In 1983, I stood amazed with my parents at Cape Canaveral, Florida, watching the space shuttle take off. It was super early in the morning and I distinctly remember watching the orange glow rise and then become a white trail that went further and further away. I remember simultaneously thinking, That’s it? and, That’s like totally awesome!” (it was the 80s!). What was so significant about this particular day was who was in that shuttle. Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space. That day sent my life on a trajectory of loving everything space and NASA and science and flight. And Sally Ride never knew that she had such an effect on my life.
Now as an adult, I still look for other women who inspire me. I become a student of these type of women. I learn about their story. I discover their strengths and weaknesses, what they are reading, what kinds of things they do every day and what inspires them. Not in a creepy, stalker way, but like a student doing a research paper. I read books, watch videos, etc. If I could tell my junior high-self that one day I would actually enjoy doing research, I’m pretty sure I would roll my eyes at myself.
Because of some of these women, I’ve tried new foods, implemented some new daily routines, learned that challenges are what make us stronger and that not fitting in can be a good thing. I’ve started writing hand-written thank you notes and I’ve started drinking more water.
Who inspires you? Is there someone from the Bible? History? Current events? Maybe it’s a family member, neighbor or co-worker? Find someone and learn from them. If it is someone living, maybe write them a note, thanking them for the ways they inspire you. Become a life-long learner and you may unintentionally become someone who inspires other women.
Jennifer Iverson is the Leadership Content Coordinator at MOPS International. She is an organizer of things and people which also comes in handy as the mother of six children. Jennifer and her husband, Mike, live in central Pennsylvania where you can always find a warm cup of coffee brewing.