Everyone has a list of things that motivate them—the promise of coffee at the end of an early-morning run or the enthusiastic greeting of canine companions at the end of a long day. But inspiration can be harder to find than motivation. Applying to vet school took a lot of motivation, but I’m learning that surviving the stressful drudgery of vet school takes both motivation and inspiration.
I remember being stymied by the college essay prompt, “Which historical figure has been the most inspiring to you and why?” It’s always been hard for me to look at the big picture and find inspiration. I’m better at focusing on details, like the small things that make me happy. For example:
- Deadheading day lilies, which gives me time to examine each orange bloom and marvel at the cluster of buds yet to come.
- Reading at breakfast. It’s the only time I read magazines, and there’s something…exotic about looking at sailboats cruising places I’ll never visit while sipping my morning coffee.
- My cat Maisie, who never fails to make me smile when a single pet results in thunderous purrs or inquisitive cheeps.
For me, small, everyday activities are somehow both motivation and inspiration.
If I had to answer that college prompt today—what person from history most inspires me—I would answer: my fellow members of the Class of 2018. And again, it’s not my classmates’ large achievements which chiefly inspire me. (And believe me, these men and women have done—and continue to do—some world-changing things.) No, once again it’s the small things that catch my attention.
One woman’s understanding of anatomy takes my breath away, and I’m continually awestruck by her patience and generosity in sharing her knowledge with others. One man’s quiet assurance bespeaks his history of serving our country, while another man unfailingly has a smile and a greeting for everyone in the room. Several women are indomitable cheerleaders, venting frustrations with the rest of us but always, always finding that silver lining to latch onto. Every day, some small action, expression, or conversation will remind me how lucky I am to learn with these incredible men and women. Because my V’18 family will always be a source of inspiration. ♥