No cookie-cutter formula was evident.
Why is it that the people who influence us most influence us in ways that are not easily quantified? Through her work with abused children, my mother has shown me the heroism of selfless dedication to a worthy cause. By being an upstanding individual, my playwriting teacher in middle school acted as an inspiring male role model at Essays from harvard applicants time when I needed one most.
By being approachable and interesting, my World History teacher in my freshman year of high school opened my eyes to the connections between a society's culture and its history and broadened my view of cultures and the world.
While these influences mean much to me and have contributed greatly to my development, they came too easily to mind. The fact that I could sit down and write a list of how these people influenced me suggests that the influence did not alter me in any profound way.
These people are all my elders, and perhaps I feel distanced from them. The person whose influence shook me to the deepest level is a person whose influence is nearly impossible to describe.
We developed our personalities, our senses of humor, and our love for girls at the same time and in the same manner. It would cheapen his influence to quantify it; I am what I am because of him; I cannot say that about anybody else. Mike came to my school in the seventh grade, and we immediately clicked.
However, until Mike, I never had anyone my age to identify with completely. Mike made me feel confident in who I was; he reaffirmed my drives and my thoughts and my inspirations.
At this awkward stage in our lives, we found uncritical appreciation in each other. We both were obsessed by movies and had a similar sense of humor. We had the same problems and the same thoughts.
That was all it took. Halfway through that same year, Mike and I became inseparable. In fact, our yearbook had a section that lists the names of students and what they were never seen without.
Under Mike, it read: We no longer had to ask our parents if it was ok to have a sleepover on weekends, they assumed we would. On weekdays, we usually walked over to his house, which was near school, and hung out there till I had to go home.
Our favorite past time on those long afternoons after school was to walk to the nearby food mart and get a bag of chips and two 24 oz. Watching a movie, we would sit on his couch with our chips and Coke and talk about our dreams of working together in the movies.
It was the perfect combination. We even tried writing a few scripts together. We were extremely competitive and would get into brutal fights for seemingly no reason at all. I think that our connection was so intense that we could not have normal emotions toward each other.
As friends, we were best friends, but in an argument, we wanted to fight each other to the death. Still, the Wrestlemania days were rare; ordinarily, the intensity of that connection was a good thing.
I was pretty shy about girls, and when I did talk about them with guys, I would usually just say a girl was "hot. Then we went to separate high schools. We tried to maintain the friendship, and you might think we would have been able to since we had been so close, but we drifted apart.
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