Who inspires you? What is it about them that lights a spark? Why?

Sometimes we’re inspired to change a complacent pattern. Repetitive routines dull our senses. Sometimes, we’re not living up to our potential, but the tigers in the jungle of our mind hold us back: fear, insecurity, self-doubt, shame. Uncertainty can become a storm on creative waters, pushing us toward the temperate climate where we’ve become comfortable, sated but not fulfilled.

I’m inspired by women. Brave women. Curious and unsilenced women. Women who feel life’s injustices and reach toward that fracture as a place of strength. …

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After another death of a black human, there is nothing I can say to express my emotions in a way that is meaningful enough. …

We are in the midst of adaptation. Depending on our location and level of risk to coronavirus, change has disrupted our lives in various degrees and durations of intensity. Urban areas are impacted much more heavily, terrifyingly so, by the virus’ ability to accelerate rapidly. But Montanans have been under official Montana shelter-in-place mandates beginning March 20th, and the number of known cases in our county indicates a much slower growth trajectory than in other areas of the state. Missoulians are luckier than most.

But I want to talk about adaptation. My two daughters, ages seventeen and nineteen, are home from school and their schoolwork is mostly done from their bedrooms behind closed doors. I trust that they are responsible humans and can navigate classwork without my assistance. They wake up at noon. It is my belief that their natural rhythms are stretching out the kinks after years of leaving the house for school at 7:30 a.m. They take solitary hikes or bike rides in the afternoon. They stay up ungodly hours, but I don’t mind. For the first time in their young lives, they have the opportunity to be accountable for their work while managing their own time. …


Barbie Beaton

Creative Nonfiction Writer, Memoirist, Obsessed with Growth, Beauty, Courage

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