I have been thinking about this topic for a while, and I finally feel like I can write about it.
One relationship that shaped me into the person that I am now is not having my birth parents in my life. My mom was a part of my life for a small amount of time, and my dad was never in my life. The effects that both of them had on my life were significant. By not being there, they made me feel like there was something wrong with me and that I was unlovable. When I was a child, I could blame them for the way that I had turned out such as seeking love and validation from other people, but the older I get I know at this point of my life I have to take responsibility for the way that my life has turned out once I came to that realization. Not having that relationship in my life, I cannot deny affected me. I have always sought approval from the loss of those relationships because I have always felt like I have lost something. I know that I have to do a lot of work to be whole in that area of my life.
Another relationship that has shaped my identity is a mentor that I had in my life. I wanted to be accepted by her so much that I made a lot of my decisions based on her and the things that she wanted for my life. I used to listen to all her problems, and I would take them upon myself to be the things that she needed me to be. I have an enormous amount of guilt that there is something wrong with me that somehow if I make the people in my life happy that somehow it will resolve the issues that I was missing from my parents. I wanted to belong so badly that I joined a religion. I had a person who could care less about the things that I wanted or was supposed to be in this life that she began planting the idea of being in religious life in my head. I am fortunate not to be in that relationship anymore, but I often think about all the things that I have lost about myself from that time with her.
The relationship that has had the most negative impact on my life was a friendship that I had in high school. An entire friendship that was based on paying for someone else’s mistakes. Even though I loved that person, she had more expectations for my life than I had for myself. She was plotting to have me fail the twelfth grade so that I would not graduate. She tore down my self-esteem because it helped to elevate her as a person. All I wanted was for her to be happy. Which back then, I did not think that I could be manipulated because I was trying to be helpful. She had more control over me then I would have ever admitted back then. During our friendship, I would never say that she did anything wrong, I would talk about all the things that I was doing wrong and trying to improve my actions so that I could stay friends with her. I wanted to be accepted, so I let her control my life by talking down to me, trying to convince me that I am not good enough, that I should harm myself, that I should be a teen mom and so many other things.
The examples that I have shared are three instances that have negatively shaped my life and my thinking. These are just some that I think about always. Some relationships have positively shaped me. I have three people in my life that lets me be me and would not limit me and the possibilities for my life. They would rather see me happy and healthy than to change my identity.
The reasoning behind this post is because even though I have been making changes in my life, I have found myself going forwards and backward in my decisions that I make. I have come to realize that it is because I am always struggling with my identity. I have an idea of who I am, but I am finding that I am limiting myself because I am thinking about all the other things that life has branded me to be. I find myself getting angry with the limitations that I have put on myself from the things that I have experienced in my life. One of my motivational quotes that came up on my phone today was “be who you are, not who the world wants you to be.” The quote doesn’t have an author. It is a reminder to me that I will not be able to make everyone happy in my life but the person that I have to live with every day of my life. If I am pretending to be someone else other than myself, I am always going to be miserable. I am still going to wonder what if later in life. I am always going to be seeking other people’s approval. Which we can see from my examples is those people do not always have my best interest at heart. All I know is I hate waking up like this daily. I understand that the only way I can combat this issue is figuring out who I am and not be worried so much about what other people think about me. I know that I can never go back to the old me, but I can take the time to know me.
I am a marketing student, and one thing that we have been doing is relating business concepts with our own lives. One concept that I am going to begin to use to identify my identity is a SWOT analysis. I think separating the things that are true about me and the things that are lies will help me better understand myself and grow into a better person—your welcome to do it as well.
- What are some of the positive things that make you who you are?
- What are the things that you are good at?
- What are the attributes that make you unique? (It can be physical or about your personality)
- What are some things that you can improve on to become a better you?
- What are some opportunities that you can take apart of in your life to help you live out your purpose for your life?
- What are some behaviors that you have and that you need to change to live your best life?
I will share mine when I complete it.