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To Inspire and to Be Inspired

web_Ashley_WilliamsBy Ashley Williams
Delta Zeta, Central Michigan University
Region 3 Traveling Consultant

When I was initially applying to be a consultant in fall 2014, I read a Consultant Chronicles blog post that said the best part of the consultant position is having the opportunity to not only inspire, but also to be inspired by daily interaction with Alpha Chi Omega sisters across the country. In that moment, it hit me: that was why I was so passionate about the chapter consultant role. I knew I wanted to inspire my sisters around the country to not only be the very best Alpha Chi Omegas they could be, but also to be the best women, sisters and students they could be. But I was also enthusiastic for personal growth and inspiration, and excited to see where this journey would lead me.

Every once in a while, while reflecting on the journey I have been on over the past year and a half, I think back to those few words I read that pinpointed my passion for this job and this organization: “Inspire and be inspired…” by the people, places and experiences that life on the road offers you. At the time I was applying for my dream job, I couldn’t fathom that this opportunity would allow me to grow in ways that, at the time, I didn’t know were possible, or how inspired I would be by the incredible stories of my sisters.

I am inspired daily by the importance and mission of sorority that I witness at every chapter I visit. By new members running home on bid day, welcomed with open arms, ear-to-ear smiles and even tears. By listening to members’ “whys” for joining Alpha Chi Omega. By chapter leadership overcome with emotion when they find they’ve met a goal they have been working so hard for. Even more, I am inspired by some of the most incredible Alpha Chi Omegas I have ever met: the 17 other consultants and the headquarters staff members I have the pleasure to call coworkers and sisters. These experiences and these women who inspire me on a daily basis fuel my love for Alpha Chi Omega and motivate me to do my very best every day.

But, some days are tough. As visits come and go, it is easy to get caught up in the travel and reports and meetings, and it can be easy to forget about all those moments that perfectly encapsulate the reasons I love this job. I am not big into journaling, and I have never been reliable when it comes to taking pictures, but what I knew I could do was create a running list of those moments in which I never wanted to forget. Instead of collecting things from each visit – tangible items that would easily be lost someday, or that would push me over my baggage weight limit (because, let’s be honest, that’s a real issue here) – I have committed myself to collecting memories, a list of experiences I could easily reference when I needed a little extra inspiration. Not that the T-shirts or water bottles or postcards or bid-day bags I receive from my chapters aren’t special; that’s not the case at all. But this long list of memories I keep reminds of me of each and every moment I have been inspired by the wholehearted, dynamic, intelligent, hilarious, downright incredible sisters I have met along the way.

So my question for you is this: What inspires you to be the very best [insert your name] every single day? Despite the path of life you are currently walking on, whether you’ve graduated from college, you recently began your senior year or you just ran home to Alpha Chi Omega a few short weeks (or days) ago, I challenge you to start keeping a record of those moments you never want to forget. Not only will you have the chance to relive these moments every time you read through your collection of memories, but I promise you that every time you read it, you will be inspired to be the very best Alpha Chi Omega, woman, sister or student you can be, too! How will you start your collection?

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