The term influencer is thrown around a lot these days. It would appear the title of Influencer is given to one who has built a loyal following through their online content creation. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and TikTok are huge avenues in which one can market oneself. The internet has opened up the world and things are approached in a different way. As a member of the senior age group I thought I would answer some familiar questions asked when trying to evaluate ones life. Some questions are more intense than others so I will give each question its own blog.
When I think of my mother, my immediate feeling is not what I wanted it to me. I do not recall loving tender moments with her. Our life, which was her life, was full of sickness, unhappiness and survival. Nothing bad happened to me personally and I have no thoughts of blame for my mother. Her circumstances were pretty tough. She married young, had two children, she did not cope well with life in general. She divorced and married again. Second husband was an alcoholic and she had a third child to him who was very sick for many years. Our lives were ordinary, financially a struggle, however we never went hungry and I do not recall any physical violence or abuse. It is funny but even though I did not have loving thoughts of my mother on her death I do recall a huge and painful loss. What I do recall is that she struggled through in difficult situations and she always meant to do right by her children. I feel now as an older person that I have a better understanding of the depth of pain and suffering people endure. Unbeknown to ourselves those close to us suffer in silence and others judge without knowledge. I understand the shallowness of our thinking regarding things we know nothing about. I understand that we do not understand ourselves very well and to judge others on what you think you know is wrong. When I look at what I gained from her, I find she instilled in me strength in the face of adversity, patience and determination.
The father whose genes I have is not well known to me. I was introduced to him in my late teens. He was a complicated, confused man who struggled until his death to understand himself let alone others. I do not believe I gained any attributes from him as he was not part of my day to day life. He did however have a love of music and of the guitar.
This is the person I think of as my father. I do not have strong feelings here either. He served me well as a father figure in the fact that there was food on the table and he tried to do the right thing by us. He was an alcoholic whose priorities were survival. Hold onto the job and keep going seemed to be his motto. I do not remember any great achievements, any special moments. Definitely nothing to which I aspired. I do remember he also loved music as did my biological father. Maybe this is what I gained from both father figures. I do love the freedom music brings and have always loved to dance.
I have loving thoughts of my sister but we are not close as our lives were chaotic throughout our childhood times. Our parents’ sadness influenced our happiness. My sister rebelled where I just plodded along without questioning. We spent our early teens together to some extent and I have some fond memories of this. My life changed dramatically at aged 16 when I met my current husband. My sister and I then continued down roads where we would not have the opportunity to develop strong life long bonds. Without having strong role models in our parents it was easy to be influenced by the people we met from then on. My sister survived some extreme challenges in her everyday living and as I moved along with my life I was quick to criticise her behaviour. I am older now and have experienced my own challenges. I now know that I judged easily but I did not walk in her shoes. I guess she influenced the way I think now which I hope is to be a little less judgemental.
I have loving and sad thoughts about my younger brother. He was sick as a child and I spent many hours with him which makes me very sad that I am not a strong part of his life now. Again family chaos, divorces, separations destroyed what could have been. He moved away from him when he was only 7yrs old. We met again much later in our lives. I have feelings for him and we casually stay in touch, the bond we should have is not there. He fought to stay alive in his early years and I think watching him go through that helped me to build resilience and compassion.
This man is the strongest, most stable, most influential person in my life and yet he has a vulnerability about him that only few would see. He has taught me values, commitment, love, laughter, loyalty and humility. Having been together from such a young age there was a strong need on my part for acceptance and stability. Both he and his family gave me that without question and under difficult circumstances. Together with the strength I had gained from my childhood and the protection and space he gave me to be able to grow and learn I was able to continue my life with a more positive attitude. He is also the most honest person I know who will not break the rules or the laws. I would like to think I was always an honest person but he has certainly cemented that trait in me.
She has taught me that nothing is as it seems. She has taught me that we can physically and mentally endure much more than we think. She has taught me that the mind is a powerful, scary and a potent part of our lives. I have discovered that the love of a child is different to the love of a husband. They are equally as strong and as vulnerable as the other but they present as a slightly different form. The influence she has had on me is to open my eyes to others more and to value my health more.
She has taught me to question things. She has taught me that it is important to understand and learn about what you stand for. To stay strong in your beliefs and to think outside the box. She has proved that having commitment and conviction results in brilliance. She has taught me that love is not always on show to the outside world but that does not mean it is not there.Together with her husband they have taught me to chill, to be a quiet achiever, and to see there is strength in silence. She is teaching me constantly.
Wow, it is quite empowering to write this. To actually think about these influences in your life. I think it helps to make you realise a little more about yourself. It helps you realise how you have become the person you are today.