With all of this manufactured Valentine's Day talk and blather about surface beauty, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about more important stuff, like who inspires me. Not who inspires me to wear a violet cat eye to work, but the kind of inspiration that comes when I'm alone with my thoughts and not sure what to do next. My personal list of women who inspire me is a little different than you might expect. And no, they aren't all Howard Stern-related on purpose.
I became a huge fan one weekend when I had a horrible flu and the only thing that made me feel better was watching the doc Shut Up And Sing, on repeat, for two solid days. Embracing the fact that some of us need to take The Long Way Around will always resonate deeply within me, especially when I'm nervously second-guessing myself. We don't always get everything right the first time and that's ok. I love how she handled herself in the face of that George Bush bullshit and I'll always admire and learn from her experiences when the big top came crashing down. Her work with the West Memphis Three was amazing and she's a Stern Show superfan to boot. Her work inspires me daily.
Sarah's not afraid to jump into politics to help create the change she wants to see. She's more than happy to laugh at herself as she finds her way and doesn't shy away from being who she is. As a woman in a male-dominated world (my day job is the same) she kicks ass. She's a multi-faceted, sexy tomboy; a hilarious pile of chutzpah who runs towards honesty and the quirks that go with being true to yourself. Just when I want to hide the wackiness that is being me, Sarah reminds me that it's possible to be sassy, savvy, smart and really politically incorrect at the same time, all while laughing and loving generously.
I love Lena. Not for her bravery of showing her bits (can we stop talking about that, please?), but for putting mental illness out there in a way the masses get. Sure, it's in Homeland and everyone talks about how "so and so is so OCD" but that isn't what mental illness really looks like. Lena's helping to shine a light on a darkness that so many people live within. If someone had cancer, you'd instantly get it and lend helpful support. But true mental illness isn't that easy to comprehend. Nothing is more painful to someone suffering from an illness you can't see that to say, "can't you just decide to be happy?" or "keep your chin up!". I don't think many understood that before the last season of Girls. When Lena had Hannah puncture her second ear drum so she could satiate her obsessive need to be even, people got it . When her parents wanted to be helpful and just couldn't be, it exposed the rawness that is living with mental illness. It wasn't comfortable, but the glimpse into the mind of her character was like a brave ray of light. So many are suffering and without the light, it's hard to find a way out; or at least a way to a safe place to wait until calmer seas return. I'll always be grateful for how she helped to show others they weren't alone, while gently teaching others compassion for something that isn't ever easy to understand.
My list isn't the most obvious, so I'm curious. Who inspires you?