This is the real, true story of how my best friend and I fell in love with a middle-aged couple in Mexico.
Okay, maybe ‘love’ isn’t the right term. Maybe it’s more accurate to say we fell in adoration with them or we were completely overcome with life-envy. Or maybe we just wanted to grow up to be them.
This is how deep our love ran: After we parted ways with this couple, we spent the next 20 minutes discussing them in Awed Tones.
“Like, how do you get to be like that? How do you keep being so cool and interesting? For, like, your whole life? I’m on track to melt into my couch by the time I’m 55.”
“Did you see his glasses? THEY WERE SO COOL.”
“And did you hear her just casually mention how they’d backpacked around India for a month last year?”
“Yes! Also, I think I only want to wear linen tunics now.”
The objects of our affection were a middle-aged couple from Maine we met on a house tour in Merida, Mexico. He was a self-employed graphic designer who wore tortoise shell glasses, took notes in a moleskin, and had turned their garden shed into a design studio. She was an educational director who nurtured award-winning flower gardens, hosted big dinner parties for artsy friends, and spearheaded their trips all over the dang world. (She also wore linen tunics like nobody’s business.)
This couple wasn’t wandering around, hoping to Inspire People. They didn’t look deep into our eyes and impart their wisdom. They didn’t hand off a dog-eared copy of Walden. They were just two creative, interesting people, inadvertently reminding us that fun and adventure don’t have to stop when you’re 55 with a mortgage and a Super Serious Career.
Totally unbeknownst to them, through no effort on their part, they inspired us to be better versions of ourselves.
Which made me think about the people I find inspiring. Of course, I’m inspired by my friends who win Jeopardy or run marathons, but I’m also inspired by the friend who speaks with grace and diplomacy about her (horrible) ex-husband.
I’m inspired by the friend who loudly, vocally loves WWF and the friend who volunteers with inmates.
None of these people are trying to be inspirational, but by being who they are and doing what they love – they are.You don't need to climb Mount Everest to inspire someone. Being who you are is enough. Click To Tweet
You never know who’s reading your Facebook updates and thinking “Wow, she really gives me hope that I can figure this out.” You never know who’s listening to your dinner party story and thinking “You know what? I want to do that, too. This is the nudge I need.”
This very moment, you might be accidentally inspiring people to:
- Be a parent and still have a social life
- Be in a committed relationship while maintaining close friendships
- Volunteer and advocate for important causes
- Refuse to engage in vitriolic Facebook arguments about politics
- Dye their hair pink
- Make all their own clothes + embrace ethical fashion
- Quit the job they hate
- Stay at that job so they can send their kids to college
- Get serious about their health
- Choose to want less
- Joyfully embrace their maximalist tendencies
- Make peace with their body and drop the 1,100-calorie diet
- Travel the world solo
- Own their homebody-ness
But we can’t be inspired by you if you don’t show us who you are. If you’re looking for a push to share the thing you’re excited about or start an important conversation or just post more photos on Instagram – this is it. You’re doing amazing things. We want to know about them.
Who are are you quietly inspired by? Has anyone ever surprised you by saying you’re inspiring?