by Tara Osipoff on February 11, 2013
I think that my greatest attribute and my biggest downfall are one in the same: I can’t be told that something can’t be done. I feel like if I have a goal, if I see something and I believe in it, there isn’t a damn thing in this world that will stop me from doing whatever it takes to see that it manifests. Absolutely nothing is off limits; nothing is impossible.
My brother died when I was 21. I was standing on a carpet, and it was selfish carpet; it was made up of me, me and more me. When Brian died, that carpet was taken from right under my feet and I fell. I fell flat on my ass, hard, and it took the wind right out of me. I woke up from the haze that I had been living in. My entire world had just been turned upside down and I was shaken like a snow globe, except there were no pretty flakes floating around. Sadness and depression and self-realization were what filled the air.
My brother was a good man. He was kind and made people laugh. I believe that in his short existence, he created a life to be proud of.
When he died, it made me take a look at my own life. Was it one that I was proud to be living? The answer was no. No, it certainly was not. Everything was taken away from me that day, but I was given one of the most important gifts of my entire life: a second chance. My reality was laid out in front of me, and it was changed; I had the chance to mould my future into whatever I pleased.
I was a selfish young teenager merging into my twenties and it didn’t seem like things were changing. I wasn’t a good friend, and my family was always worried about me and where my life was headed.
When Brian died, it was as though someone grabbed me by my sweet little head and said, “Wake up little girl, you only have one chance to live the greatest life you possibly can. Are you going to do it? Are you going to live a life you can be proud of? This is your chance.”
The answer was most definitely yes.
It wasn’t as though I changed overnight. I just made a choice to be the best possible me that I could be, and I decided to continue to make that choice everyday. As I kept making that choice, I started to slowly become what I was choosing to become: a better me. I have never stopped making that choice. I made that choice this morning when I woke up, and I will make that same choice tomorrow.
I have had some unfortunate events take place in my short life. The beautiful thing is that I have learned from each experience, and they have only made me more stable and well-rounded, stronger and more grateful.
When I was 23 I quit university, got on a plane with my best friend and saw Central America, the unbeaten path. I learned about other cultures and saw life through a different perspective. I began to appreciate and value the fact that everyone that walks this earth has their own path, and not one person is more important than the next. A lot of people that I met along my travels came from different walks of life, each perfectly unique and beautiful. I grew more comfortable with myself and I realized that no matter what path I decide to take in life, as long as I am happy, it will be the right path for me. I learned to stop trying to appease everyone with what I do. That if I do what I love, it will make the people I love happy. When I returned home, I began on a journey to figure out which career path I could follow that would have me waking up excited every day. It was simple. The arts.
Since I was a little girl, I can remember being fascinated by fashion. It was something that always made my mind spin. Fashion is art, movement and design. It is self-expression. I don’t just see brands; I see the artist behind the brand. I could spend hours going through a designer’s collection and obsess with fascination over detail and design. Fashion is my art. I feel like it is how I express my inner thoughts and deepest emotions. Pieces and collections depict everything from my mood to tell stories of my experiences and the people I’ve met in my life.
I can’t believe how simple it is to be happy. All you have to do is wake up every day and choose happiness. My father once said, “Happiness is a choice. It is never lost. It is always where you left it last; simply choose it again.” It starts with just that, the choice. Choose it everyday. Some days you may need to choose it more than once, then the rest flows naturally towards you. Life gets easier. Things come together. Imagine if the entire world made that choice, and people invested their time in the things that they are passionate about. How much more beautiful would the world be?
That is where it began. Now here I am. I feel like I have a fire burning inside of me; it is fierce, but gentle. The fierce side sees no boundaries, and anything in the entire world is possible. The gentle side reminds me to do everything I do with kindness as my intention. Together that is the formula I follow. Endless passion with no limits, and kindness with the utmost gratitude. I have learned that if you give the best to what you do, you will be the best at what you do. If you work really, really hard at the things you’re passionate about, and you are a good, kind person, the entire universe will work with you to make your every dream a reality.
Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person in the entire world. Then, I remember there is no such things as luck, because you create your own. I have the most amazing friends, family, job, passions, and I have chosen them all. I work hard every day to make the people in my life know how grateful I am to have them. Each person I have encountered in my life and the people that currently exist in it are some of the most exceptional people on this planet. Thank you, thank you for being a part of my path, my journey. I learn from you all every day. A great photographer, Peter Beard, once said, “Everything I’ve learned is not from art school or photography school. No, I’ve learned from people.” I learn from the company I keep.
In this post I have compiled a series of photos that inspire me. A lot of them are mine, from my travels and life. Some of the photos are of the people I respect and admire, people that have changed my life or influenced me in some way. Others I have found over the years on the internet. I keep a folder on my computer that is titled “Inspire”. These are the images that inspire me, the people who motivate me. If I die tomorrow, I hope for one thing in particular to be said about me, for me to be called, to be known for: I simply just set out to be inspiring.
I want to inspire you. To be the best you that you possibly can be. To be kind to your fellow species. To be kind to all living creatures and the earth. To do the things you are passionate about. To live the life you deserve to live: a beautiful life. To laugh, at yourself and with others. To work hard in all that you do. To give the best to everything you touch. And most importantly, I want to inspire you to be inspiring. Nothing in this life is more important than that.
NOTE to the people who find their photo in this post… Thank you. Thank you for being the light that gives me energy. Thank you for giving me the strength to be the woman I need to be. Thank you for teaching me. Looking at these photos brings me to life, your faces bring me joy. For in each of you I see a bit of myself, the part of me that has learned from each of you. I am who I am because you all are a part of my life. I respect you all and think you are some of the most magnificent individuals to walk this earth. Anyone who has the pleasure to meet any of you, is truly blessed. Please continue to do what you have done to me, inspire. You all inspired me to be better, continue to pass on that incredible gift. Love you all, always.