Who we influence

I took my parents 2 dogs plus my old dog we’re looking after for the week for a walk tonight. It was…difficult. Not only have they all been trained to NOT use leashes, (I enforced the leash rule…I’m not crazy), but they’re all heading in different directions the whole time. My arms got sore from reigning them in. They’re so interested in what’s around them, they can’t help but run to whatever they see. So I thought I should look around too…at the houses with their warm looking interiors, views of the ocean and bmw’s in the driveway. From the outside, all those people in all those houses look like they’re living the dream. Are they? I imagine them leaving their perfect homes in the morning to go off to their perfect jobs, making lots of money and influencing people, then coming home at the end of the day to their picture-perfect families, snifters of port and khakhi pants. Ok…maybe I have my idea of the people living in these houses mixed up with a Martha Stewart Living spread. The funny thing is…this is my street. I live in one of these houses. Does someone else walk their dogs down this same street and picture what my life is like?
I don’t know if anyone thinks about this like I do while walking their dogs, but what I do know for sure is that people are watching me. I know it when someone comments on who I brought to a party that took place months ago…I know it when I bump into someone I haven’t seen since high school and she asks how the garage sale went that I advertised on facebook…I know it when I become close to someone and they finally tell me what they thought of me when we first met. I’m relatively conscious that people are watching what I do, how I react, and who I become. I forget it too easily sometimes, and behave in ways that I probably wouldn’t if someone were standing in front of me.
My question, and my point, is this: Do you know people are watching you? It only stands to reason, we’re social beings, connected to those around us. We watch each other, we judge each other, we idolize each other. You are watching the people around you…so who’s watching you? What does he or she see?
Is your life as great as it looks to people looking at it from a distance? Is it better? Do you roll with whatever life brings you or do you use challenges as a reason to complain? Do you listen to people and learn from your mistakes, or have your friends stopped bothering to tell you anything because you never seem to change? Are you living what you believe, or are you just exisitng?
Here’s my challenge for anyone reading this: think about who you watch. Think about who inspires you, who challenges you, who you want to be more like someday…and tell that person. Tell him or her what you see, and how it affects you. Don’t let embarassment, shyness, or that ugly little voice that tells you this doesn’t matter stop you. Think about who you’re watching and why, and call/text/email that person today. How would it affect you if someone were to tell you that you inspire them? It would change you. Think about this…forward someone this note, and give him or her that gift right now.
Who knows what’ll stop you tomorrow?

-Brianna

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