Who Are You?

I come from a very traditional household. Both of my parents are teachers and have always instilled in me to be authentic. However, I’m sure they didn’t realize just how different my authenticity would be compared to the rest of our family. I went to very strict schools all of my life, and even the college I attend some would categorize as stringent. Up until college my appearance and lifestyle were heavily dependent on the school I attended or my parents. I was a vegetarian because it’s what was available for me, I didn’t have any piercings because jewelry was not allowed at the schools I attended; I pretty much lived my life following the set of rules that were presented to me. Let me be clear, I didn’t mind any of this, and at the time and I thought that “that” person was who I was and wanted to be. However, when I got to college things started to change. I started to meet new people and make decisions for myself that were completely opposite from the way I was raised. Some of the decisions were made because I finally could make them and not because I actually wanted to do whatever it was. Around this time I was also in a relationship and though he was very supportive, he was very headstrong and I did a lot of following, and again I had no problem being that person and didn’t even notice I wasn’t being myself. However, after the relationship ended I had a rare opportunity to study aboard and I went to live in England for 5 months. While in Europe I didn’t have a strict school, parents or even a boyfriend to steer me in any particular direction. I was left to figure out who I was when no one was there to tell me. As they say, “This was the beginning of the end”. I came back to America with a completely different mindset. No longer would who I am be based on who was around me. #POP

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