Tuesday, February 12, 2013

10 Influential People

The 30 things my kids should know about me list has taken a back seat for a bit, but I am glad to be moving on to number 9: list 10 people who have influenced you and describe how. I have been contemplating who would make the cut, who has influenced my life, and which people have made the biggest impact of all those who have influenced my life.

1. I decided to be lame and start the list with my mother. Most women will say they have been influenced by their mom's, but I couldn't think of anyone who has made a bigger impact on my life. She has taught me strength, compassion, my morals, and above all, how to just be myself. She endured so much throughout my childhood (abuse, cheating, raising a family practically on her own) and I never once felt that she was lacking. She worked like a dog to provide for my sisters and I. She picked up the slack that the man in her life was more than willing to give. She has shown an immense amount of love, forgiveness, and understanding for my sisters and I. She has been there through our heartbreaks, our successes, our children's births (oh the many births this woman has witnessed), and been more than willing to lend a hand in our time of need. Although I no longer live at home with my mom, I always feel like my home is where my mom is.

2. I couldn't go further with this list without continuing my lameness. My dad, Ray, has been the most influential male in my life. He has shown me how a father is supposed to treat his children. He has shown me how a man is supposed to treat his wife. He has been one of my best friends for as long as I can remember. He taught me how to drive, how to survive calculus, and how to be a responsible adult. He has loved me unconditionally, which I know was not easy when I was a teen (or let's be honest, a bratty adult). He has taught me to stand up for my beliefs. I have always asked my mother if she is sure that he isn't my biological father because him and I are so much alike. We have the same mannerisms, the same ease with math, and stubbornness. I owe a great deal of my life to this incredible man.

3. My grandfather. He is one tough old man. He is passionate for everything Irish, Catholic, or family. He is resilient. He has taught me to never give up. He has taught me that I am beautiful (no matter how many times HE calls me chubby). I remember Christmas of 2011 I told him I had lost 40lbs and he said, "Great job. Only like 15 more to go."  I also remember as a young girl being at the 4th of July celebration in downtown GR. I was complaining about being chunky (something I really wasn't then) and his response was that I was not chunky that I was a brick shit house. At like 7 (I think that's how old I was), I had no idea what that meant. He explained that it meant I was solid and was strong. He explained that I was beautiful no matter how big or small I was (again, I was only chunky compared to my very thin sisters). He has a dirty sense of humor and LOVES to pester my grandma (something I love to do to Adam).

4. Allyson. She is an amazing woman. She is strong, determined, and successful. She knows exactly what she wants and works hard to get it. She is doing exactly what she wants to do for her career (but hey Allyson, why don't you get a real career....smh...I promise that's an inside joke, not me being a bitch). She is talented with everything that she touches. I am in constant awe of what she designs, creates, and does. She is an amazing inspiration and I love having someone like that in my life.

5. My husband. I suppose I should give some of the credit to my life to my husband. He has taught me how to open up. The day we met was a difficult time for me. I was very closed off to people and had my guard up big time. I was willing to share my life story with the man, sure, but I was afraid to get hurt. He was constantly forcing me out of my comfort zone by challenging me to speak my feelings or say exactly what I wanted. I don't think that by doing this he was creating a monster. I now have no problem telling him exactly how I feel or what I want, which I am sure he is now regretting.

6. Jessi. My sister Jessi is as an amazing mother as my own mother. I got close with my sister after working at the same office (just a desk away actually). Her and I shared a lot about our lives with one another. I would consider my sister my very best friend. She has shown me exactly how to implement what our mother taught us. She is as strong as my mother and does an amazing job with her kids. I ask her opinion on everything. Her opinion means more to me than most other people, especially when it comes to my kids.

7. Now for people who are not my relatives. The first being Lucielle Ball. She has been one of my idols since I was a child. She has shown everyone that women can do exactly what men can do. She has been successful doing what she loved. She is quirky and unique. This is exactly what made me love her.

8. Courtney Palmer. She has just started a blog herself, called Vision Driven: Living Life on Purpose. I have always admired her love and devotion to the Lord. She truly lives her life following God's word without question and without hesitation. She is devoted to her husband and they build their marriage around their faith. They're marriage is amazing. She is very talented, intelligent, and gorgeous. She doesn't judge, doesn't speak negatively about anyone, and devotes her life to spreading God's Word in the most positive manner. I am hoping to learn a lot about myself, my purpose in life, and how to better my relationship with God through her blog.

9. Mr. Nash. He was my 6th grade band teacher. While I only had him for one year, he helped grow my love for music, grow my love for playing an instrument, and taught me the importance of practice. He had a love for life and music that was so infectious. I hope to be able to pass that type of behavior on to my children, because music is so important.

10. Last but not least, Angie Ruger. She was my cheerleading coach in high school. She is such a positive individual. I have never met someone with so much love and spirit as her. She is hilarious and compassionate. She was an amazing coach who taught me the importance of leadership and teamwork. She taught me the importance of friendship, priorities, and punctuality. She kept us driven and loving every thing our team was about. I owe a lot of my high school happiness and positivity to this woman. She has dedication that knows no bounds. Also, she treated us as if we were family, not just her team.

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