Staying inspired


You’ll never believe this, but sometimes I don’t know what to write a column about.

Between all of my other responsibilities, I often forget that it’s my time to shine. You see, our editorial team has a rotating schedule that shows who is writing a column when, but even if I have a month to prepare I still manage to take it down to the wire.

Some people in the journalism industry look forward to their columns, and some even have their entire job based around writing them. I don’t necessarily dread my columns or anticipate them – I simply do what must be done. Sometimes I’m inspired, sometimes I’m not.

But while the sounds of my “Teddy Pendergrass Essentials” playlist play in my headphones, I will do my best to provide you dear readers with something worthwhile.

Speaking of ol’ Teddy Bear, one of those essential songs is “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration,” which was released in 1981 – just a handful of months before the legendary singer was paralyzed from the waist down in 1982 after a car crash.

As I’m now an engaged man, and still hoping that I’ll find a way to be a good husband when it’s all said and done, I listen to this song much differently than I used to. Not only because life is short, and who knows what will happen tomorrow, which was quite literally demonstrated with Pendergrass’ car accident, but because the main thing that truly keeps me inspired today is my relationship with my fiancée.

We’ve been together for nearly eight years, but I’d be lying if I said that was the case since day one. I literally had to grow into it, as we were 15 when we started dating. Back then I was motivated by sports, academics, going to college, having a good career and all of the typical items you would expect.

Those weren’t necessarily bad things to be inspired by, but they aren’t nearly as fulfilling as what I get out of my relationship today.

A lot of people believe love requires all kinds of grand gestures and adventures. Those have their place, for sure, but I’ve found that my deepest displays of love come when I absolutely don’t want to do something, and I do it anyway.

I’m still imperfect – I can definitely reduce my response time when it comes to taking the trash out or doing some dishes – but the point is that the care I have for my relationship and significant other inspires me when I typically wouldn’t have any inspiration at all.

Because of that, I’ve been trying to do a better job of “turning off” when I’m at home. Less checking my phone, looking at work emails or writing stories and more distraction-free time with the person who means the most to me.

Yet another Pendergrass song, “When Somebody Loves You Back,” has a couple lines that state: “You’re the one who’s got me inspired, keep on liftin’, liftin’ me higher.”

Thank you to Mr. Pendergrass for inspiring this column, and to Morgan for inspiring me to reach a higher level every day.