Inspirations are the forces within that drive you internally, pushing you to be better. We all have a source of inspiration. They come in the form of ideas that grab a hold of you upon first inception, or beliefs that we hold on to until the very end. Even in the form of people, whom we strive to become or ultimately fight for. Nevertheless, we hold them dear to us as a constant reminder keep moving forward.
As a writer, I’ve found inspiration through stories. You know the kind. You hear it when your friend tells you about that one guy who did this, along with this one girl who did that. We listen because we care. And we care because it gives us the chance to connect. Stories keep us connected to each other and the world around us. After all, this sense of connection is a part of the human experience. The idea of storytelling has always interested me, which paved the way for my future as a writer. Therefore, I write.
As a person, I’ve found inspiration through the people I’ve surrounded myself with. More specifically, my family and friends. All of them are very unique individuals who influence me on a daily basis. I like to think that I’ve become the person who I am today because of them. But on May 5th 2011, I found a new source of inspiration: my daughter.
It’s a strange feeling, being a father. I admit, I was scared. Having to raise a child, in a world as messed up as ours, seemed overwhelming. I feared that I couldn’t be the father she needed, let alone the father she deserved. But the moment I held her, all those fears seemed to vanish almost instantly. Right then and there, I knew something in my life had to change.
No longer could I wander through life expecting success to find its way to me. No longer could I complain about how hard life had become and the pain it’s been to live. No longer could I live so carelessly, with a complete disregard for the people who have supported me over the years. Along with the birth of my daughter came about a change in my life that would radically affect the outcome of my future, both as a writer and as a father. I had to stay alive on the inside. I had to accept the difficulties of life. And, I had to commit myself to working as hard as possible with the determination to succeed. I needed to.
Of course, this was easier said than done. Nothing was going to prepare me for the agony I’d endure day after day. The agony of not being able to see my daughter because we’re so far away. Because I’m in college. Once she was born, I had a choice to make: dropout of school or continue my education. It seemed obvious at first. But the more time I spent with her, the more I realized that she deserved so much more than what I had to offer. I wanted to spoil her with every chance I get. To do that, I couldn’t continue to live off each paycheck idly getting by. She deserves to have a life filled with riches and endless possibilities. A life I could never have. And so on August 27 of that year, I made the worst decision of my life. I left.
I find myself regretting this decision everyday. I play the scene at the airport over and over hoping to find some sort of resolution in my actions. The night is humid. The heat lingers in the air, causing me to perspire. But deep down, I’m cold. Shivers run through me as time runs out. I solemnly hold onto my daughter. My last words to her are desperate. I tell her this isn’t goodbye. I beg her not to hate me. I promise her that I’ll return. I place a kiss on her forehead, making sure it will last. Ensuring I won’t be forgotten. I turn around and force myself to keep walking. Each step gets heavier as I proceed to my designated gate. Only this time, I don’t go. I run back and find her smiling that adorable smile of hers. If only that were true…
It’s been a struggle to live as I’m stuck here trying to finish college. Each day brings fourth a new set of emotional hurdles for me to overcome. Sometimes, I’m able to get by with a new-found confidence that helps me breathe easier. Most of the time, however, I burrow deep into an emotional abyss. There, the voices inside tell me to give up. They tell me it’s not worth it. They tell me I’m not good enough. And just when I’m ready to submit to it, I take another look at the reason why I’m here. Within a small frame captures a single moment in time. She’s there, smiling that adorable smile of hers. And her eyes are simply precious.
That’s the beauty of inspirations. They keep us going, even when we’ve lost the courage to move on. It’s easy to give in to the pain, to let life trample over you just because everything seems impossible. But isn’t that always the case? Life is hard. I’ve done my fair share of complaining, wondering why it won’t ever pertain to me. It was useless of me to do so. Now, for the first time ever, I’m embracing the challenge. In all honesty, none of these changes in my life were necessary. I don’t have to do these things. But I want to because my daughter inspires me to. Because of her, I am more than willing to put myself through sheer agony just to see her smile. To me, she’s worth it.
It’s a long road ahead. There’s no telling what awaits me in the future. But I keep in mind that soon enough we’ll have our time together. I look forward to the day that I come back home for good. It keeps me going. This renewed sense of purpose is all I’ve got to live for. And for once, it seems like the right thing to do.
Through my daughter, I’ve found the will to live and the strength to stay alive. Her presence in my life has signified a new beginning. A chance to start over. A way to be good again. All my life I had been raised to be a good boy. Unfortunately, I was never much of one. But maybe, just maybe, I can be a good father. The father she deserves.
So, who’s your inspiration?