Thursday, June 04, 2009

Think About It Thursdays...#20. Your Influential person.

So here's the moment I turn off the funny and ask the serious bone in my body to come forward.

Last week I had a client, from a local school, throw a function at my restaurant for their junior and senior students. Their vice principal was to show up and be the "official" representative of the school to make sure the event is 'respectable' from start to finish.

When I went to introduce myself I was surprised to find it was someone from my past I hadn't seen in almost 15 years. My high school counselor. This man got me through teenage angst over lost loves, my parent's divorce, my father's death, and almost not graduating high school. He was a rock that stood in the storm of my life at the time. He gave me stability when I had none. He stood and really believed in me as a person.

Gently he prodded and never gave up on me.

He was one of 2 people in my educational life that had a direct impact in my believing in myself.

I hadn't expressed my thanks properly while a senior in high school, so I gushed and told the other teachers and party go-ers NOW how special their vice principal was. How much he had done for me.

I really hope that he knew how important he was to me in that part of my life. I really really hope. I hope that he felt I had done something with myself. Running a restaurant with about 80 employees.

Because if he told me then back in 1993 that one day I'd be here now, I might have never believed him. But then again, he is part of why I can be here today.

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"Who has been influential in your life (not including your parents) and were you able to express gratitude for their role and what it's done for you?"





17 ramblings of your own:

OliveStreetStudio said...

Thanks for your story - very nice that you had the unexpected opportunity to thank this supportive man!! I have two minor bits to contribute:

To the woman who gave me my first job in an ice-cream parlor when I was 12 - I worked for her for 7 summers and she really helped bring me out of my shy-shell. I eventualy ran the shop and placed our orders. She trusted me with running her business. To this day I tell her that job was my absolute favorite in the world (and not because i got to eat ice cream everyday!)

My negative on this: My Aunt, who when I told I wanted to major in Biology, told me I'd never make any $$ or I'd have to go to med school....she discouraged me at 16 YOs and I got nervous so I switched my major. To this DAY I regret not pursuing my love of science...BUT I have gone back to school and taken bio, chem, and physics classes and one day hope to teach HS Chemistry. :-)

AND - THANKS THANKS THANKS for the comment on my little bags! I'm so glad you like them!! I LOVE making them and have some new fabrics (an awesome grass GREEN swirly print).

I have 3 in my shop and the others to come....BUT would give you a 10% discount!! :-)

Tooj said...

I wish I would have allowed myself to open up to mentors or possible "influences" back when I was in high school or college. I never needed "guidance" because I forced myself to do well in school and I think that adults tend to overlook the kids who they "think" are on the right path. I had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into when I entered college. I didn't understand majors, I didn't know how to pursue a career choice...I knew NOTHING.

My biggest influence has honestly been my husband. He's helped me figure out WHO I am and what I want. He's helped me see that I CAN pursue something, I CAN figure out how to get there...and he's been my rock for seven years now. He's taught me a lot about myself and what it means to treasure what I've been given.

Joy said...

I'd say my high school art teacher was a positive influence as her positive attitude was infectious and she really knew how to instill confidence. :o)

Joy, via Welcomistas

Vivienne said...

Great post! OliveStreetStudio (the 1st comment) illustrated the flip side of this - that you can also BE that influential person and not even know it. (Good or Bad) A reminder to us all to take care with our words and actions.
:)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Was that the VP from my school? Cause one of ours used to be a counselor.

My uncle and grandmother had the most influence on helping me believe in myslef when I was young.

mo.stoneskin said...

Looking back I'm amazed how many great teachers I was blessed with, their influence on me was huge.

K said...

My big sister.

I worshipped her. And when she went through a very rough patch in her early twenties I learned a lot about what I didn't want to do.

Ailurophile said...

A touching and nice post. I was most influenced by my English teacher in high school. He was very kind and always believed in me. Unfortunately he died later of colon cancer, but his dedication and hard work for students was unparalleled.

WhisperingWriter said...

Wonderful post.

To be honest, I think it WAS my parents who were quite influential in my life. You see, my Mom was an Officer in the Air Force and she battled all sorts of sexism. She never gave up. Then my Dad decided to stay home with me because he walked in to pick me up at daycare once and he didn't like the tone the providers were using at the children. So he quit his job and became a SAHD. Back in those days, it wasn't done as often so he was mocked quite a bit. Both of my parents have always fascinated me.

Becky said...

My step-dad, for sure. I've always had difficulty expressing my emotions verbally and am more of an "actions speak louder than words" type of person. I think he knew in some ways how much he meant to me, but I never outright told him and unfortunately will never have the chance to. Because of that, I've tried to be better about that.

Aubrey said...

This brought a tear to my eye. Brought back memories of a HS teacher I had that was such a BIG support system to me during some trying times. He made us feel like we could go to him anytime with ANYTHING and always listened.

Martha said...

Oy Vey, Rambler, this is heavy and deep, thought provoking. I need to meditate on this puppy and get back to you.
I am so happy you got to see your former counselor, so cool.

vanover521 said...

i would have to say the wife of the youth pastor i hated.

confused? ok let me explain.

he was a guy who just rubbed me the wrong way.

his wife was sweet, caring, thoughtful, loved God with everything in her. she was everything i ever wanted to be.

well... except for being married to him.

she was someone who would listen to anything, was supportive, helpful. she cared so much about each of us girls. it's amazing when i think back to her.

and no, i don't think that i've ever been able to tell her how i feel about it because they've long since moved and i've lost touch with her. not that i couldn't find them with a bit of detective work.

but she was amazing. and probably still is.

Shawn said...

Great post---glad you got to see him again!!

I actually don't have anyone that stands out in my mind. Most people thought that I was too much of a rebel---(my family) and those at school didn't know what to do with me....

Sapphire said...

I've had a lot of surrogate mothers in my life that have really influenced me.

The woman who gave me a job even though I showed up for the interview wearing a teeny tiny denim dress and high heeled open toe sandals at age 18. She took me under her wing and taught me a lot about life.

There were others, but I'm sleepy ;)
Great post!!!

The Blonde Duck said...

That's so cool!

Life, Love And Lola said...

WOW! Good question! I'm gonna have to think about this and get back to you...

As I don't think The Bird Man who I met on the streets in Hawaii and helped me get over my fear of birds is an acceptable answer.