Who am I?
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Who am I?

Who are we underneath all of society's influences?

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Who am I?
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As I sat in my first philosophy class of the semester, my professor told us that it would take us the whole semester to define philosophy. Although it is a complicated subject and would take a long time to decipher its true meaning, he told us the first philosopher we would be reading, Rousseau, would help to define what philosophy could mean while asking us more questions to contemplate. According to Rousseau, part of philosophy is to “know thyself.” It is figuring out who we are at our core, without social influences. Now, you may be thinking one of two things: I definitely know who I am, OR, you may think how can I ever know who I am after I strip myself of society. I am in the middle. I feel like I know who I am, but I believe that the social influences of society and the people I surround myself with help to create who I am. So the question is, who am I? This question is riddled with layers of outside influences and personal perceptions. However, I think that it is a question that holds value and encourages self-discovery. You are the only person who can look inward to decipher what makes up who you are.

So, who am I?

I am strong and independent. I make my own decisions. The power that I have to decide who I want to be lies in my strength to separate what I want from what others want me to be. I know who I want to be and am strong enough to follow my own path instead of following others. I will not sacrifice myself to be like everyone else. I am independent in the way that I think and act. I do what I want because it makes me happy, not for the satisfaction of others. I am strong willed and am loyal to the people that I care for and love.

I am confident. I do not let what others think of me bog me down. Of course, I believe that everyone cares what other people think of them. However, I am confident enough in myself that I do not let others' opinions get in the way of me making the decisions that make me happy. I am confident to be alone or in the company of others. The life that I live and the people who surround me give me the confidence to continue on the path I am on. I am proud of the choices that I have made as they define how confident I am in myself. I am comfortable in my own skin.

I am thoughtful. I care deeply about other people. I think twice before acting because I want to do what is best for others and myself. When family or friends are hurting, I am there for them. I am able to put myself in other people’s shoes and see things from a different point of view. I try to give the people close to me the best advice I can, but more importantly I let them know that I am there for them no matter what the circumstance.

I am a writer. Words are a wonderful way to express my feelings. I am able to decide what I want to write and convey it the way that I want. When I put pen to paper I am in control of the direction of my writing and am able to say what I want to say without worry of others' judgment because what I write is from my heart. When I write, I am free.

I am a runner. I ran competitively all of high school and now run for fun. When I run I am able to think freely and without distraction. It is my stress reliever. I am able to become one with myself. I am in tune with my body, and can dictate how fast or slow I run. I love the adrenaline rush I get when I run and the euphoric runner’s high I feel after a long run. Although I may feel sore or in pain at times when I run, I know that it is one of the only times I get to just be, and think about life. When I run I have the freedom to be alone and to let go of all the stress that the world provides.

I am inspired. I am inspired by other people, ideas and the wonderful world I live in. These inspirations encourage me to be curious and lend to an extension of who I am and want to become. My greatest inspiration is my Mimi. My Mimi always reminded me that life was beautiful because of the people who surround us. I am inspired by my Mimi to love and adore everyone and to make others feel good about themselves. Throughout her whole life she left a legacy behind of making other people feel her radiant love. Every person that had the pleasure of being in her presence was touched by her strength, beauty and wisdom. I am inspired to live a life like she did, where she was able to gracefully and without thought shower immense love and hope onto others. She was fearless, loving, kind and thoughtful. My Mimi inspires me.

I am a friend. I am lucky to have the friends I do as they do not judge me or try to manipulate me. They love me for who I am. As a friend to them I do the same back. No matter what, I will always have my friends' backs, as I am loyal to them. I will love them for who they are and will encourage them to continue to be themselves. My best friends allow me to let my hair down and be myself.


I am a sister. This piece of me is one of my favorite parts of who I am. As an older sister, I am not only a loving sister who gives advice, but also a shoulder to cry on, a listener and most importantly, a best friend. Since I am the oldest in the family, I hope to inspire my siblings to be the best people they can be because they instill in me a belief that I can and will do what I put my mind to. The bond that I share with my siblings is eternal and unbreakable. I hope to inspire my siblings to continue to be who they are because they are the two most thoughtful, loving, inspiring, courageous people I know.

I am a daughter. I hold this role in my life to be one of the most important since I have the most amazing parents on Earth. My parents would sacrifice anything to make me happy and content. They love me wholeheartedly and without question. Nothing I say or do will ever make them love me less as their love is eternal. I love them the same way. I hold my love for them to be forever and always. My parents have done so much to help me grow and put me on the right path in life. I would not be the same person I am today without their wisdom, belief and love in me.

Most importantly, I am myself. All of these characteristics make up who I am. Although I may never know who I am stripped of all social influences, I know who I am in society. I am myself. No one can change me. I am proud of who I am and the choices that I have made to get me to where I am today. If I were a different person, my life would be forever changed. I would not have the amazing friends and family I was blessed with. Thus, I am thankful for the nurturing environment I grew up in, as it helped mold me into the person I am today.

Now, I challenge you to ask yourself: Who are you? We all may never know who we are apart from society, but our environment has helped to form us into who we are today. So I ask you to go on a run, do yoga, or sit alone and contemplate this question, as it is one of the most important questions you will ever ask yourself. After you contemplate this question remember to love yourself because you have done an awful lot to make yourself into the wonderful person you are today!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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