Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pieces of Me

Okay, so a few posts ago, I promised a more personal post. While this is personal, it was an assignment for Humanities. I love it, and I thought I'd share it....so enjoy. I call this, "Pieces of Me."

In grade 7, I was given an assignment. The assignment was to write a poem about who I was, how I viewed myself, and how others viewed me. This is what I wrote:
I am a writer and a dreamer.
I wonder why.
I hear thoughts of others and myself.
I see life through different eyes every day.
I want to be myself, and carefree.
I am a writer and a dreamer.

I pretend to be someone I’m not.
I feel every emotion at once.
I touch a pen and words flow.
I worry entirely too much for a teenager.
I cry when things are rough, or too good to be true.
I am a writer and a dreamer.

I understand so much more than I did before.
I say that hate is easy, but love takes courage.
I dream of everything.
I try so hard.
I hope for the impossible.
I am a writer and a dreamer.

And whether you like it or not,
I am me.

            The truth is, who I am hasn’t changed a whole lot. I know that deep down I’m the same. I’ve matured, sure, but then again, I’ve always been “older” than those my own age. Somebody once told me that I was born 30, and get older every year, and it’s true. I don’t act like I’m not quite 16, but that’s because I’ve been through a lot of changes. When you move a lot, you learn to adapt. You change when a relationship that you’ve always viewed as unbreakable falls apart. You never expect you maternal grandparents to split up and file for divorce. You change when your Great Aunt, whom you thought was happy and healthy, dies suddenly. You change whenever life throws something new at you, be it immature teenage boys bullying you, or having to deal with the pointless drama that teenage girls somehow get you involved in. You grow as a person. That’s me. The things that have happened in my life have changed who I am, my identity. Remember my poem? All those things happened after I wrote my poem. What does that say about me? I was mature long before my life changed so completely.

            My interests also contribute to my identity. I love music. I love listening to it, but also making it. I play the piano and sing, and that’s a huge part of me. It’s one of my ways of expressing myself. Writing is one of my passions. I love the feeling of a pen in my hand. I feel unstoppable. I love reading as well. There is a wealth of knowledge to be found in literature. I started reading at 4 years old, and I haven’t stopped yet. I’m a part-time movie buff. Name a movie, and if I haven’t seen it, I’ve probably heard of it. Most people know that I love the TV show, Glee. They don’t know why. I love the music, but I also like that I can relate to the members of the glee club. Rachel Berry and I have a lot of similarities. I also love history. I don’t remember who it was that said, “If you do not learn from the past, you are doomed to repeat it,” but it’s true. I’ve seen it in my short lifetime, which is why I love history so much. It’s something that I can continuously learn from.

            When it comes to my identity, my beliefs and my religion go hand in hand. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I’m a Mormon. I believe my church’s teachings completely. They have altered my perception of the world, and I am grateful for them.

            My language is not a huge part of me. I speak English fluently, and can understand some French, Spanish, and Italian. I also understand real English, meaning the kind that comes from England, slang and all.

            To be perfectly honest, my traditions don’t really contribute to my identity. I don’t think that getting new pyjamas every Christmas Eve alters who I am, and my family’s Christmas breakfast doesn’t either. The only tradition that affects me in any way is our family’s reading of the Christmas story (as found in the Bible; book of Luke) every Christmas Eve, as it reaffirms my beliefs.

            My ethnicity and background shape me to some extent. First and foremost, I’m second generation Canadian. My grandparents came from England 40 years ago. That’s a big part of who I am. I have quirks that are quite obviously British. Having an English background affects my views on historical matters, such as wars and settlements. To some degree, it also affects my taste in music and movies. A strong British accent makes me feel at home, so a lot of my favourite actors and actresses are from England. My background does affect me in other ways, like food. My family does a lot of traditional English cooking, and that’s something that I’ve grown used to. My grandparents are a big part of my life, and they’ve brought England into it.

            I think that my style affects my identity a little bit, but not a whole lot. I had a hard time thinking of how to describe my style, but then I remembered something said by Kurt Hummel in Glee.  “Rachel manages to dress like a grandmother and a toddler at the same time.” He’s referring to Rachel Berry, the character I feel I identify the most with. I don’t dress like other people my age. I wear cardigans. I put little bows in my hair, bows that a toddler would wear. My hair isn’t long, or blonde, like every other teenage girl. My style is unique to me.

            One of the things that affects my identity in a huge way is who I look up to, my role models. My mother is my primary role model. She is always there for me, through the good and the bad. She is a strong, loving individual, and I hope I can measure up to her example. She has faced adversity, and shown me how to be strong. My next role model would be my paternal grandmother, Pauline. She came to Canada in 1970, with her husband and two toddlers. They had next to nothing in terms of money and belongings. She made do with what little they had, and even added two more children to the family, including my father. She has had her fair share of difficulties in her life, but she still manages to stay fairly positive, and she has influenced me far more than she’ll ever know. My third role model is my Auntie Margaret, my Grandma Pauline’s older sister. She was one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. She didn’t let life get her down. She was kind to everyone she met, and willing to help in whatever capacity she could. She was a great example to me, and I just wish I could have told her that before she left us. These three women have inspired and assisted me more than words can express, and without their example, I would not be who I am today.

            All of these things make up who I am, my identity. They are what I see in myself, but also what others see in me. I AM ME.

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