Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Inspires You?

Recently my good friend and co-worker Grace Boyle asked me to be a part of "What Inspires You?" "What Inspires You," is a blog post series she's conducting on Generation Y bloggers. Through these posts she hopes to shed light on what makes us think and who motivates us.

Bio: Jacqueline Nicole Malan works for a Boulder based start-up called Lijit Networks in the heart of downtown. Fairly new to the new tech and social media, she previously worked in the non-profit sector of Washington, DC where she worked with agencies such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the United Food and Workers Coalition.

Lots of things inspire me, from simple beauties produced by mother earth to the tragedies of war and violence. What they do is inspire me to take action, to speak up for what I believe in, provide me the choice to remain silent, to believe in a greater good, to nurture, to feel compassion, and to love. But above all, I seek inspiration through my mother. Now, I know you're thinking its cliche but, my mother is an unbelievable pillar of strength and independence. She is a lioness and we (my sister and I) are her cubs.

My mother Nancy Hubsmith Rozance, born on a hot summer day in July came into this world with enthusiasm and determination. An aspiring thespian to date, it is no wonder why complete strangers are drawn to her. Her loving character and eagerness to know more about those around her is what makes her so unique. Often taking on more than she can handle, she dedicates her time and money to causes she feels passionate about(for example, when she remarried my now father Jack, they asked for guests to make donations to a local charity they support instead of having a gift registry). However, this is all just surface level. To really understand why my mother inspires me I have to give you a glimpse into our lives.

Growing up in Connecticut, we weren't your typical New England family. Most families came from a household of four or more. My parents were divorced when I was young, and my father failed to remain in our lives. My biological father has since passed, and when asked recently if it made me sad (since I had never gotten the chance to know him) straight faced I responded simply, "no." You see my mom, my sister, and I have become a three legged stool bound together through an ever enduring love. With the absence of my father's presence, I did miss certain things but, in the end it made for an unbelievably strong relationship between us musketeers, something I would never trade to this day.

My mom was a single woman who held two MBA's, an extremely competitive fireball in a predominately male industry. She worked hard but, did not forget how to nurture. As a child, I remember although she traveled almost weekly she never once missed the things that mattered most at that age. She still found time to read us stories before bed, help us with our science fair projects, drive us to every practice and watch every game, and bake cupcakes to bring into school for our birthday's. And growing up, we had more than most families with two parents.

This is what inspires me...her love. Her unwavering determination to give me and my sister the best that life has to offer. Never saying no and giving up, never complaining and always carrying her head held high, not worrying about what others think, and bringing her best qualities to life. Having the strength to raise two teenage girls by herself without any help or anyone to turn to ask for advice. This amazes me, this inspires and this makes me want to grab life with both hands knowing that anything is possible.