Recently I’ve found myself being more and more influenced in my daily life by the people around me. I wonder if my supposedly empathetic personality makes it more obvious to me. I feel like when those around me are in a bad mood so am I and when those around me are in a good mood and positive I myself being the same way also. Is this normal? I’m not sure. I was never really around particularly negative or positive people, everyone had very neutral personalities and I didn’t spend enough time around them to see any change in my own mood. Recently I started spending more time with a friend in another bioscience course, we form a group of three with a guy that is very negative and not particularly passionate or interested in anything. I’ve found though that when I’m alone with him my mood is dark and pessimistic and I become quiet and self-conscious while with my female friend who is extremely passionate in the things she loves and has an amazing can-do positivity that I find myself trying harder to also be positive and happy. So thanks to her I want to talk a little bit about the influential people in my life and have a moment of self-reflection and gratitude to those around me and I urge you guys to try this too, it really helps you feel positive when you have someone to look up to.
First my mother, we’ve had our issues, maybe more so than most other families but I suppose being able to see her as a flawed person make me appreciate her all the more. She’s always been a hard worker, working mornings from 5am till late evenings on her own DIY business. She was the epitome of hard-working and passionate about what she did. From a young age my sister and I would watch her work and help where we could, growing up with a strong female idol that really didn’t care about gender roles really affected me growing up because I always felt like no job was gender specific, you could do whatever you wanted as long as you were passionate and loved it. As a woman in science I feel like having this influence in my early life really helped me feel comfortable about my interests despite some of them being labelled as ‘masculine’. She was also extremely strong emotionally through my childhood, getting through an abusive marriage twice really made me feel like my worth was more than what others made me out to be, especially growing up in a mildly sexist environment where men knew what was best in the household.
My older sister, we’ve had our fair share of fights and tension, especially when we don’t agree with each others’ lifestyles. Growing up we never fought but as we got older it felt like we eventually started to drift apart, especially when I moved away to study. She influenced me to believe in myself though, she was one of the first members of our family to go to University so she was always the personal I looked up to academically for her intelligence. I was always in awe by her talent, she had an amazing gift for drawing from being young and she always enjoyed it. I’m thankful that I had her to look up to when I was young, although a lot of conflict was caused from her being classed as talented and I just drifted between my many hobbies. My sister was also my influence in compassion growing up, she always put me before herself, I have fond memories of growing up with her, being read stories at night, she would write me pop-up books or make a shadow puppet show on our bedroom wall. Her endless creativity and gentle nature was one thing I always adored and wanted to have later in life.
My university friend, I can’t really put her name so this is an awkward way of going about thanking her. Please bear with me. She’s an amazing friend, for me who grew up with few friends and was often used by people I really struggle to trust people but this friend in particular had this gentle warmth that I’ve never really met before. She was confident and sure, always positive and forward-thinking that left me in pure awe. Learning of her own struggle with anxiety gave me hope that I haven’t really been given in a long time in regards to overcoming my own nervous nature. Her stories of traveling and life in London inspired me to open up and allow myself to be more passionate in my interests regardless of whether I feel like other people would be interested or not. She also has a patience that I hope one day I will also have, her patience with me, especially on days where I struggle to even smile let alone act positive, makes me appreciate her all the more. She’s always willing to drop everything to see me on a bad day and she always offers her own insight to my issues, encouraging me to be more positive and conscientious in my planning. I have a lot to thank her for, especially recently.
I have a lot to be thankful about and a lot of people to thank, but these are my top three. Of course nobody is perfect but these three people in my life really drive me to do better no matter what.
Be happy, healthy and hopeful