What inspires you? Actually, who inspires you? Think about that for a moment. Does something, or someone, come to mind?
From what I gather, we all have role models and people we look up to. Most teens look up to celebrities and imitate their clothing and hairstyles. Some, even their personalities!
But many are more drawn to their life choices. Whether it’s battling an addiction, helping the needy or inspiring others to be a better person, we all have someone we look up to as we strive to find our purpose in life.
Whether you are inspired by a celebrity, a family member or a close friend, inspiration is a big part of life and impacts the person you are.
When I was younger, I was inspired by celebrities like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato simply because they were famous. It took a while before I understood the true meaning of inspiration. I didn’t realize how a celebrity could possibly inspire me until I was asked to write an essay on inspiration last year.
I saved my essay and today I would like to share it with you.
I was a very shy and self-conscious person during the summer before I entered 7th grade. I wasn’t sure of myself and I felt that I would never change. One of my friends who had just graduated middle school, informed me that this school year I would have to make a big decision. A decision that would impact me very soon.
I was going to have to choose my career.
It was something I had thought about, but they were only dreams that I felt could never be fulfilled.
I think my mother saw one of them. She listened outside my door almost every day as I read aloud the script to The Little Mermaid, changing my voice to fit each of the characters.
Shortly after I started this daily ordeal, she decided to take me to see a play. It was the first play I had ever been to, and I was convinced that it was going to be a snooze fest because I didn’t know what to expect.
It was a one woman show. That’s right, one woman. One woman acting 13 different roles.
Most of the one woman shows I had seen on YouTube consisted of a lady attempting to have a conversation with herself (and I sure didn’t want to sit through something like that).
We took our seats in the front row of the dimly lit auditorium and waited for the actress to take the stage.
As we waited, I decided to read up on the play. The name of the play was “They Call Me Q” and underneath the title was her name, Qurrat Ann Kadwani.
Moments later a girl with long, brown and definitely Indian hair took the stage. Her hair framed her caramel colored face perfectly and her beautiful brown eyes brightened as she smiled, lighting up the room.
She soon began her play starting with a piece about her name. She told of how people called her Q-RAT, but didn’t share the correct pronunciation of her name (yet).
I watched in awe how Qurrat connected with the audience as she slipped through the various roles in her story. The bullies that created her horrid nickname, her brothers who helped her get through many hard times in life, and her mom who always pushed her to do her best.
At the end of the play, she finally revealed her name saying “You may call me Q-RAT, but I will always be Qurrat.” At this point, many people in the audience were crying and laughing, but I remained just as I had before. Simply in awe!
After the show, we met up with Qurrat for dinner and she shared with me how long it had taken her to compose this play and how ecstatic she was to finally perform it. It had taken her 5 years to compose it!
My mom mentioned to her how I loved to act, and Qurrat smiled that gorgeous smile saying that was great. That’s when I realized it. My career choice. I wanted to be able to do the same thing Qurrat did.
I wanted to be able to put a smile on other people’s faces, to have them leave the room with something to hold on to, something that inspires them or a message that would change their life.
Qurrat made me realize that my dream could indeed become a reality. She gave me the inspiration I needed to choose a career path that I was interested in, and that inspiration has never faded.
In fact, if it weren’t for Qurrat, I would still be wondering, still be unsure of myself.
Qurrat’s show has sold out in many places (she performed at universities and film festivals in addition to Off-Broadway in NYC) and she’s been so busy on the road to fame that we haven’t seen her since the show.
But even so, I see her in myself every time I perform and get one step closer to my dream.
I’m not completely obsessed with Selena Gomez just because she killed it in Monte Carlo (though that is part of the reason). I’m a Selenator because she is passionate about acting and she inspires me to continue learning.
I don’t have an infatuation with Demi Lovato simply because I’ve watched Camp Rock a gazillion times. I’m a Lovatic because she was strong enough to get back on her feet after depression and keep making beautiful music, and she inspires me to continue writing songs even when I feel discouraged.
I definitely don’t stalk Lilly Singh on a daily basis due to the fact that her YouTube channel currently has 6,925,757 subscribers, I’m part of #TeamSuper because Lilly’s goal is to make people smile and laugh and feel good about themselves. Despite experiencing severe depression, she was able to overcome this and inspire others to love themselves. In this case, she inspires me to be comfortable in my own skin.
Now it’s your turn. What inspires you? Who inspires you? And most importantly, what drives that inspiration?
Share in the comments below and let’s discuss.
Until next time!
~ Rina Raj