I don’t think we ever quite realize just how much we actually influence the people we’re around. Even if we don’t know them, or aren’t close to them. But also those we do, and are close to. Just looking at a few of the people I’m close to, and how I’ve influenced them, or my presence, not intending to influence them, amazes me.

Take Morgan, for example. She says that I’ve influenced her life a lot. All I’ve done is hang out with a really cool person that I can totally relate to. She amazes me, and it amazes me how much I can see how she’s influenced my life. I can be a total jerk with her, and the meanest person in the whole world, and she doesn’t care. She even likes it when I’m like that. She’s gotten more involved in church because of activities I’m involved in, and I’ve gotten to know myself more through spending time with her. Because we’re so alike, it’s possible for me to see things that I like and that I don’t like and learn about myself from watching her. She has probably unknowingly introduced me to myself, and shown me what I want to do with my life, and what kind of direction I want it to go or even where it needs to go in. Crazy.

Then there’s Wendy. I think Morgan and I have had direct opposite influence on her. Before we started spending time with her, Wendy came off as the “good girl.” Even worse than me – which, sad to say, is pretty bad. No swearing, no disobeying mommy or daddy, and no partying or anything. She always called to check in and stuff, which annoyed the hell outta me. Not that we cured her of it. She still calls to check in and stuff, although hopefully not now that she’s in college, because frankly that would just be sickeningly sad. But now she has a slightly foul mouth and parties, not that we encouraged her to do that, but I can’t help feeling that it’s related somehow to us spending time with her and allowing ourselves to be so extremely bitchy around her. I always will wonder if we did more harm than good.

Honey. man alive is she a case. We influenced all over each other. She eased me, along with my freedom with Mo, into my extremely foul mouth. She also unkonwingly helped soften me into a casual Christian with her sound logic against all my beliefs. And then, someone who is a new believer just begins outta nowhere to direct her path spiritually. I felt put out until I realized I didn’t influence her for the better, but she me for the worse. I allowed myself to grow shallower due to her influence. At least spiritually. Socially, I grew by leaps and bounds. Who wouldn’t with a sweet, beautiful, responsible, fun-loving, chick with a name like Honey for goodness sake?

I’m not saying any of these people’s influences are major turning points in my life or anything. At least I’m not viewing them that way. Maybe I should…but not right now. It just makes me wonder. This is my first night in a dorm room, with four other girls. And I wonder how we’ll influence each other, and if it will be for the better or for worse, and how we’ll get along, and how the heck we’ll work out the bathroom situation. And I wonder what kind of influence the people at this college will have on me. Will I leave my boyfriend for some cute kid in my Bible class? Or will one of my professors show me that God is calling me to work with mentally disabled children? Or will God just smack me upside the head real hard and say “change everything, you’re messed up?” I just wonder, because whether we choose to believe it or not, everything will eventually influence us. Even if we choose whether or not to let it to, because we’re still allowing it to force us to make a choice.