I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Circle of Influence


The other night my husband was pondering his physical circle of influence, like where he walks the dog, places he interacts with basically. He wanted to clean up litter (angry that doing so on the freeway can get you arrested) in our neighborhood and possibly around his work. He considered the people he interacts with regularly, too. Co-workers, myself, neighbors or other people walking their dogs. This concept had never been made so plain to me before. I always appreciate his grand scheme ideas, but don’t always get or follow them. Or I’m that ugly voice of reason telling him that he can’t do it on the freeway. It’s no fun being that voice, but someone has to be it or we’d lose everything in the name of bail monies! Ha!

Last night we went to see the new film “Contagion” for the $4.50 Tuesday deal our local place has. I will say that the film is good, convincing, effective, horrifying…it’s good, I’ll stick with that! And it made me consider what/how/where/who I touch or come in contact with. Since I’m already fairly germaphobic, this just sent me right into a tizzy! Usually though, my toughest germ-zones are public restrooms or food places that don’t follow the safety laws. I have no trouble shaking someone’s hands or hugging my pals or what have you…but this film made me rethink it all! They quoted a statistic in the movie, something about how we touch our faces 3,000 times a day! Yikes! This freaked me out and I will probably obsess on that awhile. Ha-ha! But seriously folks, it made me think about what I influence on a daily basis. This has significantly changed for me ever since selling the cafe, but I almost think my human interaction (as well as sheer mileage) has increased!

I was chatting with a very good friend on FB the other night and we were talking about “The Man” and all of that sort of thing (“Damn the man! Save the empire!”), and I think I have come to some sort of chill head space around our current social situation. And I said to her, “I try not to dwell too much, but everything is so fucked up everywhere. All we can do, all I think I can do, is to have as much of a positive influence on myself and those around me.” I really liked the sound of that, as vain as that may seem. What about our influence on ourselves and others? What do we think and say to ourselves and how does that affect us on a daily basis? What about others? I mean, I can remember things said to me and around me at age 4 and 5 that still mess with my head. I didn’t choose to be influenced by that, it just stuck in my subconscious or whatever and I’m stuck with it until I can address and process it out I guess.

Because things are fucked up everywhere, we can only do what we can actually do. Ya know? Does that even make sense? It’s late when I’m writing this and so I’m not sure. But fuck it, I’m going with this…

Why not try to begin by influencing yourself in positive ways. You can branch out and try to influence your loved ones and co-workers and postal workers and so on. Why not? It doesn’t hurt! I mean, I forget myself sometimes and I really noticed when I started to pay closer attention to this stuff. And I feel so fabulous right now I can’t even tell you! I’m not drinking or anything, I’m just, like, I dunno…awesome? Can I just be awesome? That’s weird sounding, but it’s how I’m feeling at the moment. I like this feeling and want to perpetuate and infect it into everyone I know, in the best possible way! Ha-ha!

You ever hear someone laugh in a restaurant and their laugh makes you laugh? THAT!!! I want to do that to the people of the world, yo! Again, why not? I cannot think of a reason why I shouldn’t at least try. It’s like that whole random acts of kindness thing, or paying it forward. It makes total and complete sense to me. Perhaps it’s my grandma’s influence over the years (she was an RN), but most of my family has been service people. I’m damn proud of that, too! I often apply to jobs with something in my cover letter like this: I get a real kick out of helping people in nearly any arena. Customer service is a life philosophy for me and not just a career choice. I just believe in treating people with respect and a dose of humor and trying to help those who could use it! That could be why I have had so many spells of unemployment in recent years, but maybe not. It’s honest. Honesty is powerful! It can scare people. It can help people. It can hurt people. I get it, I do, but it’s also important. If you are not first honest with yourself, how can you be honest with others or expect  them to be honest with you?

