon old hobbies, and slugging away on a seemingly fruitless, never-ending job search, my mind has simply been in every place but at the keyboard.  Any quiet time I've had has unfortunately been seduced by that horrendously unstimulating torture device called stress.  And quite frankly, I have been feeling too guilty and hypocritical to try and be motivational while I feel anything but. 

While I use my writing and creative talents to try and uplift others, I have always struggled with listening to my own advice, a debilitating barrier that I'm sure many of you out there struggle with as well.  A continuous, steady stream of rejections has made me question my endeavors to the point where sometimes I think "why bother?", but a recent encounter with some of my biggest motivators has finally nudged me back to pursuing my dreams. 

When I taught 6th grade last year, I created such a strong bond with my students.  I truly aimed to learn their talents and abilities so that I could push them to improve upon them.  They had to suffer through (and hopefully learn from) my "sermons" as they called them, but as I reminded them countless times, they pushed me and inspired me as well.  They, too, were interested in learning my talents and abilities, and their genuine childhood interest and encouragement finally gave me a little more confidence to pursue my own dreams.  After all, how could I stimulate their active interests without nurturing my own?  Probably a little crazily, I left teaching to show my students that achieving your dreams can be done.  Although I haven't achieved mine yet, I refuse to give up, if not for myself, than for these kids. 

Last year, I promised my students that I would visit them by attending their Christmas show, other activities, and eventually their graduation (with our classroom duck-tape "pet" in hand and in graduation garb), so I went to watch them sing Christmas carols last week (and my gosh, have they grown!).  After the show, one of my past students spotted me walking down the hallway and dragged me in a swift run (literally) to see the others.  I am nowhere near celebrity status, but josh golly, I have a slight inkling of what it must feel like to be ambushed by fans and admirers, and it is as exhilarating as it is overwhelming. 

My past "chickadees", as I called them, surrounded me and barraged with me with stories.  It was difficult keeping up with the numerous chattering voices circling around me.  Parents walked by, looking quizzically at the moshpit that spanned the width of the hallway, and I must admit, being an individual that thrives off of going down the "road less traveled", I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being the one that stirred a little commotion.  The students filled me in on everything from their latest classroom drama to their successes, and we chitchatted about Christmas plans and hopes.  I inquired of their creative progresses, and they reciprocated the interest as they asked of my pursuits.  Of course, I felt a little embarrassed not yet having tales of achieving at least some of my goals, especially to those who believed that I could reach them, but at that moment, I realized that hell if I'm going to give up on them.  The youth today need to see that creativity and aspirations are just as important as monetary and material success.  Creativity fosters all the success in this world, so it must be a focus, especially for young minds that will be taking up the daunting mission of leading this world one day.

While I want to inspire many, many people in this world to never give up, to nurture talents, and to be proud of the elements that make them unique and possibly a little quirky to others, I've set a personal objective of primarily motivating these specific kids.  And somehow, out of love and genuine belief of their abilities, I vow to do it. 

Without going into my goals and aspirations in this post (perhaps I will do that in another), I guess my message to you is to not give up on your plans and dreams, because if we all did, nothing would ever be achieved.  There are so many potential lives that will be affected by what you can potentially do. 

If you, like me, have been feeling down or close to failure, reach out to those that motivate you.  I've learned that those that wish to inspire are not immune to stress, failure, or a lack of motivation.  They, too, require the caring, rousing touch of others.  After all, each of us rely on one another to be successful in whatever ventures we pursue. 

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