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What makes you yourself? What experiences throughout your life have shaped you into the person you are today?

I am doing a project for school and my essential question that needs to be answered is What shaped your true sense of self? I used the movie Perks Of Being A Wallflower and the novel Looking For Alaska in my research. I would greatly appreciate other opinions and comments on this questions pertaining to the sources i used or your own personal experiences.

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    Jun 8 2013: I spent thirty five years trying to figure out what made me - me. I believe that we are everything that we have been through, everything that we have seen, everything that has been done to us, and everyone that we have had relationships with. My particular story began well before I was born. My father was a first child and his mother died giving birth to him. His father resented him and hated him from the moment he was born, because he lost his wife because of this baby. His father then remarried in order to have someone home to take care of this child. She was crazy, and I mean that in the true sense. She spent the last thirty years of her life in the mental institution. So my father was raised with an angry father and a nut for a step mother - and this is the man who became my father. Having never been shown love in his life, he knew not how to show it to his family. His only emotion was anger and hostility, the same traits he grew up with. I was abused and made to feel worthless by this man, all while my mother did nothing. (I think that she was scared of him also.) I always tried to make him proud, thinking that his anger would stop. On the day that I purchased my first brand new car, I drove to my father's home to show him and take him for a ride. I thought surely he would be proud of me, but he had a stroke and died that day before I got there. He was 55 years old. I never got a chance to figure out and make sense of my childhood, and I will never hear the words I'm sorry from him. But I can move forward in other ways, such as being a good calm and caring mom to my son. As much as I have tried to overcome my upbringing, the fact of the matter is it made me who I am today. I am a scared person who will not trust anyone and who still shakes when I hear someone yelling. We are where we've been. We are what we've been through. And we can try our best to overcome our past, but we will never be able to change it.
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    Jun 8 2013: .
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    My answer to "What makes you yourself?" is:

    (1) My instincts (parents' DNA).
    (2) My pre-instincts (acquired subconsciousness).
    (3) My knowledge (learned in my life).

    All these 3 make and control my brain, which controls my whole life.

    (from Be Happy Validly!)
  • Jun 7 2013: I agree with both of you! Thank you for your input! I believe that you need to be the good in every bad situation and take from it what you can in order to grow and mature hopefully leaving to self discovery. You're entire life contributes to who you are as a person. Your family, friends an surrounding will all lead to who you are as a person.
  • Jun 7 2013: What an interesting question. I think my family shaped me. I am the youngest of ten, born many years later to all of them (28 years difference between my eldest brothers) I had 12 niece and nephews when I was born. I was always surrounded by people.

    When my parents decided to retire, we moved from a small rural farm in New Zealand to the large open plains of Australia and I went from a large house filled to the brim of family to a caravan. I had to give all my toys away and because of our tiny caravan couldn't really have anything apart from the essentals. I didn't really go to school for a year. We joined the circus for a few months, I changed school around 7 times and lived in the bush with no facilities at all. But I loved it. I loved every little bit of it. I don't know if it was because I enjoyed the time having my parents to myself or the movement and change.

    Now I am married and have two children, we are about to pack up for the 5th time and move to the UK from Australia. My boys have packed their belongings into a few boxes and preparing to say good bye to all their cousins and friends.
    I think the travel as a child has made me thirsty for more adventure, for little attachment to objects and for the ability to make conversation with just about anyone. I do want to give my children a bit more of a stable home life (just because they are not me and I feel they need it more than I did)

    Gosh I hope that doesn't make me sound cold and distance, because I stay in contact with nearly everyone I have meet and miss my family terribly when I go (and do have a little treasure chest of goodies I can't part with.)
  • Jun 6 2013: Emma,
    What a wonderful question!
    I happen to be wondering about this for a long time...

    When I was a kid, and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I often made up an answer to please them. I had no idea, and I still don't! I AM a lot of things though. And who knows, I may still become a lot of things too.
    What I am now, today - a Mom, a singer, an educator, a creator, a writer - are the things I have always been, but I needed time, space and support to explore and find out. Fortunately, my parents understood that, and gave me all these things.

    Am who I am today, and will be whoever I will be, because I have always, and always will, take advantage of my crossroads. The paths in life that lead me to where I'm supposed to be, can be called fate or coincidence, both are the same thing to me. Those paths are still helping me shape my true self.