Every single day we go to bed a different person to who we were when we woke up. You will have learnt something new, had an interesting conversation, or struggled with a difficult emotion at some point during the day. All of these things shape who we are, and without a doubt, there have been major times throughout your life so far that have contributed to you becoming the person you are right now. Personality traits, likes and dislikes, your skills, values, and the things that motivate you all shape your identity and self-image. If you can sit here and honestly talk through all of these aspects of your being, you will have a strong sense of who you are.
Big life experiences are always interesting, as a lot of the time you don’t know they were big life experiences until time has passed and you look back. Common moments that people associate with making them who they are right now are, falling in love, getting their heart broken, going to college/university, getting a pet, starting a new career, and going on a momentous holiday. Almost everyone will go through these stages of life, and some of them may even end badly, but each painful step would have brought you to who you are right now, which is pretty cool if you stop and think about it for a second!
So, what does ‘being who you are’ mean? In my opinion, being who you are actually means being patient with yourself. I am constantly saying to my mum, ‘I am so not where I wanted to be by the time I turned 21’, but who wrote the book on where you are supposed to be by any age? Lots of the time we create certain ideas in our minds that completely contradict who we are and what we want to do. Being who you are is all about asking yourself what you want, and what you are willing to do to get there. Remember, there are many ways to get to the same destination.
We haven’t even discussed the people in your life who have made you who you are! The good, the bad, and the downright scary, we meet so many different people throughout life that shape who we are. Parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, and even celebrities. When we are young, we look for role models to look up to, and that doesn’t change as we get older. Our parents are the people who shape us the most, but there are so many people who do this, and we may not even realise it! When you spend a significant amount of time with someone, you can’t help but pick up their mannerisms. The same goes for celebrities that you watch on TV. It’s just human nature to mimic people you like and admire.
The funny thing about who we are right now, is that in a month, a year, or ten years’ time, you may read this back and have a completely different view of yourself. You may be single and wishing for love right now, and in a year’s time be in a happy relationship. Your job may be the most important thing in your life at the moment, but in ten years that could all change. There is no right or wrong answer to ‘What made you who you are?’. It’s highly unlikely any two people will have the same answer. Respect what made you who you are right now and accept that you are going to go through more big moments that will shape who you are going to be.
By Pia Louisa