I debated writing this blog because I didn’t want it to come off egotistical but then, I remembered someone who had inspired me and I thought, screw it. I’m going to write it and let those who read it decide for themselves if it’s written in vanity…
A couple months ago, a regular who comes into the restaurant I work a few days a week at asked me if anyone has ever painted me. I practically laughed and said no, not thinking much of it. Then, she proceeded to tell me that she’s an artist but she hasn’t been doing any paintings in quite a while and she liked my face and told me I’ve inspired her to start again. She told me how when she and her husband had first met me years ago, she told him that she wanted to paint me. I was humbled by the experience and told her she could paint me if she wanted to. So then, we started talking about it. We met and I asked her some questions about the process and what would be expected of me. Honestly, I really enjoyed talking to her. I can appreciate the artistic process of finding one’s subject. As a filmmaker, I continually find subjects I want to explore in an artistic manner.
Anyway, we set a time and I went and sat for her. It was simple really. She let me sit and read a book, which is something I do all the time. But then, when I saw the first painting of me, I was blown away. It’s not an exact replica or anything, as she is a bit abstract, but she tried to capture a feeling and it was surreal to see the painting and be part of this artistic process for her. She tells me I’ve inspired her to paint and I’m really happy about that. It caused me to remember someone who had inspired me and had actually changed my life.
Years ago, when I was in college, I had a boyfriend for four years. He was my best friend and a great guy but I wasn’t being honest with myself that he really became just a friend to me, and not someone I wanted to be with on a romantic level any longer. Then one day, I crashed an English class where I met a graduate student (I was an undergrad.) He flirted a lot with me but most importantly, he got me to feel what it was like to be attracted to someone again. Not long after, I broke up with my boyfriend, which was one of the hardest things I ever did, and became friends with this grad student. He opened my mind to new music, new films, new books and a whole new way of thinking. I don’t know if he realizes that he did this for me because, I’ll be honest, I’ve never told him, but he truly inspired me. He inspired me to become the filmmaker I want to be. To live the life I want to have and I will forever be grateful for that.
Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms. But where ever one finds it, it’s lasting and memorable. But what I now realize is that it’s true on both sides.
We can inspire and be inspired. And what a beautiful thing that is.