Saturday, November 5, 2011

Who Inspires You?

I have recently been asked to go back to my high school for an alumni math/science/technology fields event. To quote the email  "We want a wall of JETS alumnae history to show these students that they are not going to wander aimlessly into their futures, that we have gone before them and that we’re here to light the way." 

The whole I idea I am now the one lighting the way is throwing me off.  I am normally the person looking to others for direction and now people are looking to me. When did this switch?  When I first saw this email I mentioned it to one of the site guys who has turned into the mentor I never asked for and he told me that not only was I going, I needed to go.  I look to him for a lot of guidance and direction right now (for everything from how to pitch a presentation to what football team is going to win this weekend... ) so this was the kick in the pants to know that I had to go. 

I still really don't feel like I am able to be that much of a guide since I am still looking to my own mentors daily but this may be where I can inspire.  Anyone who has gone through engineering school will tell you it isn't fun.  What you get on the other side of engineering school is where things are fun. Engineering school has allowed me to do what I love. I have had to chance to build satellites and robots, and most recently, launch rockets.  I've stood on launch pads, in the space shuttle, blow rockets, and in thermal chambers.  All because I took the leap of faith called engineering school. I will never know what some of the spacecraft I put up there have done since many are secretive programs, but I can only hope I have made an impact.

I have the people around me who continue to inspire me when things get rough and sometimes that is all I need. It amazes me how much a "you can do this" means from a trusted mentor or the proof that someone has gone before me so I am not blazing my own trail.  The one person or thing that keeps someone going or points them in the direction they didn't know they wanted to go may be of more use than a guide. Dreams are powerful things and I may be there to prove that they do come true which could be more useful that I thought. 

Now,  I hope I don't screw this up.