By Shoya Bowman
Inspiration comes from various sources. During my trip with my fellow brown chicks to the University of Arkansas camp held at Mount Sequoyah this week, I have a new source of inspiration: the youth. When I tell you that this was the greatest group of pre-teens, teens and young adults I’ve had the pleasure of being around in a very long time, I mean it! They were very respectful, appreciative and genuinely excited for our visit with them. Some of their stories broke my heart but their ambition and willingness to succeed in life mended it together.
These girls had the best questions for us in regards to life, love and relationships but one of the questions that stood out the most for me was, “where do you get your inspiration from?” I was quick to respond with an obvious answer, “my parents.” It’s true, my parents created the blueprint of my life and for that I’m forever grateful. They set the foundation and raised the bar high enough to where I had no choice than to aim for it. I loved the way their creative minds ticked, my mother, the pianist and my father, the artist. I loved the way they thought outside the box, coloring outside of the lines of their life. They lived life on the edge and didn’t try to prove anything to anyone but themselves.
I admired their intellect and willingness to always further their education. They’ve both passed away now but their blood runs through my veins and continuously pumps me with my daily dosage of inspiration.
However, after witnessing these young people in action I’ve now gotten myself an extra dose of inspiration from an unexpected source. Watching how their creative minds have worked from creating chants, to designing dresses for a fashion show competition has sparked a new flame inside of me. I’m reassured that it’s okay to take risks, okay to be vulnerable, okay to fail, okay to need, okay to desire, okay to seek, okay to question, okay to obey, okay to be humble, okay to forgive, okay to explore and okay to want more.
These girls have done something for me in the inside and for that I’m forever grateful to them for this much needed dose of inspiration. With that said, “if dreaming big isn’t big enough, dream bigger!”
Thanks to the young women of Dream B.I.G. 2013, my hat goes off to you.