Liz is a bad influence on me, Nicole is a good influence on my health but a bad influence Webkinzaly. Mandy, my BFF, is a force to be reockened with. What would I do without these and my many other friends? Who would I be? Without Pam, I wouldn't be blogging, that's for sure. Maybe it's all my mother's fault after all! When I was beginning elementary school, she was a very involved volunteer at the school. She would strongly suggest to me to play with Wendy or Angie or some other poor soul that had nobody to play with. I realize now that she didn't see this as an act of charity on my part, but some somebodies that I would have something in common with as their fellow social outcast!
So, early on I was establishing friendships with every kid that I could find. I like to think that I can have some level of friendship with almost anybody. By now Nicole, Liz, Pam, Mandy, and the others (if their attention span has been long enough to read this far) may have caught on that I accidentally (yeah, that's right) implied that they are misfits. Really, aren't we all misfits? Does anybody truly feel that they "fit in"? Sometimes I wonder if we are all just "faking it" to get along in a world where we are uncertain of our own strengths and afraid that others will uncover our weaknesses. I believe that through interpersonal contact with others, we always stand to gain something. The influence of others, our "village" as I like to refer to it, is often underestimated in the world. (For those of you who see the word "village" and get all worked up over Hillary, get over it.)
Without Josee taking the time to get to know me, I would not have become so comfortable volunteering within the school. Without Lena, how could I laugh at the stupid things that sometimes spew out of my mouth there? Without Sarah how could I deal with classroom bullies and people who are, as she would say, just wrong. And who would question my seriousness? Without TinaK, who would remind me at the last minute of the tasks that I promised to do or of the cheesecake she had to eat without me? Without Mandy, I don't know if I would have made it this far at all. Without John, I would not have the temperment to deal with the world. Without that girl I worked with at Kroger in college - you know, the one we called "moo buzz" because she shaved naughty words in sleeping cow's fur - I would not have ever come out of my shell and become myself (stuff her back in the shell dammit! - stop shouting, Mandy). What was her name, anyway? Finally, without my new e-friend Amy, where would I steal interesting content for my blog on my less-than-creative days?
I wonder what part of me it is, or where it came from, that I never really gave much credit to peer pressure. I never had the overwhelming desire to fit in or go along with the crowd. Never tried alcohol or other drugs, even a cigarette. Was that some inherent gift from (insert favorite diety here) or just my own stubborness? Mabye it was the ABC After School Specials. Where are they now? I need to know the source immediately so that I can expose my daughter to it, before it's too late. How can I make sure she is influenced by the good and not the bad? I guess it's an ongoing battle to choose right and to explain acceptable behavior and unacceptable.