[L]ast night I listened to the rain for a while before I realized I had nothing substantial to put in this post and my mind drifted to muses.
Mythological muses were known for inspiration.
It turns out muses are no different in the real world.
We had a college class together.
I sat alone on a black cushion, which covered a backless metal bench just inside the Hall School of Journalism’s first set of double doors, while I waited for the class to start.
It’s funny what you remember about the first time you meet someone who’d eventually change your life.
Our first meeting was her idea.
She told me some time later she just decided to stop and talk to me.
I don’t know why she stopped. I don’t remember all she said, either, but her decision has turned into years of friendship and meaningful conversations.
When I needed a column topic, she was usually the first one I’d ask for an idea because she almost always had a good one.
I’ve used so many of her prompts it has long been a running joke she is my muse.
The truth is, she’s inspired a lot more than prose.
She motivates me to take a deeper look at the world around me, to look at it in an entirely different way than I have before.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about important things like confidence, growing up, growing older, loss, influence, education and the best way to make a difference in this world.
We’ve discussed trivial things, too, like diets and athletes’ salaries.
We’ve discussed each other, but I’ll elaborate only about myself.
She has endured with the utmost patience my complaints about life, cerebral palsy, intestinal blockages and my my horrible track record with women.
She’s a great listener who gives great advice, but she’s never pushy about it.
She makes problems seem smaller, and she helps me see ways I can become better.
She’s about as loyal a person as I’ve ever been around, in a time where loyalty is about as fabled as the mythological residents of Mount Olympus.
She’s helped me understand the chance to be a friend to someone is a true treasure, and she’s the kind of friend I aspire to be to others in my life.
She’s been through a lot in the years since we met, but she’s come a long way.
She’s found a relationship with someone who makes her happy.
She’s earned more degrees than I’ll ever want.
She’s great at her job, and she makes a positive difference in someone else’s life every day.
I don’t believe she gives herself near enough credit so I want to take this opportunity to tell her a few things.
Thank you for stopping that day.
Thank you for listening. Thank you for your friendship.
I hope you know you’re an inspiration.