What Inspires Me

There is a myth that humans only use 10% of their brain — that 90% of our capabilities remain untapped.  While this statistics is, indeed, a Myth.

However, this idea inspires me. While our brains are less of a mystery than implied, much of the universe remains an enigma. Where some may see a big fat question mark, I see a list of possibilities. It scrolls across the back of my eyeballs like the loading screen of a 90s computer: data in green block text loading what appears to be infinite information.

A while back NASA announced one of their telescopes discovered seven planets orbiting a single star. Three of these planets were in the “habitable zone”. The day i heard this my little writer brain did back flips and jumped up and down for joy. All the possibilities!

Humans don’t even have to travel far to find possibilities. They are all around us. The ocean is far deeper than we are currently capable of exploring. (Isn’t that crazy! We can make it to the moon, but not the the bottom of our own ocean.) The future is a matrix of possibilities.  The mind, though we use more than 10 % of it, is still very complex and has much to be discovered within itself. Many of us can hardly understand our own brain, and find it less easy to understand the minds of another. Books can help us understand these unexplored territories, the differences between each complex set of firing neurons. Books can help us compare and contrast and learn.

Basically, possibilities inspire me, and possibilities are everywhere.

Change and growth are also inspiring — immensely so. Unfortunately all three of the concepts I have shared with you are extremely abstract. They are the blanket backing to my quilt of inspiration.

On the other side of my worn-but-not-weary blanket are slices of life. Some slices come from my own life, and others from friends. Some even come from the news, television shows,  and other books. Some are cheetah print and others are the woolen fabric from the inside of a coat. I take a square from the people who inspire me; I take a square from people who changed the world, or at very least their own world.

I’ve taken a square from my grandmother, who found adventure in a gorilla statue and a two liter of root beer.

I’ve taken a square from my best friend, who asked for help when she was struggling so hard with depression that it was hard to keep breathing.

I’ve taken a square from Malala, who stood up for what –and who– she believed in.

I’ve taken a square from the man at the “Take Back the Night” event who shared his story of rape. He taught me to shed expectations and have empathy without borders. He taught me to see survivors and not victims

I’ve taken a square from my fourth grade teacher, who taught me that girls can kick math in the ass, and still love to read silly poetry.

I’ve taken a square from my little girl, who taught me what it is to love, and be silly, and a complete rock star.

Separately they are people I have never met, people I have been fortunate to meet, and they are memories. Together they keep me warm, they keep me grounded. Together they form a foundation and lift me up and show me how I can affect the world: by writing their stories.

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