Day 9: List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
This is going to be exceptionally vague since I do retain some level of anonymity.
- My family, namely my parents, elder sibling, paternal aunt and uncle, and paternal grandmother. I spent about a week every year for the last 10+ years with that particular aunt and uncle, and their high standards of etiquette, politeness, and success were ingrained heavily in me.
- A friend from 6th grade, who brought me with her to church every week and to weeknight activities. She gave me spirituality, faith, and hope during a time where I desperately needed it.
- Three friends from middle school and high school. One provided incredible moral and spiritual support. Another helped me find confidence in middle school and has been there through thick and thin; of those I stay in touch with, she’s my oldest friend. The last is pretty much my goofy soul mate. For all three, we can go months without talking or seeing one another and it’s always the same. They help me remember who I really am and how I got to where I am now.
- Four friends from college. Two I lived with at different points. Of those two, one is still an incredible friend who helps me figure out what I really want in life. The other was more a negative influence, but she helped me grow emotionally and figure out what qualities I don’t desire in friends. The other two live local to me now, and we grew closer after college, but they are always down for adventure and help me stay grounded and keep fun in my life.
- Three friends from my semester in DC during undergrad. One was and still is a great travel buddy who teaches me about different cultures. Another teaches me about beauty and all things fashion. Yet another is someone whose positivity shines on all around her.
- My friends from grad school. There are five that made the biggest impression, and honestly, I can’t even capture the growth and fun stemming from them.
- My friends from kink – similar to the above, hard to even describe. I don’t know where I’d be in DC without these folks, where I’d be in terms of fear of unknown/men/awkward, etc.
- Men. There are several specific ones, but let’s leave it at that. Seeing as how I’m single, you can guess most of these are more negative-tinged influences. That said, they all helped me become who I am now and grow in terms of what I want/need/can communicate, so that’s a plus.
- Coworkers, specifically my intern supervisor in DC during college, my intern supervisor last year, and my current supervisor. The last, clearly given recent posts, is a negative influence; the others were incredibly instrumental in determining my current professional choices.
- Professors/Teachers. There was the high school AP US history teacher who recommended I pursue some summer political opportunities – this spawned into my undergrad major. There was a high school english teacher who taught me how to write. There was a high school chemistry teacher who taught me how to study and work hard. There was my undergraduate thesis advisor, the dean, and a scholarships advisor who all built up my confidence in my own ability to achieve and be successful. Lastly, there was the hellish genius professor in grad school who taught me how to crunch numbers and do policy analysis, without which I’d be totally unable to do my current job.