Day 9: List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
It was actually more difficult that I originally thought to decide who MOST influenced me. There have been a lot of people in and out of my life, and each left their mark — whether good or bad. However, I choose to focus on the good (in no particular order).
- My Parents — I was adopted, I was chosen instead of just being a mistake; they saved me, they raised me and loved me as their own, and they still help take care of me through all my bipolar fits. They made me the woman I am, and I will love and cherish them forever.
- My Brother, Shaun — He is absolutely the strongest person I know. When he found out he had spondiolythesis (a bone in his back never formed, so his vertebra were slipping out of place), it halted his entire gymnastics career (he had trained 16 hours a week for years). But that didn’t stop him from doing what he loved — he became a gymnastics coach and a soccer goalie while in high school, and he just finished his degree for human kinetics and is working on his masters degree starting this fall. :) I love you, Bobo, you inspire me to keep trying every single day because you never gave up.
- Rachel Rahrich — one of my very closest and cherished friends through high school, we got each other through the rough times when we both developed different mental disabilities around the same time (I have bipolar, she has schizophrenia). She never gave up, even when she wanted to, and she always helped push me to continue my writing. You’re a beautiful woman and I will always adore you.
- Daniel Downey — My closet friends through early high school (before Rachel). He overcome a serious drug habit, and he convinced me never to hurt myself again after my first and only failed suicide attempt. His compassion made me want to be better. I remember the two best things he ever said to me: “I wish I was as selfless as you” and most importantly “I love you too much to lose you”.
- Jayson T. Colton — My boyfriend, partner, etc. When he met years ago, we didn’t work out because we both still had some growing to do. Three years later, I’ve managed better coping techniques for my bipolar and he has better ways to relax and focus through his martial arts. During those three years apart, it made me want to better myself and become a stronger person, which he still helps me achieve today.
- April Diane Annett (March 28, 1975 to October 11, 1998) — The first death I ever experienced, and someone who felt like family to us — she died on Thanksgiving day when we were waiting for her for supper, and found out the next day why she never showed up. It made me realize that I can’t waste time, I have to live both for today and tomorrow, to live life to the fullest, and to love until it hurts.
- Dorothy May Alexander, my Grannie (RIP) — The first person I would show my writing to when I was young and encouraged me to keep working at it and to never give up on my dreams
- Terence Young — Published author, and my mentor/teacher during my grad year (along with my english teacher). He helped me get a bunch of my work published by sending it out to young magazines because he thought I had great talent. Even though I drove him nuts challenging everything he said, it made me a better writer and he never gave up on me. I ran into him by chance a few years later and he told me I better still be writing. Thank you, Mr.Young. :)
- Wendy Jickling — Quite possibly the most important (other than my family), she was my grade 4 English teacher. She encouraged us to always read, and I become obsessed with fiction and fantasy books because of her. It was her influence that made me decide I wanted to be a writer. Thank you, wherever you are now, Mrs.J.