Every week at work, we have a team meeting in my department and start off the meeting with an icebreaker. The most recent icebreaker was to name a woman who inspired us.
When it came to be my turn, I answered, "I don't have one."
There was silence. The question had been provided to us 15 minutes before the meeting but even leading up to the meeting and while in it, I drew a blank. I continued on and told the group I couldn't think of any one. I did throw out Betty White's name just to throw out a name. Who doesn't like Betty White? Admittedly, I threw out her name just to get the spotlight off of me. I reiterated to the group that I didn't have an answer. I went silent as that was my answer but it was clear they were waiting on me to say something.
My boss jumped in and told the group that I had the day off tomorrow and my mind was probably already there. I was thankful for my boss to move the session along. Even after the meeting, I still couldn't come up with anyone. Hours later, days later, I had no answer to the question to name a woman who inspires me.
I mentioned this to a friend who knows me well and they asked, if the question were to name a man who inspired me, would I be able to name someone? The answer - yes! If the question was to name a man who inspires me I could list at least 10 men. It got me wondering if something is wrong with me that I could not name a woman at all.
I racked my brain and throughout my life no woman has made a significant impact on me, enough for me to call up their name. In speaking with my friend, they said what they know of me it made sense that men have had a more significant impact. Only a small number of friends know about Sean and he made a huge impact on me. His impact has lasted with me all these years but there is no female equivalent.
My influences or the people who inspire me are reflections of the things I like. I have musical influences, skateboard influences, influences all over the place. I draw from each one a bit of something that gets filed away in the deepest parts of me. I call upon these wonderful beings when I'm struggling, tapping into their magic to help me keep going but they find their way into my everyday life too.
It got me thinking that maybe I have a code for who inspires me much in the same way I have a code for generosity. People do inspire or influence me in different ways. I think the label of what they mean to me is a little gray. I will admit that some of the people who inspire me, disappear with time. I suppose that makes sense as we grow and change through the years. Someone who inspired me in my teenage years, may have no significance in my life now.
It's been a couple of weeks since the question to name a woman who inspired me landed in my lap and I still have no answer. I have no answer. I don't know if I'll ever have one and perhaps, I don't need to have one. There is the possibility that I haven't met them yet and one day I will. Time will tell.
If you need some inspiration though, enjoy this clip from Tony Hawk doing a 540.