The Inspiring People Nobody Knows

If you liken the journey of life to a work of literary art…

…there are sequels and then there are spin-offs…

I like to call the transition of life I’m going through a sequel. A sequel is a work of art, whether literary or other, that continues a story that had its beginning in an earlier work of art. Sequels are much like the transition from raising kids (the earlier work), to watching them make lives of their own (the sequel).

There are some people, though, whose lives are more than sequels. Their transitions are more radical, like spin-offs. A spin-off is a completely new work of art which is based on a character or event from a different work of art. Spin-offs, at least the ones I’ve met, have gone through profound transitions in their lives, whether by choice or by necessity. They had to show courage in the face of their uncertainties and to persevere in the wake of their trials.

how i’ve had the honor to meet the spin-offs

To give you a bit of perspective, I need to explain my background. I grew up in mansions. No, not anything like billionaire homes, but I’ve never known hunger without choosing it. I’ve never wondered where I was going to sleep. I’ve never had to choose between taking my child to the doctor and paying my utility bill. My family and I were, for the most part, sheltered from those in need.

There’s things you KNOW, and there’s things you EXPERIENCE.

Of course we knew there were people in need, and of course if anyone asked us for anything, we would have gladly given them whatever they needed. But…

I didn’t know their stories.

I didn’t know how they got to that place.

I never asked.

My mother-in-law was, and still is, stricken with Multiple Sclerosis, a devastating disease, as most autoimmune conditions are. She and my father-in-law decided to retire in the 1990’s to far western North Carolina, a part of the Appalachian mountain range. It became apparent in the early 2000’s that they would need help from family.

To meet their needs, we decided to move to rural Appalchia. It was quite a change from what I was used to, having lived in places such as New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and many of the metropolitan areas of North Carolina. I have to admit though I agreed to move, I did so with kicking and screaming.

Not long after we moved, I was hired by the local community college as a faculty member and this, my friend, is when I began meeting the most extraordinary, most remarkable, most inspiring, and most courageous adults I have ever met.

There’s things you KNOW, and there’s things you EXPERIENCE.

I asked them their stories; I was humbled.

I asked them how they got to that place; I was broken.

I asked them; they answered me.

and i will never be the same

That was eight years ago when I began my journey, my quest, of the wonder of spin-offs and now that my eyes have been opened, I find they are everywhere! But you have to ask them their stories.

You won’t hear their quotes, you won’t see their stories in movies, you won’t know their names.

But you should. You will be better for it. Trust me. I am.

I decided long ago that I wanted to write a memoir of all the spin-off’s stories that I have come to discover, and admire, and love. This is a great venue for just that! Thank you MEDIUM!

I still want to share my sequel story with you as well, but their stories are much more important. My story will come as comic relief during the weeks after the spin-offs’ stories that may be quite heavy.

After all, some stories do not have happy endings.

Some do.

Some are still continuing, and we won’t know the ending, until the ending.

In the meantime, if you read my last post, I introduced you to my cousin, who I believe to be very empathetic. He explained to me why I was feeling the curious emotions I was feeling, even in spite of my complete denial. He has begun his own journey with a blog called Personal Inner Freedom. These stories will appear there, too, once it is up and running. I will include the link in a future edit.

Thank you, friend, for sharing your precious time. If you liked this introduction to the spin-off stories, please click on the heart button to recommend it to others. I am humbly grateful.