Inspired

When we pulled up to Bread Loaf yesterday, my first thought was “Wow, this is not what I expected.” I was thinking something more like a large gymnasium or conference room with tables in it and people in business casual clothing rushing around. So, pulling up to a cabin-like building in the middle of the mountains with a couple people milling about really surprised me. I shook a lot of hands, took a seat, and kept an open mind as I went in to the first session of this trip. Dinner passed, two more sessions passed, and I still wasn’t sure what was going on, why I was here. Normally, that freaks me out, but yesterday, I was content with it, because I was feeling inspired.

Listening to people talk about the things they believed in, the people whose lives they’ve touched, the activism they’ve gotten into, the impact they’ve made in the world? It really hit me hard. My eyes hurt and my mouth was dry; I was staring and gaping at everything, scared I was going to miss something if I didn’t pay everything my full attention. Scared that if I didn’t capture everyone’s ideas, I wasn’t going to be okay. While I was sponging up passions and plans of actions, I soaked up something I wasn’t looking for: inspiration.

I am a writer, but I haven’t been able to write. I wanted to focus on some type of social issue, but none of them were calling for more exploration. Within two hours of being surrounded by all the incredible individuals here at NextGen, I was drafting a poem and planning a documentary exploring a group of people who need exploring by me, black LGBT youth. If I wasn’t here, I would’ve been scared to put myself out there and do a project that is, for me, extremely intimidating. But seeing everyone unapologetically put themselves out there for the people, communities, and ideas they care about made me want to do the same.

As I type this, I’m still not exactly sure why I’m here. Every time we do something, it’s something I wouldn’t have predicted. But I think I’m getting the hang of my place here: to inspire and to be inspired.

Akwelle Quaye

One Response to “Inspired

  • Dear Akwelle,
    I hope everyone in this space reads this reflection:

    “Within two hours of being surrounded by all the incredible individuals here at NextGen, I was drafting a poem and planning a documentary exploring a group of people who need exploring by me, black LGBT youth. If I wasn’t here, I would’ve been scared to put myself out there and do a project that is, for me, extremely intimidating. But seeing everyone unapologetically put themselves out there for the people, communities, and ideas they care about made me want to do the same.”

    You ARE inspiring. Have you shared that poem yet? Would you consider it?

    I love hearing about how your arrival was different from what you expected, by the way.

    See you soon!

    Tom

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