Today's challenge is to "describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are."
Honestly, when I sit down to think about this prompt, there are so many memories and people that flood my mind; so many of which have contributed to who I have become to day. I'm so happy to say that most of that has been positive and not negative.
I was born into an incredibly loving family. My mom has a positivity that gives her strength in the face of obstacles and pain; my dad has such love and wisdom that were and are so valuable to me. And then once my younger brother came along, it was nice to have someone else there to figure things out with, even though we had some pretty nasty fights along the way. And honestly, no one makes me laugh like my brother does. He is so unbelievably funny! Looking back, my family was always around, from my grandparents to my aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone in between. I'm thankful for the amounts of love and trust that we are able to give to one another.
Internally, I was a very fearful child. Everything scared me; the dark, being alone, having to read out loud in class, etc. As I grew older, that fear turned into insecurity. I became less afraid of things, and more afraid of people, particularly my peers. I struggled to find where I belonged in terms of everyone around me. I thought that if I did everything the same way as my peers did, that I would be golden. It worked sometimes, but other times I would let the facade drop just a little. I would wear socks with penguins on it (which I loved, by the way) or show a little too much enthusiasm for a particular book or subject in school, and suddenly I was the subject of ridicule.
Despite all of that, my home life kept me grounded and gave me the love I needed. I was also very blessed to have two of the best friends someone can have in their youth. I met Kelsey when we were in elementary school together, but we really became bonded in our middle school days. In eight grade, Alyssa moved into our small town, and before long, the three of us became inseparable. It was such a relief to find people so similar, yet so different, with whom I could confide, live life with, and love.
Before long, college crept up on me. I really had no idea what I was in for, and college turned out to be a huge learning experience for me. While I didn't have the typical "college" experience, the experience I did have taught me the practical side of life. I eventually transferred to a four-year college called Carthage College. I knew, when I was making my decision about where to transfer after I completed my general education courses, that Carthage was the best place for me. I was so right! Carthage pushed me in all the right directions; they challenged me academically and personally. The faculty weren't just there to teach, but to advise you and become your mentors.
A lot of my development happened at Carthage. Looking back, I wish I would have started my college journey there in the first place. But hey... I had some learning to do. As a graduation requirement, each senior has to develop, research, and compile a thesis. As an English major, we had to write a theoretical analysis of a major piece of literature (I chose Pride and Prejudice) and present it to our peers and the faculty. It was one of the hardest projects I've had to undergo in my academic life and I'm so proud of the accomplishment that writing and presenting a thesis gave me. I got a near perfect grade on my presentation and the forty page paper itself. It was a very happy moment for me.
Despite everything I've written here, this is only a small portion of everything that has gone into who I am today. It's merely what came to my mind as I thought about this prompt.
I'd love to hear about what makes you you! Are you going to do the Blogtember challenge, too? I'd love to hear your responses.