"Describe something or an event that makes you who you are today."

Sometime in our lives, we've had this question in front of us. Maybe it was when we were submitting our college applications and sent our personal statements to our dream schools. Maybe it was that time we had that nerve-wrecking interview that you seem to never forget about. Or maybe it was a question that someone you just met asked you.

Well, what's the answer? What is something that made you the person that you are today? Now, you find yourself scrambling through a bunch of events that happened in your life. You realize that there were so many things that changed you, even the littlest things that you never thought of. What is the biggest story that really made you the person that you are now? That's the thing, there is no ONE story to describe who you are.

When we think of things that made you the person that you are today, we can put things into categories that help us tell these stories:

1. Family

Coming as person who is super family-oriented, I can say myself that family is a big part of my life. Sometimes, I don't realize how much of an impact they have on me, whether they are my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. As we grow up, we tend to start distancing ourselves from our family, but at the same time, we hold them close to our hearts. We distance ourselves to grow and become independent, but at the end of the day, we know that we are here because of them. We are grateful for them in bringing us into this world and walking with us every step of the way, even when it is hard to. They continue to fight for the best so that we can get the best. You are the person that you are today because they have become role models. You look up to them.

2. Friends

We've all heard of the line, "Friends come and go." I probably cannot count the amount of friends who left my life with only my hands, but that's okay. You will find yourself meeting new people everyday. Sometimes, you become close, and sometimes you fall apart. It is something you cannot control, especially if you've done everything to keep the friendship. Be grateful that you had this friendship. Every person who walks into your life, whether they are different or similar to you, shows you a different perspective of life. They have something to teach you about life. Maybe it was their personality, or maybe it was the way they left your life. Maybe it was those turn outs that taught you something new. Regardless, we all have stories of friends who have shaped our lives for the good or bad. Do you remember the last time you met someone so similar to you, and you wondered where they have been all your life? Well that's just the wonderful thing about friendships - they are countless, exciting, and spontaneous. And they can develop to be even more than a friendship.

3. School, career, and passions

As we decide what we want to do for the rest our lives or just even the track that we want to follow, we run into bumpy roads. Sure, it would be nice if we could just do the things that we wanted to do without struggling. But that's where passion comes in. Passion is what drives us to continue. We find obstacles in front of us that stops us from pursuing what we want to do. These "falls" are something that shape us to be who we are. Our accomplishments are great, but it is the failures that mean even more. Without them, we would not have the strength to get up even better to continue to walk this road. Without them, we would not know what accomplishments are. Without them, we would not know how good it felt when we finally see something great in front of us that we worked so hard for.

4. Relationships

Love is a fascinating, but also a delicate thing. It's crazy what love can do to you. It's even crazier with the feeling that it gives you. It is that feeling that drives us to continue to love so dangerously. Some relationships fail immediately, while some start to fall apart itself slowly - and of course, the ones that last. But regardless of how the relationship ends, there's one thing about all of it. They are all amazing. Why? Because each relationship you had shaped you to be the person you are today. Maybe it shaped your personality, or maybe it shaped your next relationship. Maybe it taught you how you are with another person. Maybe it taught you to love properly, or most importantly - maybe it taught you that you have to love yourself before you let yourself love another person. And just maybe, this is why you are the person you are now.

5. Deaths

Life is an amazing thing, so when we lose someone or see deaths happen around us, it shakes us up. It's crazy how long and short life can be simultaneously. Life is spontaneous, and that's the scary part. Who knows what can happen today? Whenever someone passes, we tell each other, "Cherish the ones you love and care about. Show them what they mean to you before it's too late." Deaths are constant reminders that nothing is forever, but you can make up for that by how you use your days. Maybe there are deaths that push you and motivate you to fight even harder for what you want. Regardless of what the story is, it puts you on the edge of life.

6. Opportunities

We can strive for the best in the things that we want to do, but if you do not take the opportunities to do so, even if you tried - it would not happen. You can tell yourself that you're into a person, and that he/she is someone you've been indirectly looking for all your life, but if you do not take the opportunity to approach this person, there's no point. You can also tell yourself that you are going to make up all the times you've messed up, but if you do not take the opportunities, you will continue to just tell yourself. And that's the thing about life. We are given a countless amount of opportunities in front of us. These chances that we take and turn down is what shapes us up to be the person that we are. We will always think back to the things that we had the chance to do and try, but at the same time, we will always think back to the "What if's" in our lives. It is this that keeps us going and directs us to be the person that we are now.

So the next time someone asks you what shaped you to be the person that you are today, I guess a good way in describing that is - life. There are so many things part of life that we can't tell a person all at once what made us who we are because in reality, everything changes us even when we dont realize it. And that's another thing about life. It's always changing. You are always changing.