Thoughts on Underachieving and Stuff

Ten Things That Inspired Me This Week

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Photo Credit: Me
  1. Travel

My son and I packed our bags last week and headed to Arizona. Not only did we swap the small town snow-globe for sunshine with the chaos of the city but removing myself from my every day environment provided me with the ability to see my life from another angle.

I’ve been jotting down a long list of personal narrative ideas. It’s enthralling to look at life from a different perspective and think, hey, that would make a great story. All of which are soon to come. I’m excited and feel I have a great deal of writing to look forward to.

2. Phoenix Children’s Hospital

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The reason we came out to Arizona is to be with a loved one who underwent surgery for Pectus Excavatum. As she’s grown the condition has placed pressure on her heart. The surgery consisted of placing a bar between her rib cage and heart. It’s unfathomable to me what can be accomplished nowadays.

On the drives to and from the hospital each day I’ve found myself thinking about contradictions of the world. I look at the world and it’s such a fucked up place yet there is always something, somewhere that restores my faith in humanity and our abilities to overcome the worst possible scenarios.

It’s also left me wondering what I can do to create a more positive impact and areas of myself I can work on to be the best person for myself and others.

3. Creating something out of little to nothing

I find this to be top tier on the inspiration totem pole. If there’s any truth in the old saying, if you want something bad enough this proves it. This song was recorded on a cell phone with headphones and microphone she found lying around and her old worn down guitar gifted to her a decade ago.

She created a beautiful outcome from minimal resources while utilizing her strongest resource, her voice.

I didn’t want to give it away until after you listened to the song. She’s my daughter.

Since I’m bragging at this point, here’s another if you’d like to hear more.

4. Love and technology

I felt a bit giddy during video chats with my only squeeze. Sort of the butterfly in my tummy effect. I”m not sure I could survive the trip without modern technology. I’ve learned there are times and circumstances when technology serves an addictive and dire purpose for me.

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5. Cactus

I find cacti most intriguing. Giant-ass needles indicate these plants are introverted but their uniqueness and beauty implies extrovert. They are often the only water to be found out in the desert (if you’re daring enough). Their will to survive, their independence, their ability to let their guard down while still protecting themselves is galvanizing, and I’m jealous. They just exist, they’re just there and it’s intense.

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6. This quote by Dan Belmont

The joy is in having the ridiculous ideas, not in writing about them. That allows you to feel the pride of being creative without actually doing creative work.

7. Sunset

I’ve been taking a photo of the Arizona sunset for my husband at 6:05 PM each day I’m here. I take the photo in the same place every time. It’s inspiring to see how one small piece of horizon can change in the course of 24 hours. In most cases (and it’s merely an assumption from personal experience) it takes us humans years to change and there are some of us that never do.

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Photo Credit: Me
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Photo Credit: Me

8. Rocket Resale

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Photo Credit: Me (More photos of Rocket on my Instagram)

Stormy Love, the owner of this store is 25 years old. I have known her throughout her entire lifetime and watched her grow up as our families have been friends for decades.

I’m so proud to see what she’s accomplished. She had a dream, she set a goal, she worked her ass off hard and she made it happen. Her store is amazing, her own designer fashion line is impressive and if you’re ever in Arizona I recommend Rocket Resale as one of the highlights to check out, especially if you’re a fan of thrift.

She gave us a family discount. Meow.

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My new kitty cat change purse

9. Red Gerard

This guy has taught me that I’m seriously underacheiving in life.

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10. Trash

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Trash is lying around all over the place here in this city. I feel a knot in my stomach when I think about the carelessness. How could people not want to take better care of their home, their city, where they live? At first I started to pick it up. Like, com’on. The dumpster is right there, tho.

The City of Phoenix is 517 square miles, cleaning it up myself is an impossible feat but witnessing it has inspired me to figure out how I can reduce waste and reuse for myself and my family back at home. I have a bit of research a head of me and I’m thirsty to learn and discover a better way of living when it comes to trash.

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As a parent, a human being and an American my heart hurts for our country and our children. It was a struggle to focus on inspirations while writing this. My mind continued to wonder off in thought of school shootings, of any type of mass shooting, actually. Our reactive nation is failing us and I have no solution. The best I can do is use my voice and I ask you to join me in brainstorming ideas.

This week I’m going to focus on ways to inspire a more proactive nation that stands in unity. My hope is that someday no parent will live in fear while their child is at school and that our children receive the education they deserve while ensuring their safety.

Much love and gratitude always,

Erika

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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