Duff Goldman & Geoffrey Zakarian
These guys are two of my biggest inspirations in the culinary world. Duff is literally the definition of creativity. I can't help but aspire to be as successful as they are.
I have learned so many things from this man. From riding a bike and tying my shoes, to being strong through any obstacle life throws my way. My grandparents practically raised me. I never went to daycare or preschool. They taught me to read and write. Grandpa battled so many different health issues, I never really realized how lucky I was to have him in my life for as long as I did. I can only hope to be as strong of a person as he was, and as kind and talented. There was literally nothing he couldn't do. He fixed anything that broke, had the greenest thumb I've ever seen, made the best Johnny cake I've ever had, and made all kinds of things out of wood on the workbench. He had so many friends and everyone that met him always liked him. He was so funny and I don't think he even knew it. Whenever I need to be a little nicer or a bit stronger, I think of him.
This woman is the reason I love to cook. If it wasn't for her, I'd have never found my passion. Ever since I was 8 she had me in the kitchen. Helping her with lunch, and making my own breakfast. She taught me the basics behind everything I know. She also taught me a lot of other things, some listed above in my grandpa post.
My dad is one amazing man. My mom and him got a divorce 2 years ago. He raises 3 girls by himself, and deserves some type of award. I couldn't ask for a better dad. He's taught me soooo many things, like how scary movies are better than any others, Stephen King is an amazing author, the color blue is the best, and hot wings are God's gift to man kind. He also taught me right from wrong, the right way to raise a kid, and how to take care of myself. He helped me get my first car, and supports me in everything I do. I hope to one day be at least half the parent you've been to me. If I had to pick the job you'd be best at, it would definitely be being a dad.
Shad (My 2nd dad)
This guy right here is amazing. He's my dad's best friend, and is like another parent to me. He would drop anything just to help someone. He is so talented. He can build things and basically fix anything, from household things, to cars, to electronics. If I ever need advice or someone to vent to, I go to him. In the past year we've all been through so much together. This guy is part of the glue that holds us all together. He's taught me that you can get through anything with the right people in your life, you can do anything if you put your head and heart into it, and how to build and make random stuff. He's the best sous chef and building partner, and I'm thankful to have him in my life.
My grandpa is an Elvis impersonator. Yep, sequin jumpsuits and everything. I've recently learned from him that even when you don't see someone everyday, or very often for that matter, that doesn't mean they care about you any less. My grandpa has never lived in the same state as me, so we've never been real close. I recently visited him in Vegas and saw his home there for the first time. His house is covered in pictures of me and my sisters. Until that moment I never really realized how much we meant to him. I also learned that when you find the right person, you'll know, and they'll change you for the better. My grandpa has the greatest and truest love I have ever seen for my step grandma, Gloria. Her pictures are everywhere and he talks about her in a way I've never seen. He told me he still gets butterflies every time she walks through the door. Seeing that was incredible, and I can only hope someone feels exactly that way for me one day.
Kayla and her brother Kyle were basically my brother and sister growing up. We moved to a new town right when I was starting 4th grade. They lived right across the street from us. The day we moved in they came rushing over, introducing themselves and invited us over to play on the trampoline. We went camping all the time and our families did everything together. Kayla was always upbeat and always smiling. She was really nice and fun to be around, and she taught us all kinds of dance moves. Kayla was battling depression and I never even knew. She recently lost that battle and took her own life, but she taught me something. Always tell someone you love them, because you never know when it could be your last chance. Life is too short to fight and to be mad at the people you love. Take chances, live, laugh, love, and regret nothing. I might never understand why she did what she did, but I'll always remember her as one of the strongest and kindest people I've ever met. She put a new definition behind the saying I previously hated. You Only Live Once. Make it count and make an impact in someones life just like she did.
This guy is my rock. He has been there for me through all the shit life has thrown my way. I couldn't have found anyone better to spend my life with. He continuously helps people at the drop of a hat. Although he's stubborn, too smart for his own good, and does all kinds of things that drive me crazy, I love him. He has taught me a lot of things. Family always comes first and even though they do things that make you mad or upset, you're lucky to have them. Always help someone when you can. One night we were driving to my mom's house and there was a car pulled over with it's hazards on and a woman frantically waving her arms for someone to pull over. We pulled over to find a crying woman and her family stranded because they ran out of gas before reaching the exit. We drove the mile to the exit and bought them a gas can with enough gas to get them to the station, and brought it back to them. If there's someone in need of help, Brian is always there. He's also taught me, not exactly willingly, that I'm not always right. Brian is the sweetest guy who definitely knows how to treat a girl. He also has given me a reason to smile everyday. He has re-taught me how to trust, and how to explore. We've been on countless road trips and adventures. We love geocaching. Lastly he has taught me to not be afraid of the future. He has always supported me in everything I've done, or attempted to do.
My challenge to you
Live everyday to your fullest. Follow your dreams, find your inspiration, and don't let the small things get you down. I've lost a lot, but just know that it gets better. Be strong when things get tough, love to your fullest, never give up, and always try again. Never miss an opportunity when it might be your last, and be someone's reason to smile. Who is your inspiration? Who taught you the most important things you've learned? And, what are your aspirations?