Tuesday, February 9, 2010

welcome to inspiration station

'what inspires you?' carries on.
i don't even remember how i got to become acquainted with laura. i don't know who found who first. does it really matter? no, not so much. 
i'm a bit richer in life for having someone send me so much love from pittsburgh. i sometimes think this woman carries enough love for the nation in her heart. she might be petite but don't be fooled. this woman is strong. she is brave. and she LIVES. she is everything i like about people rolled into one. she struggles and she fights the good fight and she maintains humor and wit and beauty in the face of it all.
she is inspiration. please go visit her at with love from pittsburgh.
because, seriously, who DOESN'T want love from pittsburgh?  

I love people.  Maybe a little too much.  Every time I talk to someone, I imagine what that person's story is.  Do you know what I mean?  Their story?  We all have a story.  Life is hard, messy, full of junk and bunk and "stunk."  Nobody is spared from it.  Our stories can, and often do, come from that stuff, from that crumbly, disorganized, unexpected rubble.  My story?  My mom's a schizophrenic.  I'm 32, and she's been sick since I was 10.  Can you imagine that?  Our family's story?  My mom's pain?  Often, it drains me.  Carrying that burden.  Living that pain.  Missing that relationship.  Feeling empty.  I imagine, though, that when I meet people, and I look into their eyes, they, too, are carrying a burden.  Feeling an emptiness.

And then, we connect.  Even if it's just through a laugh, a mutual friend, a conversation.  We're there, us, connecting. 

That inspires me. 

Especially in the moments of connection that may reveal pain, or something shocking, or something uncomfortable.  It's in the listening that I'm inspired.  Why?  Because that person has summoned up courage to share, to open up, to turn their insides out.  To me.  To me!  And it inspires me because they’re still here, fightin’ through it all.  Arms out, hands open, heart bursting…and fighting.  For themselves.

That inspires me.

Really listening to someone...really putting aside your own wants, fears, insecurities, worries…and extending your own arms outward, hands open freely, heart bursting with compassion…it’s inspirational.  Completely.  Listening to that person’s story.  Whatever it is for them at that moment, during that day, in that week, for that lifetime.

Look in that person’s eyes.  I mean, really look.  You will be inspired.

I’m inspired by listening.
I’m inspired by connecting.
I’m inspired by strong, modern, hip Catholic women.
I’m inspired by music. Classical, ambient, pop, choral.
I’m inspired by blogs, bloggers, and blogging.
I’m inspired by bright colors, beautiful design, aesthetics that just. don’t. quit.
I’m inspired by my parents: my mother for fighting to still be here, my father for loving her and keeping his vows of marriage sacred, in sickness and in health.

I’m inspired by kindness.  Most of all.  Kindness.

And I’m inspired by Krista.  Always.

With love from Pittsburgh,


  1. Oh. I'm a lot bit misty after reading this. Laura, I don't know you, but I love you a little bit, I can say that honestly. Krista, thank you for sharing her. I love you a lot bit.

  2. Kindness is a big one!
    So rare!
    So swallowed up by all the junk and callousness of others.
    So very, very important for without it we are but hollow shells...
    And with it
    there are mountains to be climbed, bridges built and
    people known and helped.

  3. This is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. Laura you are such an inspiration for all women! And Krista, you have the most amazing friends. And you are just as amazing yourself. Love and hugs!

  4. I clicked in this morning for inspiration. And, I found it in buckets. Thank you.

  5. This is so incredibly inspiring - so thanks to both of you for passing the inspiration on :)

  6. This was truly some amazing Pittsburgh lovin'. Truly beautiful, and so inspiring!

  7. Kindness. Always, always kindness.

    I'm often telling my daughter and my second graders, "Nice matters. It really does."


use your kind words.