Ever hear of fake it until you make it or some variation? That’s kind of what I recommend. I chose to stop lying to myself years ago and felt better about myself. I then stopped lying to my loved ones and eventually everyone. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I no longer say something looks nice on someone if I honestly don’t believe that it does. Seems trivial, but you try it out and get back to me! Ha-ha! And while part of me can be very negative and untrusting or protective of myself and others, there is always a little nugget of sunshine in there that seems to grow brighter as I trust in myself and in the truth. I have seen the power it has on me and its influence on my friends and strangers. It was easy to gauge in the cafe of course because people came to me. Now that I’m a free agent, I go out into the world in an active way. It’s much more difficult to see a change in people if you just happened upon them in some scenario. But sometimes I catch it! I can see it! Sometimes, I swear it’s true, just seeing a fat redheaded lady with a giant hot pink flower in her hair is enough to see a change in a person.

Yeah, it’s cheesy! Fuck it! By being happy I can make or help others be happy, so why the hell not?! You can do it, too! If you wanna…this isn’t like a mandatory thing. Ha-ha! By not actively hating myself or my body, I can go about the world with confidence and see how people respond to that. It’s shocking! And it’s just good for my mental health. I first saw body acceptance and fat liberation and purely political, but I’ve come to see it as down right therapeutic, too! I couldn’t as for more! <3

10 Comments to

“Circle of Influence”

  1. On September 14th, 2011 at 2:44 pm Twistie Says:

    I think all this comes down to the rather powerful philosophy Gandhi offered up: Be the change you want to see in the world.

    And you know what? That’s one of my favorite philosophies. Ultimately, while you can suggest, cajole, plead, and lecture everyone else, the only person whose actions you can truly control is you. You make yourself a good example, and hopefully someone else learns from that example.

    A happy fat redhead with a hot pink flower in her hair? Yeah, that’s my kind of good example.

  2. On September 14th, 2011 at 2:51 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @Twistie: Thank you! I recently discovered that the quote we all use of h is is misquoted: The misquote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
    The actual quote: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

  3. On September 14th, 2011 at 3:33 pm Twistie Says:

    Hmm… the misquote is a better sound bite, but I like knowing the accurate one. Thanks!

  4. On September 15th, 2011 at 10:07 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Twistie: Yep, I feel the same way.

  5. On September 14th, 2011 at 4:12 pm Chutti Says:

    Oh, another big fat-yahoo! to this concept.
    It’s taken me a loooong time to own this one.

    I have a hard time distancing myself from the self absorbed hippy dippy marin mommy type of privileged thinking associated with this. If you are born and raised in Northern CA, it’s hard not to see that swooping in right after ya.

    Absolutely true. Every word of it. Gotta take care of our own —- before we can expect any change to come. And why not have fun and spread a little sunshine while doing it?

    Keep working’re inspiring!

  6. On September 15th, 2011 at 10:08 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Chutti: Aw, thanks. You’re a doll! <3

  7. On September 15th, 2011 at 4:12 am Lori Says:

    I totally get this post, I just had an angry moment on facebook over something really innoccous then realised that this person has a tendency to make me feel angry, he is an extremely angry person himself. He is an emotiional drain on my wellbeing so ba-bye mr angry!
    I am adopting a whole new life philosophy my life changes were forced on me when I didn’t expect it and I need to start over completely, so I have decided to really start over new philosophy, new people, new experiences, new town shortly. You know what? I cant wait I have changed the way I think about things and I no longer feel the need to justify my life to anyone I am just gonna be happy doing what I do, love myself as much as I can and surround myself with good people, no more living like a shamed hermit afraid of everyone elses judgement thats their deal.

  8. On September 15th, 2011 at 10:09 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Lori: Yes! Yay! Good for you! Get rid of the toxic relationships! It’s always hard, but so very worth it! And taking control over your own life is fantastic, no matter the obstacles. =0)

  9. On September 16th, 2011 at 11:52 am Lori Says:

    @ Not Blue At All; An obstacle is just an opportunity in disguise from the Lori who gives a sod philosophy 🙂

  10. On September 16th, 2011 at 2:12 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @Lori: Oooh! I love that! A friend recently posted on FB, “Whenever I get nervous or scared to do something, I simply exclaim aloud: Challenge Accepted! and force myself to try it!” I loved that so much I’ve decided to give it a shot, too! Woo Hoo!

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