I have no spouse to get mushy over. I'm not raising a child I've nicknamed "light of my life." I'm close to family and friends, but there isn't a single person my mind is latching onto. I think this topic is fundamentally flawed. Therefore, I will rely on a quote and make a list of some great people.
The quote - well, it's actually a song lyric. It's a list of people an things thanking them because "They shaped my life; they made me love who I am today." While the song is not particularly profound or enduring, I found it fitting for the occasion. (The link will send you to youtube is you wanted to hear/see it. I realize not everyone will appreciate the artist, sorry.)
Second, the list - people who've shown me how to live:
*My parents (Dad for teaching me to laugh and over-analyze, and Mom who pushed me to do the things she deemed important - and was usually right about)
*My teachers (Even the boring ones teaching science, but mostly the English and Social Studies ones)
*My grandparents (I still have 3 of the 4 and I cherish every minute I can spend with them)
*My close childhood friends (although the memories are now fuzzy)
*My high school friends from band and choir (yeah, I was a bit of a geek)
*My college roommates (I learned so much about people and the habits from them)
*My friends via major (United by our classes and projects)
*My friends via work (United by complaints and shared struggles)
*My friends via interests (United by mutual appreciations - occasionally overlaping from previous groups of friends)
*My favorite authors (For all the wisdom I've gleaned)
*The authors I've forgotten, but whose words I've taken to heart
*Great people of the past and present (the kind who make it into textbooks and TED discussions and inspire people to do more)
Part of me wants to include everyone I've ever met, seen, read, or heard about, because everyone has had some sort of impact. But I believe I have written enough tonight.
What people have made an impact on you?