Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What & Who is Yellow Inspiration?


I received a note from someone the other day, who asked me, ‘What is Yellow Inspiration? Is it yours? I appreciated the questions, they motivated me to talk about Yellow Inspiration and who I am.
Yes, Yellow Inspiration is mine and ii is pretty young; only 18 blogs old. Like any other blog, it's basically a place for me to put my thoughts, and a place for people to go and read them.

Although, my desire for Yellow Inspiration is that people who read it, will take time later in their day to think about what they’ve read.

I don’t expect every person, every day, to find what I say interesting. Everybody is different, and we all require different things. Although, I do have one hope, that whatever it is most people are looking for, they find it here.

And what might people be looking for? Maybe they’re looking for a little inspiration and motivation, (who isn’t?).  Maybe they’re just looking for another way to look at a repetitive problem or a dull day. Maybe they are in a slump they can’t get out of and they want some kind of insight or answers. Maybe they just want a laugh. Hopefully, whatever it is, they find it here and it makes them feel better. 
Yellow Inspiration is me working on fulfilling a dream.

When I was in fifth grade, I knew that I wanted to write. I knew it when I won a special certificate for a small book I wrote. I was one of five students who won this particular achievement and we were privileged enough to travel to another school in the community to present and share our books. I was hooked... I wanted to write books and talk in front of people.
As a student in elementary school, my writing skills showed. I forever aced English and never missed an assignment. In middle school, I used my writing skills to boost my grades on a social studies or science assignment by writing essays or reports. I loved writing, it didn’t matter what I needed to write, I just wrote.
When I was a young child, I guess I never did say out loud what I really wanted to do when I grew up, since to this day, my dad cannot remember it. Maybe I thought, at that age, I didn’t know enough of what I wanted. (Today, as a mother with a middle schooler, who's known what she wants to do since fifth grade, I wish I knew then, what I know now...hint hint...Kids really do have a clue ;). And I really knew too...
As I got older, my writing skills in class and at home, advanced. My father took notice of this and bought me a type-writer. It was the best gift I had ever gotten. I loved it and spent tons of time on it. I wrote school papers on it and even pretended to be a writer and an editor! (I wore that type-writer out! Only recently did I get rid of it because it was so hard to part with.)

Soon into high school, my father began to send me towards what he thought I should do in  life, a career in administrative  and business management. While I clearly appreciated the college prep courses and the business management classes...I purposely flunked out of many of the other classes which he decided I should take, like computers and accounting, and instead took art and lit classes.
At age 16, I spent most of my academic class time counseling my friends and spending many study halls writing...My own personal choice of classes did not last long though…Dad said: ‘back to administrative classes’… it's not what I wanted...
So....at 17, I decided to voice some of what I wanted in life. I wanted to go to Interior Design School to become an Interior Designer, but Dad would have none of that, and kept pushing me on the administrative path…
Gone- were the dreams of writing books and designing interiors. And so, it was off to legal secretarial school, I was sent.

Most people who know me, and have known me for years, know where I've come from and they know where I'm going.

My name is Amber Jeanne Chapman (born Amber J.-no middle name-just the initial-another story for another day). I’m not perfect and do have my down moments, as some will contest to. I get frustrated and irritated; I get sad and mad. I am human. And if I didn’t feel these emotions, I would worry. But I wear my heart on my sleeve, I am helpful and true. I have compassion as wide as Lake Erie and  I will listen to you as long as you can talk. I care, and I like to help. I am a devoted mother of three.  I seek to understand others while holding true to myself. I am open minded, compassionate and will stop at nothing to fight what I know in my heart to be right.

I am tenacious, courageous and strong. But I wasn't always, though.

My parents divorced when I was seven and a half. No mother in my life, (because she just didn’t want to be a mom-is her explanation) and not a whole lot explained to me during the divorce. I grew up learning things the hard way. Raised by my dad, who loved and adored his only child at the time, his little girl, he was tough to live with. Lots of rules (which later I appreciated, thanks Dad ;) We moved many times, and I switched schools often. Not a fun start, to say the least.
After a miserable set of teen years, and the mistakes that go with them, I got married at 22, to the man that I thought was my best friend and the love of my life. We were happy together, so I thought and I'd felt that we'd arrived. We were married, we were now grown ups! We would live Happily Ever After.

We were married nearly ten years, had three children together, and we did anything but live happily ever after.
In a state of denial, probably about as long as our marriage, if not longer, I divorced him. At which point, I was a shell, who hated who she was and who she had become, and the only part about me that I liked, or that I knew, was the mother in me.

So, I looked at those babies, ages 10 mos., 4 yrs and 8 years, pulled my self up by my boot straps and got ready to weather yet another storm in my life, but this one, I was about to bring on myself.

There’s way more to this story too, as someday I will share. But the point is, my life hasn’t been that easy. No one knows how I have triumphed. Only those close to me, who’ve known me for many years know where I have come from and where I am trying to go. I’ve learned an enormous amount by the jobs I’ve had, the people I’ve met and the mistakes I’ve made. I've especially grown through being a mother. By this one job, I have been shaped into a completely different person than I would without the challenges that come with being a mother. I’ve had a lot of character building moments (it's more like years, rather than moments) and a multitude of epiphanies on this trip called 'life'. I feel it’s been a very educational ride and so I want to share the lessons that I’ve learned, and those I continue to learn.

I am not wealthy monetarily, nor do I have a bunch of degrees hung on the wall, but I am rich in love and soul and I'm educated in 'life'. I have an exceptional family and I'm blessed with many gifts. I am where I am today because of what happened in the past.

As life went on, I never really forgot my dreams. I still practiced my natural talent with creative interiors, in my rented homes, and then used them on our family house that we built. I inspired many friends and neighbors to 'try a little color on their walls' and think outside of the box when building.

I found ways to keep writing by helping friends and co-workers do their resumes, business letters and business plans. I kept files of personal journals and book ideas, and I wrote as often as possible. I also wrote a newsletter for a group of home schooled Tween group that I started for my daughter and I found ways to listen and support others by helping a local Mom's chapter begin a support group.

Doing the things I loved didn't necessarily mean that i had to get paid for them.
So, where did the name Yellow Inspiration come in? Well, it’s probably no secret, I love yellow and my favorite song is Yellow, by Coldplay. Yellow is a positive, bright and cheerful color. If I was a crayon, I would be yellow.

I find my strength in the sun. Whether it be the sunrise or sunset, it doesn’t matter. The sun is our days end and another days beginning. On some of my most difficult times over the past several years, I would look out at the sunset and draw comfort knowing there was another day on its way, a new day, where I could do it all over again, and do it better.
My goal is to help as many others as I can along the path of life. That’s why Yellow Inspiration was started, and someday, I hope it will grow to something bigger. Because I can always dream bigger!
Please, if you haven’t yet read Randy Pausch’s, The Last Lecture, read it. It’s a small, but poignant book, and will help you see your life as many-fulfilled-dreams already.
As fate may have it:

1. I have been honored in the past to speak publicly on many occassion, in front of 100+ people, while working with a wonderful leader and friend in a company called Partylite.

2. I used to write a weekly column in the Sunday paper, in Connecticut, about my life after divorce (a column that I created myself and was paid for my writings).

3. For the last year and half, I have been working as an administrative assistant for an interior design company. (I wasn’t looking for that specific job, I was merely looking for work.)
  Life has a funny way of working itself out.
If you have any stories or insightful experiences you’d like to share confidentially, have any thoughts you want to express, or have any writing requests, please email me at AmberInspiration@gmail.com


Thank you for reading.
 Amber

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