In all honesty, I have never really sat down and thought about what has pushed me through life. Many people call this someone’s “why”, why they do what they do. Do not get me wrong, I have people who inspire me, things that push me, and experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today. Now is as good of time as any to reflect about my inspirations in life, so let’s see where this one goes.
Oddly enough, my first instinct is to say that my cat is my inspiration. There is a phrase floating around the internet that says “I work hard to give my pet a better life.” This is absolutely true for me. I have a 5-year-old cat named Mitchell, he is FIV+ which is the feline version of HIV/AIDS. He was in foster care for three years before I fell in love with him just as I was graduating college. I found an apartment that allowed cats and worked two jobs to pay for it, him, and all the things that would make him happy. He has a tower, lots of toys, special food, and a fireplace to warm his little belly. He is my pride and joy, it is just him and I most of the time. So, in order to keep him happy and make sure I do not end up in a spot where I have to give him away, I still work two jobs, finished college, and am now pursing both my MBA and CPA so I can give him everything.
Before I continue, please do not think that I am some crazy cat lady. While I am little bit, I do have other inspirations that go beyond my cat. Growing up, I was inspired by my parents. They worked hard to provide for us, though at times there was not enough to do extra things. We had food, clothes, a nice house, but we did not go on fancy vacations or to nice restaurants. When I noticed growing up was how hard mom and dad worked, I did not notice all the things we could not do. This inspired me to work hard but to also appreciate what I have. Now that I am older I have been on fancy vacations, to fancy restaurants, and all of that. But I still prefer to stay at home and just enjoy the things around me.
In addition to my parents, my maternal grandparents inspired me too. This is more of a person/event that inspired me. My grandparents worked hard, just like my parents. Nothing made my Grandpa Milt prouder than knowing my sister and I were doing well in school and working hard. When he passed away my freshman year of college, I struggled. I was as lost as a chicken in the city. It was like a part of my drive was gone and it was struggle to get back. Finally, something came along that helped push me back into gear. After the funeral, my sister and I had multiple people come up and tell us the same thing. It started off with saying what a good man Grandpa Milt was, he was an amazing person, but then they would say how proud of us he was. They mentioned how he would light up when he talked about us and all of the things we were doing. This pushed me because it made me realize that being the best I can be is no longer about making him proud, it is about carrying on his legacy and living up to be the person he said I was.
In all honesty, this is something I find myself struggling with. The realization I made does not mean that my drive came back entirely. There are many things I struggle to get through, such as playing the piano. But when I am struggling to get through it, there is a little voice in me that says that I can and that they are proud of me. This little voice is followed by a light chuckle and I can see an outline of an all too familiar smile. I know that this in my grandpa continuing to encourage and push me through so that I can do great things. It is my hope that I can truly live up to his expectations and his stories.
That bit of inspiration was hard to write about and a little downing, so I want to talk about another inspiration that is lighthearted. I am the youngest of two girls, my sister is four years older than I am and a licensed addiction counselor. Oddly enough, I actually went to the same college she did, she graduated the spring of the year I started. Due to this, there has always been a little bit of competition between us. She proceeded to get her masters degree and has talked about getting a doctorate. Now, there is not point in getting a doctorate in accounting. So, in order to keep up, I have decided to have more letters after my name. This means that I am pursing my MBA and my CPA straight out of college. At some point, I would like to become a CFO so I can add those letters too. She is my little bit of friendly competition and while she will still probably beat me because now she wants her nursing degree, it is enough to force me to get all those letters.
Lastly, is it strange to say that I am my own source of inspiration. My dreams of becoming a Chief Financial Officer, of starting a special cat sanctuary, or of starting a family while being debt free all drive the things I do. In order to become a CFO, I have to have as much education as I can in order to be at such a high level. In order to start a business, I have to have the knowledge of how businesses work and in order to do that I need to have an education and work for a company. In order to start a family and be debt free I have to have a well-paying job, and I need an education to do that. It is my hopes and dreams that inspire me to continue my education, work hard, and finish the CPA exam. I do not think it is wrong to be your own inspiration, because who knows what drives you better than yourself?
I will not lie, my inspirations in life are pretty typical. I have not faced major adversity, my whole family has gone to college, and am not aspiring to be the next Steve Jobs. But I have made some financial mistakes which means I am writing this essay in hopes of being able to pay for the rest of my master’s program without taking out more student loans. But I know that there are many out there who are problem in more of a need than I am. Money can be an inspiration, right? Anyways, we are all driven by something and those somethings may be more extreme than others. But it is important to keep working towards something, because what is life without something to achieve.
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