I is for Inspiration

When I think of the term ‘inspiration’, I think of things that have the potential to influence a person’s creativity—things like songs, books, stories, personal experiences, quotes. What I have realised recently is that by only thinking of inspiration in this way, I am practically saying that those that don’t indulge in the expression of creativity, do not experience inspiration.

So, then I looked up the meaning of the word:

Inspiration /ɪnspəˈrɪʃən/ n.

  1. an inspiring or animating action or influence.
  2. something inspired, as a thought.
  3. a result of inspired activity.
  4. a thing or person that inspires.
  5. Theology a. a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul of a person. b. the divine quality of the writings or words of someone so influenced.
  6. the drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation.
  7. the act of inspiring.
  8. the state of being inspired.
    (via Macquarie Concise Dictionary, Fifth Ed.)

The sixth definition got me thinking about how I view inspiration for myself. I spend so much time seeking, or waiting, for words of wisdom to come to me. Sometimes I feel like I need them—like drawing air into the lungs; inhalation.

Every time I am experiencing one of those time blocks where feeling flat and unmotivated is the norm, I turn to the fail-safe avenues, bound to give me inspiration—songs, books, film + tv and my favourite celebs. The last one, generally, is not exactly fail-safe, but … it can definitely generate a few laughs.

For instance, this corker:

“Mmmmm shall I poo poo before I sing opera or after?”
(via McFly’s Danny Jones’ Twitter account)

Not exactly the inspiration I search for, but the guy is most definitely worth his weight in talent, entertainment and joy. (Well done, Danny!)

Anyway, these things are the things that inspire me; the ones that make me want to create things myself. But not all people have the desire to create.

The other day, I was talking to one of my friends. She is studying nursing and was discussing how Grey’s Anatomy has influenced the ways she views nursing and the future avenues of nursing she wishes to pursue. She asked me whether it was bad that she was allowing that to happen. As a big TV viewer, I would seem super hypocritical if I had said yes to her. I know many people would have said yes to her, but she hasn’t taken it so far that she has let it define her future. She has used the show as inspiration—opening her eyes to possibilities and futures that she may have never considered before. Her question was what made me realise that the way that I viewed inspiration was extremely one-sided and subjective.

As I said before, not only do I use fiction as a source of inspiration, but I also use well-known personalities to guide me through life; I am the epitome of a teenage fangirl in early-twenty form. Throughout my teenage years, though, I had many and, in some cases, polar opposite role models that I looked up to. My parents didn’t, and still don’t, understand why I chose the people I did to look up to.

So, to end the non-fiction section of this post, I would like to share with you a list of some of the celebrities that I have used for inspiration over the years (please do not judge me. In some cases, I was young and stupid. In other cases, I am old and stupid.):

  • Hilary Duff
  • Demi Lovato
  • Joel Madden (of Good Charlotte)
  • Benji Madden (of Good Charlotte)
  • Dan Smith (of Bastille)
  • Dylan O’Brien
  • Holland Roden
  • Jane Austen
  • John Green
  • Monica McInerney
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher
  • Tom Fletcher (of McFly)
  • Danny Jones (of McFly)
  • Harry Judd (of McFly)
  • Dougie Poynter (of McFly)
  • Zach Porter (of Allstar Weekend, now The Tragic Thrills)
  • Cameron Quiseng (of Allstar Weekend, now The Tragic Thrills)
  • Michael Martinez (of Allstar Weekend, now The Tragic Thrills)
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Passenger
  • Dan Howell
  • Brian Logan Dales (of The Summer Set)
  • Jeff Davis (creator of MTV’s Teen Wolf)
  • Miranda Hart
  • Mindy Kaling
  • Pierre Bouvier (of Simple Plan)
  • Alex Gaskarth (of All Time Low)

There are others; I know there are. The members unmentioned of the bands that are on the list are not forgotten. They, too, are a source of inspiration for me, but the members that I have mentioned have been the most prominent in my life.

If you haven’t heard of any of these people, please check them out. They are awesome—every single one of them.

Grey days.

Everything appears in different shades of grey to me —some almost the sootiest black you could imagine. Instead of moving through the day with finesse and ease, I move through a sketch of graphite and charcoal.

I’m a puppy without tags of registration or ownership. I don’t have the eyes that melt hearts, though. They speak too much of innocence. That is one thing that I am not.

As I pass the familiar landmarks of the small town I know so well, I begin to notice strokes of a pencil, frayed fabric, and torn holes. The faith I once had in the world around me crumbles, fades, burns.

And the sound, the sounds are dull; they drone. It’s hard to differentiate car motor from voice. Both are loud, but both make little impression.

Then my phone notifies me of a new tweet from the people I need:

“Fight to the death for whatever makes you feel perfect. No one knows what’s right for you but you.” (x)

All of a sudden, the tree in the avenue of the main street begins to develop a green tinge amongst the grey. The sun gives technicolour to its kingdom. And though I am still surrounded by my bubble of grey, the day seems lighter, more bearable.

My day has been put in a microwave on high—who knows how long for. But this is the time for me to act. To begin attempting to jump from this graphite sketch and onto a page filled with rainbow marker. Maybe after a certain amount of time, I will be a water stain, and soak back to my lead drawing, but now—on this day, at this time of inspiration—my eyes deserve to be opened.

I value these times when they come along. They are hard to come by—like a book out of print. And though the people that send me rainbow-grams don’t know I exist, every time their words light up the screen on my phone, they save one part of me I had deemed lost forever.


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