I’m a woman who, for good or for bad, has always told the truth about her life.
I’ve admitted when I’m lonely.
I’ve shared when I’ve judged you.
I’ve acknowledged when I’ve wished this all away.
I’ve confessed when I’ve felt lost.
I’ve made zero effort to hide when stuck in the place between what was and what will be.
Despite these facts (because of these reasons?) the past few years I’ve been on the receiving end of 3 particular words.
Words which initially sparked me to feel fantastic yet, after toomuchtimeonmyhandsforreflectionrecently, I’ve concluded are not five syllables to which I aspire.
You inspire me.
To me being identified as inspiration sounds exhausting as it necessitates the setting of example.
When I consider people I venerate it triggers a visual in my mind.
A mental picture of individuals so crazyfar ahead of where I am in life they’re fading into the distance.
An image of those who inspire as out there ‘setting the pace‘ and leading from the front.
Spoiler alert: I’ve no idea where said front is let alone energy or interest to push my way there.
I’m tremendously grateful for all the words of encouragement the past few months.
I recognize how lucky I am to have a Lady Posse whose members literally/metaphorically invite me to appear on doorstep, come in/plop on couch, quietly fall apart with no explanation required.
Right now I’m more #hotmess than inspiration.
And, surprising even to me, from the way I parent to our congenial uncoupling, I’m content in this place.
I’m choosing on a daily basis to show up as authentic and flawed.
I’m hoping, as a result, to create space for others to do the same.
#wycwyc isn’t inspiration.
The flip-side of my inspiration-rambles makes less sense to my tired cranium.
Because, as I wobble through life momentarily more baby fawn than badass buck, I’m not immune to seeking inspiration porn (is that a thing? around here it’s become a thing).
I search for it at 3am when I wake, panic about life 2.0 and am incapable of re-finding sleep.
(shout out to you, FaceBook Women Tribe)
The paradox arises as a result of the fact I’m now concurrently aware the (finger quote) inspiring (unFQ) women I fix my gaze upon in the middle of the night may not see it in themselves.
Nor may they desire to.
As I’ve learned during 3am Google searches: Being inspirational, even when it’s something I feel toward others, is an accidental achievement.
Inspirational cannot be plotted or planned.
Inspirational is a love child born from the serendipitous crashing together of 2 highly valued traits:
Vulnerability and courage.
It’s willingness to take a risk even when the risk is as seemingly simple as presenting oneself in as genuine a light as possible.
A readiness to leap with an awareness no net may appear inspires me more than anything one could set out to purposefully achieve in an attempt to lead the way.
can glow sticks inspire?
It’s less a Radamacher quote and more a sense of: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it’s the voice at the *start* of the day which reminds you 17 more hours until you can climb back in bed and surrender.
And, if that inspires, then it’s a tiny byproduct of the larger experience I call my life.
It’s the mess in me recognizing and giving a thumbs-up to the mess in you.
I’m dragging you with me as I trudge down the path of NewCarla.
A trail I’m simultaneously discovering, creating and sharing.
I’m allowing you to witness my mistakes in ‘real time’ and experience alongside me whether life turns out as I intuit or not.
Can you lead from the middle?
Can you be an occasionally craptastic parent and prompt others to wanna do the fucken same?
I don’t know.
I’m no inspiration. I’m not self-deprecating. I’m honest.
- Are you inspired by how others live?
- Are your inspirations the same individuals others view as guiding lights?
Bea saysNovember 27, 2017 at 4:55 am
I find myself inspired by people who are messy, too.
Perfection feels too far away right now!
Katie saysNovember 27, 2017 at 5:05 am
I think we can be messy and be an inspiration all at the same time. Someone sees something in us (whether we see it in ourselves at the time or not) that THEY need to take that step forward. Or maybe it’s just that they like knowing everyone else doesn’t have it all together too when they’re striving to figure everything out for themselves. With that said, I sure as bananas know I don’t have it all together. haha!
lindsay Cotter saysNovember 27, 2017 at 8:56 am
amen amen! Messy normal lives are authentic. That’s inspiring us to be US. thank you both!
Allie saysNovember 27, 2017 at 5:38 am
Sometimes the most inspiration can come from people who are flawed and just trying to do the best they can…just like me. I find it inspiring that you write so openly and honestly. I also like being inspired by something I THINK I too can achieve…but also by someone way off in the distance. Basically, inspiration takes many forms for me 🙂 It’s messy but it’s mine!
jennifer saysNovember 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
I love this and am relating
Wendy saysNovember 27, 2017 at 6:32 am
Especially since my diagnosis with RA, I hear that comment a lot. I don’t aspire to inspire (how’s that?!) but if people derive encouragement from my journey, I’m ok with it.
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au saysNovember 27, 2017 at 7:25 am
I think you are special because you show us the mess along with the success Carla – that tee shirt in the first pic is amazing and made me smile – both qualities you reflect 🙂
Renee saysNovember 27, 2017 at 7:36 am
Carla, you go girl! you are enough…just remember that and keep saying it to yourself. I said this to myself a million times a day when I was divorced and raising my 3 kids alone…working 3 jobs to keep us a float. I also remember getting up at 5 am and patting my bed and saying I will see you again soon every single morning….hugs to you…You are enough!
