Inspire Me

Time to be inspired, and don’t forget to tell me what inspires you this week.

1.) Jonathan Harris

I kept my eye on him the entire time. He chatted with fans of his work and I people in my social circles. It was a reception for an event he was speaking at and I was attending. I held my I.P.A. close to my chest, nodding and laughing with friends all the while thinking about how I could approach him. We locked eyes once and he smiled. I should have gone over to talk to him then but I didn’t. Our reasons not to do something make sense in the moment. The next day he gave an incredible speech and all I was left with was a copy of his book. I followed his blog for weeks, regretting never talking to him. Then, I went to Africa and completely forgot about the man whose work inspired me to be more, until today when someone tweeted this post. His soul, his struggle, his desire to connect. I feel it, too, just in less talented ways. Everything he does strikes my passion tendons. Maybe someday I’ll see him again and finally have the courage to say something. Maybe I won’t.

“We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have.”

You can find his TED talk here. Photo from here.

2. Humans of New York
I love Brandon Stanton because he did not listen when others told him he was crazy, that he would never make anything out of such an obscure project. I love Brandon Stanton because he brings us all together whether we are in New York City, South Dakota or Lesotho through love, pain, and a hatred for fractions. I hate Brandon Stanton because I wish I would have come up with this idea. I love Brandon Stanton because he inspires me to connect with others.

Humans of New York from Facebook Stories on Vimeo.

3. This girl


4. Choosing the One You Least Expect
The lovely S.M.H. sent me the link to this story by Emily and, truthfully, I read pieces of it over a few days, but when I saw this kid’s face my heart leapt. Sponsoring a child may seem like a huge financial decision, but less fancy coffees and expensive dinners could make up for it. I am going to look at sponsoring a child when I am employed and my finances are in order, whether through an organization or sending money to one of my former students. It only takes a little bit to make a difference.


5. The gift economy
Speaking of finances, I loved this story on the HuffPost today. Instead of believing he was part of a system bigger than himself and couldn’t change it, Adrian Hoppel went against “the system” to make money in a way that made him believe in humanity again. “Establishing a community who believed in me and what I was doing became the goal, without worry over profit margins, because eventually I received the most important gift of all: a true faith in people to be honest, fair, generous, and supportive.”

6. Imagine

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My mom sent this card to me while I was in Africa and I now look at it every day.

7. This guy

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He makes me want to be the best version of myself, and he can’t even hold his head up yet.

8. Seen during my writing session at one of my new favorite coffee shops in my hometown.

photo 4-19. Myself
The person that should inspire you the most is yourself, it’s really the only way to chase dreams. The other day I decided to say no to things that don’t bring me pleasure and yes to whatever my heart is feeling in the moment. On Sunday, I decided to bypass a 14-mile run and took two laps around LaFramboise Island. I wasn’t worried about times or mileage, therefore I was able to breath in the sunshine, hear my own breath, and feel the crunch of snow underneath my feet. It was the reset I needed. Then, today, I would have normally done hard miles on the treadmill for pacing, but without the pressure of training I frolicked in the snow, testing out my new Yaktrax (why am I JUST discovering these amazing things?). I didn’t have to run, but I wanted to feel the snow on my eyelashes so I did a short run. I am not sure how far or how long it took me. It was refreshing rather than forced. What have you said no to lately?

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