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This a guest blog from Tony Vengrove. His attendance at TEDxRVA 2013 led to a surprising moment of creative inspiration. Submit your own TEDxRVA story here

I had the pleasure to attend 2013’s inaugural TEDxRVA event. At the time, I had recently left my cushy corporate job, was three months into my own startup business, and fighting sleep deprivation thanks to our five-month old twins. It was an adventurous time to say the least.

I left The Power Plant that day fired up and motivated to tackle the world. If TEDxRVA’s mission was to inspire the RVA community, they hit a home run for me.

I fell asleep that evening with inspirational moments racing through my head. By 2 a.m., the alarm sounded to wake my wife and me — time to feed the twins. We had the routine down; it was my responsibility to feed my daughter, Elise. As I sat half awake on the edge of the bed holding Elise’s bottle, some prose-like lines appeared in my consciousness. I thought they were compelling enough to remember for the next morning, so I held both Elise and her bottle in my left hand, grabbed my iPhone with my right and start typing ideas into Evernote.

The lines kept coming; I kept typing. We all went back to bed and upon waking the next morning I continued writing. A few hours later, I completed my first poem since elementary school: START.

I’ve always wanted to share this backstory with the RVA community since my poem clearly materialized from my TEDxRVA experience. I’m not a poet, but something clicked that day, which inspired the creation of something I normally don’t create. I’m not claiming it’s worthy of any prize, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of positive feedback since I originally posted it online.

CREATE was the theme of that first TEDxRVA. START is an ode to the birth of an idea—a reminder that nothing can be created until we start. I hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you to take a shot on goal.

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