Marcia saysNovember 27, 2017 at 8:10 am
Know what? Authentic inspires me. Because there’s way too much fake out there. I don’t do fake. I’m a mess too and I own it. We all are to one extent or another, whether we’ll admit it is another story.
Michele saysNovember 27, 2017 at 8:25 am
I think we are all a hot mess just going through life trying to pretend we have our shit together. We are all in this together and no one is getting out alive… so lets quit pretending and just proudly wear our hot messiness as in inspiration to all the young ones coming up behind us. Life in all its beauty is messy.
Haralee saysNovember 27, 2017 at 8:55 am
The T-Shirt saying is great! Everyone has a messy period in their lives, some people just don’t acknowledge it. You are great right now, your head is on straight and you are moving forward. I will cheerlead you!!
Connie saysNovember 27, 2017 at 9:10 am
I don’t know if you have shared and I missed it or if you’ve decided not to share but I’m find myself curious about the congenial uncoupling. I’m separated and each time I see my ex it’s more fights than anything else.
Bren Lee saysNovember 27, 2017 at 9:11 am
Inspiration to me? Someone who can admit all that you have and still continue to smile and shine. You are an inspiration girl! Keep rockin’ it!
Annmarie saysNovember 27, 2017 at 9:14 am
I so needed to read this. Apparently from the outside, I seem to have my ish together and have been told lately (in a rather snarky way) that people can’t measure up to me. To which my response was that I hadn’t showered since Saturday….it was a Tuesday. I am a total hotmess and DO NOT want to be an inspiration. It does sound exhausting and I am quite exhausted already 😛
amanda -runtothefinish saysNovember 27, 2017 at 11:07 am
I think inspiration comes in many forms. I have to admit this is one I work on because I always think, well I’m not a fast runner so who would I inspire, But it is the act of showing up that for many is the reminder they need
Erica Berman saysNovember 27, 2017 at 1:46 pm
I am not inspired by people’s success/money/fame, etc. I get inspired by those who show unbelievable resilience, tenacity and/or strength of spirit. As a psychotherapist, it is usually my clients that inspire me. Honestly, trying to find inspiration among the uber successful, usually just makes me feel crappy.
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysNovember 27, 2017 at 2:05 pm
I think we’re all messy. I appreciate the fact that you’re authentic about it. Too many people out there faking it – not acknowledging the messier sides of life. I have no interest in that .
messymimi saysNovember 27, 2017 at 2:41 pm
None of us are in the exact same place, and all of us can inspire in some sense. Not because we set out to, but because we draw lessons from each other that help us on our way.
Catherine saysNovember 27, 2017 at 4:04 pm
This just may be my FAVORITE post from you yet. I think your inspiring qualities lie in your self-awareness and COMPASSION for yourself.
This hit home with me because I’m sort of in that stage (read: funk) where I’m longing for a purpose instead of just recognizing WHO I am and accepting that maybe my messy/passionate-yet-unsure/etc self IS my purpose.
Anyway, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now: you DO inspire me. It may not be your goal, but I applaud your authenticity and vulnerability. Hugs, friend. <3
Donna saysNovember 27, 2017 at 4:58 pm
Carla, our lives are so different and yet I find we have so many parallels. I think, for me, it’s not so much inspiration but validation that I get from you, and others, when I notice, “Hey, I’m not the only one dealing with this sh*t. Guess I’ll do like her/them and just keep on going.”
Bodynsoil saysNovember 27, 2017 at 9:37 pm
Yes you inspire, for me it’s your mind body approach to living. I’ve read your work for years and love the openness of your writing.
Kristan Braziel saysNovember 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm
I love this so much, Carla! You ARE an inspiration, I don’t care what you say. Your willingness to share your vulnerability, your humanness, your messiness – that’s what’s inspiring about you! Where others share their highlight reel with the world through Facebook and Instagram and whatever other place they can, you share the real stuff that life is made of, and that’s what inspires people because we can relate to it. PS I wrote about you in my blog today. 🙂 I’ve been thinking about you and hope you are doing well during these holidays.
cherylann saysNovember 29, 2017 at 9:17 am
I just live my own life and don’t over-analyze anything. I do what I HAVE to do and then what I WANT to do and then sprinkle in a little bit of challenges here and there to make me feel good at the end of the day. So glad I am 64 and have all that “am I on the right path” stuff in my past…one day at a time. You’ll get “there”-wherever that may be for you.
emmaclaire saysNovember 29, 2017 at 11:04 am
NaMESSte – I need THAT on a t-shirt! I can be inspired by others in similar life situations, but tend to look for affirmation more than inspiration. There is something very comforting in the connection of 2 people floating in the same life boat, I think. I have been where you are and it can be SO difficult! I feel certain I would have benefited greatly from some affirmation and camaraderie offered by other newly-single moms. As it is, I made it through the challenge, as did my son, now a grown-up married father of 5 🙂
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysNovember 30, 2017 at 4:51 pm
THIS is my new mantra –> “It’s the mess in me recognizing and giving a thumbs-up to the mess in you.”
A big hot mess thumbs up from me to you, my friend!
Julliana saysDecember 2, 2017 at 7:44 am
Excellent thought Carla, I agree with you in almost every way. I just think we can be messy and be an inspiration at the same time.