Friday, October 19, 2012

We all have potential for greatness

Twelve years ago today (because I'm old as dirt), I finished high school. Well, technically I finished my last CLASSES at high school and cleaned out my locker and cried a lot because OH MY GOD I HAVE TO BE A GROWN UP NOW (total lie. I'm still not a grown up). I still had to sit all my exams, and go back to school a bunch of times for band rehearsals for speech night and then attend graduation and all of that nonsense. But for all intents and purposes, my high school career finished 12 years ago today.

With the end of high school (which, for the Year 12s of 2012 has just happened), you hear a lot of motivational speeches and stuff about inspirational people. So I figured I'd take the opportunity to share with you guys some of the people that *I* find inspiring. They fall into two categories:

Fictional women who kick arse. Literally. 
- Buffy Summers. This will come as no surprise to those of you who read Snark Squad (And if you don't read Snark Squad, you should really start). Buffy's pretty awesome. She risks her life on a daily basis, she fights to save others even when she's terrified, and even death can't keep her down. Plus, she does it all in heels while being snarky.

- Donna Noble. In everyday life? She's a bit bumbling, a little chubby, lives with her mother, and works as a temp. But when she starts travelling with the Doctor? She grounds the Doctor, helps to save the planet numerous times, and she was the most important woman in the universe.

- Zoe Washburne. Zoe is one HELL of a badass. She's a soldier through and through, loyal to her husband, her ship and her captain. She fights for what she believes in, no matter how terrifying the circumstances. And she deadpans her way through it all.

- Dana Scully. When I watched The X-Files as a teenager, I always thought Scully was really boring in comparison to Mulder. But rewatching it over the past few months? Scully is brilliant. She rescues herself from danger on countless occasions, gets kidnapped by lunatics half a dozen times without developing a serious case of agoraphobia/PTSD, cuts up dead bodies at stupid o'clock in the morning, is WAY more snarky than I remember, and does it all while wearing really unflattering 90s pantsuits.

- Natasha Romanoff (aka The Black Widow). Holy crap, is she awesome. She holds her own against a multitude of superheroes with no special powers other than the ones she's worked her butt off to develop. She's afraid when she needs to be, but won't let her fear stop her. And she does whatever she has to to save the people who matter to her. Plus, she outmaneouvered Loki.

Actual people who are amazing.
- Tom Hiddleston. The title for this post is actually a Hiddles quote. In addition to being a fantastic actor, he worked his arse off to get into Cambridge, he's fluent in five languages (including Latin and Ancient Greek), he once brought soup to a reporter on the red carpet after seeing them tweet about how cold it was outside, and he's quite possibly the most eloquent and well-spoken person I've ever come across.

- John and Hank Green. If you're not aware of these two (John is an award winning novelist, and Hank is his younger brother, and a talented musician), they started vlogging in 2007 as an experiment - for twelve months, they would cease text based communication, and instead record daily vlogs to each other. Five years later, they're hugely popular, and have an incredibly dedicated community. But here's the thing - they engage with their community to "decrease world suck", raising money and awareness for causes all around the world. They're unapologetically nerdy, and their motto is "Don't forget to be awesome."

- Joss Whedon. This one's probably not a surprise, considering three of the characters in the above list have had some kind of involvement with him. Joss Whedon likes to break the rules. The network says his characters can't swear on TV? He has them swear in Chinese. He directs a Disney movie? It includes the phrase "mewling quim". The writer's strike shuts down the whole of Hollywood? He writes and films a musical with three big name stars for $10,000 and makes it available for free on the internet. He's not afraid to kill off the most popular character in a show. And one of my favourite quotes is from him - "Be yourself. Unless you suck."

- Maggie Smith. Did you know that she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer during the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? She was bald and sick as a dog, but she was determined to see it through to the end and finish playing Minerva McGonagall. If anyone in the world is in Gryffindor? It's Maggie Smith. Also? She's phenomenal as Lady Grantham in Downton Abbey.

- Jennifer Lawrence. She's a brilliant actress, but the real reason I love her? She's kind of a huge dork. She's the girl who waves to the crowd and then goes "Oh shit, I forgot to shave my armpits" (seriously. That happened). She's the girl who's all "Oh, how did I get in shape for this movie? I laid in bed eating French fries." And she's the girl who tells reporters on the red carpet about how much she needs to pee. She's not afraid to be herself, and that? Is awesome.

So. Who inspires you??

