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Is there a person in your life who has encouraged you to follow your dreams, relentlessly and passionately? I do: my aunt, and today is her birthday.

With her, my dreams have never felt dismissed or silly; if anything, they feel premature, in the sense that she encourages me to develop them, to be as ambitious as I can possibly imagine. When I present an idea to her, she has never once rolled her eyes or said, “You can’t do that.” Her most discouraging remark (which wasn’t really discouraging at all) has been, “Well, that might be difficult, but you can do it.” After explaining an idea to her, she generally gives me one instruction: dream bigger. Think of the grandest dream your mind can conjure, and aim for it. I can’t tell you what a difference this has made in my life.

During my freshman year of college, I felt pressure to choose a concentrated area of study quickly. When I addressed these concerns with my aunt, her response was essentially this: don’t worry about it. Do what you love now, and what you seek will find you in its own time.

I can’t begin to convey how deeply my aunt’s presence has changed my life for the better, and I know that it hasn’t just been mine. So many lives are so much better for her having lived. Her generosity, wisdom, and courage inspire me every day.

Who has been the most inspirational person in your life? Let me know in the comments!
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