What does inspiration mean to you? To me it is the driving force propelling the manifested will of our species foward through discourse and opposition, acting as proprietor of human progress and glory. Inspiration can take many forms. Whether it be a tale of heroism and glory, a personal triumph, or resilience in the face of incredible odds, inspiration is fundemental in the human perception of life and existence. Although I maintain a personal objection towards superlative ideations, and would suggest that inspiration is more often implicated over periods of time in relationships and passions, If I had to choose one fraction of my existence to define as the most inspirational moment of my life I believe I could produce an experience of adequate nature.
I had just graduated from high school. I was 17. My buddies and I had been planning this trip for almost a year, and were stoked it was finally happening. We were backpacking through Paris and southern europe. Since the trip was punctuated with long train rides, we quickly learned to use them as an opportunity to rest and recover from our all liquid diets. On one such stretch up the coast of Italy, copious amounts of beer, chianti, and possibly absinthe led to the mistake of giving a particularly daft, although sober, friend command of the operation. He directed the group of 7 to a train presumably headed to our next destination. I woke up that evening, and although half drunk and malnourished, quickly realized that we were now in the Verona Train Station. I checked my map, and found, to all our dismay, that we were 250 miles away from our booked hostel. The icing on the cake came when we found that our train had been the last for the day, as we were promptly directed out of the station and onto the streets of an obscure city that seemed to despise the english language. My friends were ticked and even frightened at the prospect of spending the night on a bench or in the park. Everyone seemed to eager to point fingers. Where they saw a crisis, I, however, saw opportunity. A chance to lead and not follow, to prove my potential capability and independence to both other and myself. Using what little Italian I could muster, and my useful translation book, I inquired throughout the city for a hostel, and eventually finding what seemed to be the only one. It was Fully booked, midsummer is tourist season, but I did assuage a local resident into letting us stay at his place for 15 euros a head, about the same cost of the hostel we had planned. We awoke the next morning refreshed and revitalized, on good terms and most importantly, I was the hero. This was an instance of self-inspiration, which I believe to be stronger than the more typical peer inspiration. I proved myself a capable leader, one able to entrust and consolidate others and deliver results. In many ways, it was a right of passage that transformed a teenager into an adult.