For the longest time, I was only able to get the supporting role in life. And though you may be thinking, “I didn’t know Safa was an actress," well, I’m not. I literally mean that I always focused on helping others and making them happy for the first 13 years of my life. As the years passed, nothing of significance appeared to stand out in my memories, only glimpses of amusement parks and birthday parties.
Perhaps it was because my long-term memory is weak, or maybe those years were blurry because I didn't focus on myself. When I looked at others, I even saw them as bystanders in their own stories. Other friends tell me that they remember most of their childhood adventures clearly, but I can't say the same because my brain didn't mark my childhood as something that I played a significant role in.
Thankfully, I can tell you that every moment of the last three years is crystal clear because of the precious friends I've made in high school, especially my five best friends. These girls have given me the motivation to become a better person for myself and for others. I used to want to live a "normal" life and only engage in necessary activities but nowadays, I find myself wanting to do more, to do things that I'm interested in and wanting to invest myself in.
When I was younger, I loved writing about anything, and I even won second place in the Reflections Contest in middle school. This year, I joined Odyssey because I wanted to revive the girl who always passionately transferred her words to paper, regardless of the topic. I've started reading books for my enjoyment again, rather than simply for school assignments. A few days ago, I picked up "Coma" by Robin Cooke because I hadn't picked up a medical thriller (my favorite genre) since seventh grade.
There are so many more little things that I've begun to do that bring me joy in the midst of my overwhelming exams and assignments, all thanks to my supportive friends who inspire me and remind me that it's okay to indulge in myself.
Neha writes beautiful stories for her growing fan-base on Tumblr (I'm her #1 fan).
Divya is a devoted gamer and watches true crime shows.
Michelle uses her marvelous looks and brain to ace math competitions (she isn't a nerd, so get that stereotypical image out of your head).
Tiffany creates amazing digital art and equally amazing paintings (I take pictures of every one of her exhibitions in school).
And Emily does covers on YouTube with her lovely honey voice (I'm also her #1 fan).
Seeing them find time for the things that make them happy motivates me to do the same.
The friend who played the largest part in encouraging me to find myself was the one I made on the first day of ninth grade: Neha Satish. I will always remember those awkward but heartwarming five minutes for the rest of my life. Neha and I were both from different middle schools that didn't feed into our high school, so we didn't know anyone. We had noticed each other in first period, and we had seen each other again during lunch. My dad had come to the front lobby to pick me up at the end of the day, and Neha happened to be passing by to go to her car, too. She suddenly stopped in front of me.
“Do you want to eat lunch together tomorrow?” she asked.
I was startled to say the least, yet I was also elated. And so began our beautiful friendship. Neha knows me more than I know myself. I tell her my secrets and worries, and in return, she provides me with encouragement and comfort. Sometimes, we're the exact same person, and sometimes, we're polar opposites.
I used to be very cautious about my opinions around other people because I didn't want to hurt their feelings or cause disagreements. However, Neha and I have so many different views that we share without triggering each other. She taught me to think that my thoughts and opinions were valuable.
When anyone asks me who my role model is, I would tell them it's Neha Satish (so are you, Mom; don't freak out). Neha is a strong, loyal and reliable friend. She isn't afraid to pursue what she wants, and she knows how to make herself happy. This girl never runs out of motivational quips that always have me drowning in tears and gratitude. Without her, I would still be focused on making others happy and supporting them instead of myself.
When I told her that I wanted to start living a better life for myself, she promised me that she would help me through every step of the way and that she would make sure her shoulder was nearby when I needed someone to lean on. And finally, that she would support my every decision.
To this day, she has never broken that promise.
Good evening everyone,
I have just started to write my first essay since high school. It is very intimidating to me because I do not make it a habit to write very often. I have started the journal, and it seems to help a little. I was wondering if you would please take a look at what I have written so far, and answer a few of the questions I have. I will put my questions at the bottom. I am required to write a descriptive essay about someone who has inspired me, and write about one way they have inspired me.
ESSAY: FIRST DRAFT
What does someone do to inspire you? To me, inspiration is the process of instilling faith in someone to motivate him or her to do something. Many people do things simply out of the kindness in their heart, and do not realize they are inspiring others around them.
To me, my husband Dave inspires me the most. He is a very loving and caring person. He gives me the strength in my heart to do whatever I put my mind to. He inspires me to do things by example. He inspires me most when I see how his generosity makes other people feel, and how good it makes him feel because of their reaction. From that example, it makes me want to do something so I can experience the same feeling.
Dave always inspires me to make goals for myself, chase my dreams, and to do things to help others. He volunteers whenever he can. A few of his favorites are Cub Scouts, Drug Awareness Programs, Children's Hospitals, Supporting our Veterans, Community Highway Clean-up, and Habitat for Society. He is also very dedicated to helping his country. He has been in the United States Navy for almost 20 years as a Senior Chief Builder in the Seabees. He will retire soon, but his desire to help our country and community will continue.
It was one rainy evening in particular I will never forget. We were sitting in the living room discussing his plans for a motorcycle run to raise money for the Veterans Hospital in Hampton Virginia. The TV was playing in the background, and our son was sitting at the kitchen table working on his homework. In the middle of our conversation, his cell phone rang. He stepped outside to take the call, and I went to check our son's progress with his homework. When he came back into the house, he did not say a word. He just turned the volume on the TV up, and started to watch the coverage for the upcoming hurricane.
He began to explain the phone call he had just received. It was from his boss in the military. He said if the hurricane were going to be as strong as they think it will be, he would have to leave right away to be there for the disaster recovery. This started to make me worry about what was going to happen to the motorcycle run. We had over 200 people already pre-registered, the t-shirts ordered, the food was being prepared, the permits were in hand, and the police escort had already been set up. I knew this was something Dave was passionate about, and it had to go on.
Suddenly, on August 29, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. There was severe damage mostly in the cities of Mobile, Alabama, Waveland, Biloxi/Gulfport, Mississippi, and New Orleans. At least 1,836 people lost their lives due to the severe storm surge damage. Dave was ready to go as soon as he heard the news, so he could provide help to those who lost everything.
More than 3,000 U.S. Navy Seabees from all over the United States aided in the hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Hurricane Katrina was so devastating; Dave and his crew volunteered to stay longer, and could not make it back in time for the motorcycle run for the veteran's hospital.
His passion to help his community, and our country inspired me to take over the motorcycle run. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives just as Dave would have done. He wanted to make life a little easier not only for our veterans in the hospital, but also the people who lost everything due to the hurricane. After a lot of hard work and dedication, it was a very rewarding feeling knowing I could help that day. The motorcycle run was a huge success, and we were able to present them with a check for over five thousand dollars.
Without the inspiration from my husband, and continuing to do things out of the kindness of his heart, I would not have been motivated to do the things I have done. He continues to inspire me to do things everyday, and I would not be the person I am today without him.
1. I am worried about my commas and semi-colon usage. When I listed the things he volunteers for, did I need to use a comma or a semicolon when I said "a few of his favorites are"
2. "He said if the hurricane were going to be as strong as they think it will be, he would have to leave right away to be there for the disaster recovery." Did I use the word were properly?
3. "There was severe damage mostly in the cities of Mobile, Alabama, Waveland, Biloxi/Gulfport, Mississippi, and New Orleans." Did I list the names correctly?
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time.