9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
My husband inspires me to be a better person. When I’m with him I have the ability to be more spontaneous, to be open to new ideas and adventures, and to live in the moment. I think more clearly when he is near by. I sleep better when we have spent the day together. I love dreaming together and he pushes me closer to each dream. He has always supported everything I want to try. He’s there for me cheering me on in all that I do.
Influence doesn’t always come in large doses. My best friend, Kathy, does little things and big things, but I think it is the little things that inspire me the most. A card when I most need it. A photo of that adorable little boy of hers. Throwing a party for my daughter when I can’t do it myself. Helping me move in and out and in and out of different places. A smile. A laugh. I have always felt like she is a better person than I am and I strive to be more like her. She is strong and confident and a leader. She is smart and funny and always so level headed.
Nani-the-Great, my grandmother was always my hero. I always admired how independent she was. Not only did she raise my mom by herself, but she built a career for herself as well. She managed to create a social life; a good life. She was active in her church and her community and really, how can anyone not be inspired by someone who does yoga at 80 years old? Her strength and her stamina are the traits that I hope to continue to develop in myself.
My parents certainly have been great influences in my life as well. They have given me a love of family and community. They have taught me to be a giver – in my work, in my home, and in my community. Everyone needs help sometimes and they have taught me to rise to the occasion and offer help whenever I can. Kindness matters.
Several teachers through the years have inspired me in different ways. My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Bruner made me want to excel in handwriting and always make it perfect. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Dent taught me accept all types of people – accepting diversity and celebrating differences is the way to live. Mr. Haggerty, my English teacher in high school, planted creative seeds in my mind and since then I have always wanted to write. Also, in high school, Ms. Talas, my math teacher, well, she taught me math, of course. But more than that she taught me how to be a great teacher – how to build relationships with students so that learning became fun and engaging.
That’s 10, but I think what really matters is that every day I am influenced by so many people around me. From the first “hello sunshine” in the morning to the last “I love you – good night,” each day is filled with people. I build relationships and I love that all of them give me something I didn’t expect to receive.