I meant to write this post this past week, and I'm sorry. I was preoccupied and it just escaped me. I'll be back to the blog more regularly now...promise.
Today I want to talk about the power of influence...ways that our thoughts and actions translate to others and encourage them to adopt the things that we do and say as their own. Every single one of us influences others in a huge variety of ways. This sounds really obvious, and it is, but there's a point to be made, I swear. Think about this for a second:
I could start by explaining how I've taken endless friends to go get their first Brazilian wax, to my hair salon to get their hair chopped off or drastically colored, to get birthday piercings time after time, or how I hooked a bunch of people on Flash Tattoos, Hoola bronzer, and coconut oil.
I could talk about how I helped most of my study abroad friends create blogs and websites of their own, how I inspired a lot of younger girls to become passionate about dancing, or how I encouraged friends and acquaintances to travel and get out of their comfort zones by the pictures I've posted on Facebook and Instagram and the stories that I've shared upon my return from those traveling experiences.
Essentially, influence is everywhere, big and small. I am a MAJOR influence. Every single person reading this is a MAJOR influence. That's YOU. Whether it's skin deep, superficial influences, or incredibly life-changing and passionate influences, we hold an incredible amount of power in the decisions that we make each and every day. Someone is listening, someone is watching, someone thinks you are so cool and wants to be just like you...in more ways than one. This conversation started for me a couple of months ago when I was, you guessed it, in Cape Town.
In class, we were given an assignment to write a paper about significant people in our lives, people who have influenced us (either positively or negatively) and impacted a particular aspect of our being...something we could pinpoint. The first person who came to mind was my dance coach from high school, Kara.
Miss Kara has been my idol since day one. Exuberant, beautiful, confident, intelligent, nurturing, talented...she embodies every quality that I would consider to create the perfect woman, and person, for that matter. I tell her how much I love her all the time, but I honestly really can never convey my admiration for her in words. She is just that cool to me.
While completing the assignment, I wrote about the mindsets that she's helped me establish that have made me well on my way to being a confident woman like herself. She has taught me so much about self-respect, good communication, positive ways to present myself...and because of this, it has reshaped a lot of the things I do and say to others in hopes that they will respect me and admire my personal self-respect. I owe all of the credit to her inspirational, sometimes silly, deep talks. She lays it on me how it is, and really gets me thinking. She has influenced me to want to grow up as a real woman and a total genuine badass.
I also wrote about a person in my life, who I won't name, who really let me down and disappointed me when she got into drugs, destroying herself, her family, her friends, and her career. I valued my friendship with this person so much and could never thank her enough for all that she taught me about a particular passion of mine, but I will never be able to salvage the friendship or continue partaking in an unhealthy and dishonest relationship of any kind. It's still very sad to me, and because of this person, I have been influenced to passionately hate drugs.
I leave you with this: I challenge you today to reflect on the influences in your life and what makes you, you. Thank the people who have served as a positive influence in your life and embrace all that they have taught you, and reflect on the negative influences in your life, as well, to gain a better insight as to why you feel the way you do about certain things of which you disapprove.
Have a great weekend :)