10 influencers

List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how:

  1. Mom – She constantly reminds me I’m doing the right thing. I think growing up and seeing her fight—and her drive—to make things as best as they could possibly be for Keaton (brother) and I has pushed me to do the same for myself. She’s proof that if you love someone enough, it doesn’t matter what you’re going through, you can be there for them. She’s brave and that gives me strength.
  2. Dad – It’s never too late to be who you’re meant to be. His endless pursuit of learning everything inspires me daily. I probably wouldn’t have figured out my passion so soon if it weren’t for him. And his passion for knowledge—that got passed down to me—gives me hope we’ll both get where we’re meant to be someday.
  3. Keaton – Having a younger sibling has forced a sense of responsibility onto me. I would do anything for that kid. I’ve done my best to be there and let him know I’ll always listen, keep secrets, give advice, stick up for him, and love him no matter what. Over the years we’ve been through a lot and he’s made me a stronger person. He has a calming presence that counters my on edge personality. We definitely go together pretty well and I’m proud to call him my brother/best friend.
  4. Grandma Diane – My favorite person in the entire world. She is my safe place. I’m in constant awe of her strength and ability to care for others after everything she’s been through. I can only hope, that if I have a granddaughter one day, I’ll be half the person to her that my grandma is to me. She’s the strongest person I know, and she deserves EVERYTHING. I promise, I’ll take you around the world someday.
  5. Lilly Singh – When I think of working to make your dreams a reality, I think of Lilly. She is the picture-perfect example of battling your demons to turn your life into something your proud of. I think of her if I’m having a hard time getting something done, and I immediately get my ass in gear because I know that’s what she’s doing.
  6. Veronica Roth – I gained confidence because of her. I never truly believed in myself until I heard her story. When I went to see her book tour, she picked my question—out of 200 people—to answer. The moment my name came out of her mouth it made me realize how much I wanted that. I want to simply say someones name, on my book tour, and give them all the hope in the world that their dreams are possible.
  7. Logan Paul – This guy went from being a shy kid on camera, to an internet superstar breaking his way into the big leagues. He’s constantly working towards his dream, I truly don’t know when he has time to sleep—I actually don’t think he even wants to. Every minute he’s sleeping is a minute not spent living the dream. I admire him because he doesn’t care. The comments from small-minded people leave him laughing as he heads to his next gig. Thanks to him, I’m going to work just as hard because he’s a constant reminder that the work pays off.
  8. Elizabeth Gilbert – If it weren’t for her, I would either be in the Army or in college working for something I hate. Her path towards being the writer/person she is today gives me strength to keep going. I know my passion is strong enough to withstand the hate I’m willingly walking into. Liz is honest and brave—she’s got the kind of mindset I’m working to build for myself, in my own way.
  9. Kyle Krieger – When I discovered him, I discovered a new layer of myself—I was swept up and forced to breathe a new kind of air…fresh air. I related to him on a different level. He knew what it was like to live in hell and fight your way out (as do most people). But, his hell and the way he talked about it, hit me hard. Witnessing the way he’s thriving in life, and sensing the happiness he feels in his own skin not only inspires me, it wakes me from my own heartache. I admire his passion for what he believes in, because I see myself inside that passion. In conclusion, Kyle’s pretty much incredible.
  10. Christen Press – In my eyes, she’s fearless. Look up courage in the dictionary and you’ll find her name right next to it. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down or thrown off course, not only is it possible to get up and keep fighting—it’s necessary. Pursuing your dreams is not an easy task; you’re going to fall down, be criticized, categorized, doubted, laughed at, manipulated, confused, and scared. Besides all of that, you’re going to keep going. She has a way about her that gives me courage—I see so much of myself in her, which reminds me just how important it is to get back up and fight. Every day that I’ve known her, I’ve been motivated to work towards a better me. If I ever had the opportunity to sit and talk to her, I think I’d leave that conversation with a new friend.

Going into this prompt, I thought I’d really struggle. Guess not. On a real note, all of these 10 people play a part in why I wake up every morning. I could never thank them enough.

-Kelsi

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