In the speech class that I tried to drop out of but couldn’t because I wanted to have a reason to see your face twice a week, our last assignment was to write a speech commemorating someone who inspired us. And this is what I came up with, if I decide to go back.
When I was 12 I was asked to write a paper about my hero. My classmates wrote about their favourite comic book characters, athletes, musicians, and various successful people. I wrote about my mom. That’s not who this speech will be about. My mother does inspiring things and she has inspired me in the past, but I cannot talk about her for 2-4 minutes and be honest.
Honestly, I don’t have any sole person who inspires me. People are greedy, selfish, and imperfect. People break my heart and hurt my feelings. People kiss and leave. People call me names. People talk about me when I leave the room. People don’t text me back when I thought everything was at least somewhat ok. People are cruel. People are self centered.
So, in typical feminist Hailee epiphany fashion, I thought, “I’ll talk about how I inspire myself. How much I’ve grown over the years and how proud of myself I am.” But I wanted to be honest in the speech. All those people who don’t inspire me, are human. And what am I? Human. I steal. I lie. I use people. I cheat and I dodge responsibility. I drink far more than I should. I’m gluttonous and cruel. I am not someone who should elicit inspiration in others.
I thought, what DOES inspire me? And I remembered times when I had to sit and write as I am now, and what caused me to feel that way. And this is the list of inspirations that I compiled:
– The day in autumn when I notice that the trees have changed colors and can’t figure out when it happened.
– When I played chicken with a train and realised, despite my suicidal thoughts, how precious life was.
– The first time I was kissed by someone who truly cared about me.
– The smell of freshly cut grass.
– A home cooked meal after living off fast food and ramen for months.
– When a cute boy taught me how to use chopsticks and I thought I was going to stop breathing.
– The catharsis of finally crying and letting all the poison out with someone you trust.
People should do inspiring things, but no one should be inspired by one sole person. We should be inspired by moments and small things that may seem meaningless to someone standing right next to you, but mean the world to you. There’s a quote from someone that says, “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” We should never put everything in something as fragile as another human being. You should be inspired by a beautiful song or the smell before rain. As soon as you let yourself build up another human being you lose yourself to the lie that this person is immaculate when really they are only human and you’re probably only seeing what they are allowing you to see.