I felt utterly ridiculous when I found myself captivated by a young man on American Idol several years ago. It wasn’t so much his talent as it was the way he talked about his friends with so much love, enthusiasm and gratitude. He credited them with nurturing his creativity and inspiring him as an artist. The young man was Blake Lewis, the beatboxer, and his friends included stand-up comedians and an aspiring actress, creative souls all.
I watched as they joyously posted videos of Blake’s journey; the drives from Bothell, Washington to Hollywood, videoed and set to music. The playful rambles around Hollywood. All of it. They were riding Blake’s 15-minutes of fame, together and all out. I was charmed by way they celebrated their successes together. It seemed obvious to me that they were better together and it was a beautiful example of community within pop-culture.
Again, it wasn’t the music that inspired me. It was the friendships, the community of artistic souls working together and making each other better.
Their example propelled me into a new phase of life. I went online, originally to follow their journey, and found myself encountering artists of every ilk: writers, musicians and comedians; and I was hugely inspired as an artist. I began to write better than I had before. I became inspired by the community I developed online. We made each other better.
My life was changed by the example of Blake Lewis and friends. I have no idea where they are now. My interest waned and disappeared as I joyfully began my own journey into artistry and community.
That was six years ago or so and I have since surrounded myself with people who encourage and inspire me and are likewise encouraged and inspired by me. It’s a beautiful thing.
It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who make us better. If you don’t have that in your life, I encourage you to seek it. Find people who are passionate about the things you care about, people who encourage and inspire you. It will change your life for the better.