Brave Enough to Learn

Day 19 of the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge: Someone who inspires you.

Answer: A number of people inspire me for a variety of reasons, but in the realm of gratitude, one particular person comes to mind as someone whose example has shaped much of who I am as an adult. Sixteen, seventeen years ago, I started working for a boss who was a free-spirited, fun-hearted lover of travel and beautiful things. While eclectic and creative, she was not an artist at the time. But then she decided to take a class. And she liked it so much that she took another class. And another. During some of her international travels (that she planned and coordinated without the assistance of a travel agency), she utilized some of her new-found art skills in creating journals for documenting her trips. Over the years, I’ve watched her evolve from an art student to an accomplished professional artist in her retirement. No matter how beautiful her work, she is forever learning new things, trying new mediums and further developing her talent. If there’s something she wants to know, she learns how to do it.

So, what inspires me about her is her fearlessness and unending desire to learn.

For years, I enjoyed checking out the cookie case at our nearby bakery. Then one day I spotted a class on cookie decorating. So instead of just continuing to admire the work of professionals, I decided that I wanted to learn to make beautiful cookies myself.

So I learned. And I continue to learn. I was even confident enough to do cookies for my son’s wedding reception this year (and the wedding cake, but that’s a story for another time.). But I can honestly say that I likely wouldn’t have thought it possible to learn had it not been for her example. She has taught me that just because you don’t possess a skillset, that doesn’t mean you can’t obtain it — and it’s never too late.

She has also inspired me to prioritize travel because the world has a lot to offer beyond my zip code. I love planning new adventures and have absolutely no problem traveling alone if need be. If there’s something out there that I want to see or experience, I figure out how to find it. And my children have inherited this sense of adventure and love of travel — and possess an even higher degree of fearlessness than their mother.

Anyway, that’s my answer: my former boss and current friend. She continues to inspire me and I’m so grateful.

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