So, I switched days 9 and 10, but no harm done.
This list in not in any order at all. In fact I switched it up intentionally so that it wouldn’t be in any kind of order. All of these people have had an influence on my life. They’ve all somehow managed to leave a lasting impression on my life, and changed me for good.
1. My Mom. I feel like this is an obvious answer. My mom taught me how to be me. Pieces of her are identifiable in every part of me. My humor, my disposition and strength all comes from her (among other things).
2. My Dad. Again, an obvious answer. My dad gave me the other half of my personality. Most of my likes come from him. He’s the reason I love music and history. My stubborn and introverted spirit also come from my dad.
3. Chad Mayne. Outside of my family, he has been the biggest influence on my life up to this point. I can guarantee you that I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Chad.
4. My Friends. (I don’t dare try to name them all in fear of accidentally leaving someone off the list). Birds of a feather flock together. The old saying is true, you have you surround yourself with good people. Luckily for me, I’ve been blessed with some wonderful people. Peer pressure is real, so it’s nice to have good peers.
5. Harry Potter. Seriously. Stop looking at me like that. HP (how I affectionately refer to him) was growing up as I was growing up. The story of Harry Potter (totally ignoring the magic part aspect) is about a boy who has to grow up and be brave, he has to be bigger than himself. The story is about courage and friendship, and love and right and wrong. And Harry Potter always makes the right choice. There is a strong possibility that I’ll never be more influenced by a fictional character in my life.
6. and 7. Jason and Kendra Mauck. Two of my favorite people in the world. They were also there during my high school years, teaching me about my worth and identity in Christ. They are still some of my dearest friends. One day (assuming I find someone brave enough to marry me) Jason will preside over my wedding.
8. Taylor Swift. Don’t look at me like that. We are all influenced by celebrities, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. She’s true to herself, she’s kind, and she’s classy. She started out as nobody and followed her dreams to make a name for herself. She’s who I want to be.
9. Julia Bartgis. My other mother! The best person to go to for advice, and one of the best people to model your life after. She’s always there for me when I need her and she’s always full of wisdom. She’s lovely and so giving. I’d be lucky to tun out like her.
10. My family. I know I already singled out my parents, but my whole family has had a huge influence on me. My siblings (all 4 of them!), my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and cousins, they’ve all helped build me. Whether it was them giving me advice, my learning from their mistakes, or just watching them deal with life in general, they’ve all been my examples and guiding influence.
*Honorable mentions: My community. The Bolivar class of 2008.