K xx


  1. Scully, Cheryl Strayed, Vandana Shiva, Loretta Ross, Audre Lorde, Tim Hetherington, Anthony Shadid, Isaac Fitzgerald, bell hooks, Mahasweta Devi, my mum & dad, and my best mate. [and a countless number of people that I work with]

    1. Oh yeah. I completely neglected to consider people that I actually KNOW.

      THAT list would include you, Rish.

  2. Tina Fey is a huge inspiration to me. Don't get me wrong, I will never be a comedy writer or doing improv but she is marvelous at what she does, writing movies, writing books, starring/directing/creating her own show. She is funny and smart and works her butt off, something I should try for once. She is just so damn good and pretty!

    And then there's my grandma. She is the strongest person I know. She has seen too many family members pass away but she is still here and has always cared for me. She is as much of a parent to me as my Mom was. Gran is a big part of who I turned out to be as a person.

    As far as fictional characters go, I'd have to go with Buffy as well for all the reasons you wrote!

    So that's my list :-)

    1. YES. TINA FEY. I adore Tina Fey. Can't believe I left her off my list!

  3. All of these people you mentioned are AMAZING. Just... I love them. Some people I would add:

    Julie Andrews- She's one of my heroes. She's an amazing person, has had a PHENOMENAL career, and on top of it she lost the greatest talent ever, AND SURVIVED. I mean, if I were Julie Andrews and I lost my singing voice, I would be in a deep hole of depression and never come out. You look at her? It's as if it never phased her.

    Lea Michelle (Rachel on Glee)- I know there are a lot of people who don't like her, but I think she's brilliant. She's been on Broadway for most of her life, starred in a Tony award winning musical by age 20, and I believe is the youngest person to play Eponine in Les Mis EVER. On top of that, she's not afraid to be herself. She doesn't care what the press thinks of her. She is a complete musical theatre nerd and wonderful.

    Josh Groban- yes, an amazing voice. But he's also freaking hilarious. I'm so excited that he's gotten into acting a bit because he is SO FUNNY. He's a genius and has a voice that makes me melt, but also funny. Perfect man right there.

    Hermionie Granger- A book nerd, smart, and would do ANYTHING for the people she cares about. Even drop out of school and go camping to save the world while the love of her life breaks her heart.

    Sir William Marshal- I've only read about him in novels, but he was considered one of the greatest knights of the medieval time period. He was smart, (from what I can tell CRAZY sexy), talented, strong, cunning, but also known for his chivalry.

    Paranthia Timothy- Hardly anyone knows who she is, but they should. She organizes rescue missions for slaves in India.

    Lucille Ball- "I am not funny, what I am is brave." Preach it sister. That is EXACTLY what it is to be a good actress.

    OK... there are more I could name. But it would take too long. lol

    1. +1 on Hermione, totally forgot her!

    2. I'm going to +1 Hermione as well. Given more time, I would have added her to the list. But I wanted to get it published before midnight and it was about 11.57pm when I finished writing it, so didn't have time to think about who I'd missed!!

  4. Ellen (as in Degeneres - as if that needed to be said).
    Anne Shirley
    My Dad.
    And a lot of the crazy kids I work with inspire me a lot - people say young people aren't passionate and what to change the world. Uh, yeah right!

    1. Ellen is phenomenal. The more clips I see from her show, the more I understand why you love her so much.

  5. Donna Noble has to be the best companion ever, equal to the first Romana from classic Who. And I now have even more respect for Maggie Smith; she is made of more parts of awesome than I previously realised.

    1. Scandalously, I've never seen Classic Who, so I can't compare Donna to Romana. But yes - Donna is definitely the best companion of New Who (although I do adore Rose).

      And Maggie Smith is a truly incredibly woman.

  6. Oh! My love of Maggie Smith grows and grows! She was amazing in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...and then I was reminded last night that she was in Sister Act!
    Oh my word, and a google search tells me she is actually a Dame! OH! And she's 77!! Bless her!!
    LOVE her!

    Ahhh, the end of high school! I so thought I would be a grown up by now, at my high school age! Silly girl! Ha!

    1. Hell, I thought that going to university meant I would be a grown up!! NOPE. Also? I now desperately want to watch Sister Act.

  7. Yes to Buffy, yes to Joss. This Tom Hiddleston dude, I really need to look him! And Maggie smith is a dame in all the best, most awesomesauce ways. Fabulous woman! xx

    1. Seriously, you need to go and look up Tom Hiddleston immediately. Because Holy eye candy, Batman!! In addition to, you know, being all inspiring and stuff...


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