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by vivrant thang on all about me and living the single life

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You’re my latest
tell you you’re my greatest
my latest, my greatest inspiration
you inspire me
don’t you know it
my latest, my greatest inspiration
you just keep on lifting me up now

At a holiday gathering of fabulous women a couple of weeks ago, the topic turned to men and relationships (huge surprise). The question arose whether it was possible to inspire a man to want to change his ways and do better in all aspects of his life? By being more than a “regular woman,” can you make your man want to be a better man?

Every time I listen to Latest, Greatest Inspiration, tears well up in my eyes. Ya’ll already know it’s one of my top fifty all time favorites. It’s a beautiful song that I want to dance to at my wedding someday.

Not familiar? Like to hear it, here it go.

I would love to think I could inspire a man in the ways that Teddy sangs about. However, I also know from experience that you can’t inspire a man who is not really ready to change or to grow with you.

As you may remember, I was in a relationship that ended about six months ago. One of my fondest memories of our time together was the day we went down to Georgetown waterfront and just strolled along eating ice cream and talking about the future. He laid out an amazingly clear vision for how he saw his life unfolding over the next several years and the role that the woman by his side [read: me] would play in it. I think that’s the day I fell for him. We were committed by the time we left there.

From the time we first met, all he would talk about was wanting to go to grad school. He admired people who had advanced degrees, like myself, and knew that was the next step for him in order to pursue the career that he wanted. He had identified a program and it seemed that all that was left to it was to do it.

His plan was to start in the Fall (it was spring at the time). I went online myself and read all about the program and made note of financial aid deadlines and open houses. I was careful not to nag because hell, that’s not inspirational. But I did remind him that he needed to get his financial aid paperwork filled out and that he might want to go to the upcoming open house to talk with an admissions counselor. He would always agree, but no action. Yet, when he would encounter successful people, he would always muse about how he needed to get into grad school. I reminded him again about the open house and offered to go with him.

Still, no action.

Meantime, I was promoted at my job and my side hustle was picking up. He watched all of this happening.

Still, no action.

In late spring, he told me that he was thinking about starting a t-shirt business on the side. Had the business plan practically written in his head.

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Whatchu talkin bout Willis, indeed.

However, I listened as he talked and responded encouragingly. Then I asked how he would have time for that with grad school in the Fall. He said he would work it out. I asked one final time whether he had filled out the application materials. Once again, he gave me the brush-off. Like I said, that was the final time I asked about it.

We’re broken up now over an unrelated incident. At the time it was painful, but now I thank the Lawd for deliverance! I would bet every dollar I have that he hasn’t seen any parts of anybody’s grad school and no amount of inspiration will help. The only thing that will get him there is him getting out of his own way. I feel like I did what I could as a woman whose life is pretty together to encourage him to fulfill the dreams he talked about.

After we broke up, I did briefly wonder whether I could have done more. The answer is a resounding “no.” You can’t change a grown ass person. So from here on in, I’ll save those energies to support a man who is actively on his way to greatness and needs a woman like me to lift him higher.

See you got me you got me doing things I’ve never done before
See you inspire me
Don’t you know I love you girl
You keep on lifting me
higher
higher

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