• Stephanie Hinds

The Power of Inspiration

What an amazing weekend I had.

Today, I went and explored different parts of the beautiful city of Toronto. Something I should, and always promise to do more often, but never actually get around to it. I went on a “date”, if you will. I took the subway because it was nice outside, and abandoned my usual North American menu for food, and dined at a Pakistani restaurant instead. So willing was I, that I had no say in the food that was ordered, I just perused the menu.

I was amazed at how good the food was, and simultaneously disappointed that I had never tried it before. But I know better than to cry over the illusion of wasted time. After that, we watched the sun set over the Toronto skyline, and listened to whatever song would play next.

Last night, I spent the night with my sister at our usual Saturday night spot. A friend from high school came up to me. I see her around town sometimes, but we don’t stop and share the conversations we used to when we would both arrive at school early in the morning. She mentioned my blog, and let me know that she had been tuned in to it a lot lately after finding out that I had one. She told me that one post especially had helped her through a tough time, and that I should keep writing.

I had this exchange in mind when I saw a girl there who I owed an apology to for being catty with over a guy. I walked right up to her, apologized, and she smiled at me and said “it’s okay.” She even apologized to me too, for I have no idea what, but I raised my drink to her, and we went on with our night.

The night before that, perhaps the greatest night of my entire weekend, was spent at my good friend Sarah’s house. Every month, she has these amazing get-togethers. It is a room full of about 30 great, open, and opinionated minds, good music, and even better times. Despite the space being small, each area has its own destiny. The kitchen is usually where the meet and greets happen. The living room is for video games and dancing. The dining room is usually for board games, and if there is no board game set up then a heated debate must be going on, as it was on this day. And then there are the stairs, for people who are having deep and philosophical conversations.

I usually find myself on the stairs. Some of my greatest conversationstake place on the stairs. And on this night, one of the greatest conversations I have ever had in my life took place.

I have a friend named Talia. In high school, I watched her write her heart out. She volunteered with all sorts of organizations, and her essays were always the ones the teachers used as the rubric. Needless to say, as a writer, I regard Talia with the highest and the utmost respect, so the things she said to me on this night had a special place in my heart. Talia said to me:

“I watched you start your blog. You wrote for 5 days straight on some very important topics. These weren’t rushed pieces; they were well-written, and I appreciate something that’s well-written more than I appreciate something that’s interesting. Your pieces were both.”

And then she said this:

“At first, I felt jealous. But then I thought, don’t be jealous, be inspired. And I started writing again.”

Tears fell from my eyes, but they really came from my heart. She continued on to tell me that my future was bright, that I was going places, and that I was a great writer. I felt, in that moment, that not only had I accomplished the only mission I have ever really had as a writer; to inspire, but that I was on my way.

Everything, everyone, every single landmark I pass by is telling me that I am on my way. I have never in my life been so fulfilled, so happy, and so proud of myself, than I am right now.

When I entered Sarah’s house, my friend, my peer, Alexa said “Hello my favorite blogger!” Truthfully, I have never thought of myself as a blogger, and have surely never been called a blogger. I shied away from the term because I felt if I had imposed it on myself it would be conceited. But I left that place that night with a hunger to claim my place in this creative revolution that is taking place. More importantly, I left there with a plate full of proof in front of me that I was speaking through my writing, and people were listening.

That night, this weekend, taught me a lot about how life works.

Firstly, I learned that there are two things that come with forgiveness. The first is the forgiveness that is granted to you when you honestly seek it out, regardless of whether the person accepts your apology.

Forgiveness isn’t about being forgiven; it’s about having the humility to ask for it.

The second thing that comes with it is the freedom that is granted to you, within yourself, when you forgive yourself enough to ask for forgiveness. I didn’t have to apologize to this girl. We had no relationship, I had no obligation to her, and my life would have gone on without a hitch had I not apologized. But when I thought about what my friend from high school had said to me, and all the wonderful things people had said about me the night before, I felt I owed it to them to be the person they believed I could be; the person I was. And more importantly, I owed it to myself. I wanted all of my freedom; not just some.

The other thing I learned was the power of inspiration. Friday proved that great things happen when great people come together, and cumulative greatness happens through individual greatness. The amount of compliments, words, and support that was generated in the few hours Sarah’s guests spent together that night was enough to start a revolution; one I believe each of us already belong to, one that will continue to grow exponentially. Everyone took something home that night. Maybe it was a memory, maybe it was a lesson, or a new piece of knowledge, but for a lot of us, it was inspiration. When Talia said what she said to me about being inspired, I, in turn, was inspired.

Inspiration is regenerative. It recycles itself through the hearts and the minds it resides in, and continues to spread through the hearts and minds it opens.

So to you, I say, open your heart and open your mind. Allow yourself to be changed by the different people you meet, greet, and talk to, the experiences you have and don’t have, and all that unfolds throughout your days. Be not the same person that you were today tomorrow, be a better, more beautiful, more radiant you. In turn, you will have a better, more beautiful, more radiant life.

And I promise you, you absolutely deserve it.

#cafe #work #journalist #coffee #window #dreamer #office

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