Knowing Me for Me

Knowing Me for Me

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Knowing Me for Me


Who a person is can be shaped by many different things. Understanding how a person came to be who they are is important to grasping their inner-most uniqueness. People, places, and even events can shape a person. Things like having a supportive parent, growing up in a unique place, and being suddenly injured can help to define a person. This paper explains and evaluates my characteristics as they have changed through having a loving and comforting mom, living in San Diego, and getting hurt playing Water Polo.

One of the most influential and most respectable people in my life is my mom. Though my dad is a close second, my mom has truly helped shape me in to who I am today. Since the day I was born my mom has always been there for me. Whether it was being in the front row of my dance recital or wiping my teenage tears away, she has always been a comfort. I went through a rough time during my sophomore and junior years of high school. A week before she found drugs in my room, my mom found out I had gotten my belly button pierced and a month later I got kicked out of a class at school. Alone and afraid were only the beginning of how I felt and would feel for a while. Of course I was in trouble, but my mom did her best to get me back on track and get me help. To this day she is amazed at how I have drastically changed, but it is all thanks to her. This is only one example. It has been a consistent pattern throughout my life. She has made me who I am; the person I want to be.

The place in which a person lives can change their life forever. “California,” by Tom Petty describes the atmosphere in which I grew up. I grew up in Southern California, which is unlike any other place in the world. The busyness all around me all the time forced me to fight hard to find out just where I belonged. The high school I attended was huge with almost 4,000 students. The school however was build for 1,200. Everywhere you looked it was a sea of students you could not escape.

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Passing periods had to be extended so you could make it to your following class without being run over by a mob of students. My high school was so big they allowed students with permission from their parents to go off campus for lunch. This allowed us to escape in to a safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life at a 4,000 person High School. Another sea of people I remember was the sea of red as 1,000 people graduated from my High School in 2002. I even remember the sea of parents surrounding us on both sides of the stadium looking down on us like hawks. In High School, as in life most of the time, I feel like I am just a number. I am numbered all over the place; my drivers’ license, my Social Security number, and even my sorority has their number for me. The song, “California,” speaks how fast-paced California really is. Petty knows California is unique and produces many different kinds of people. This is apparent in “California” when repetitively Petty uses the line, “It ain’t like anywhere else.” Petty also uses the line, “I kinda like this party town.” San Diego, where I grew up truly is a party town. It never sleeps and therefore a lot of nights I did not sleep. Though the parties sometimes got me in trouble, the good times ultimately prevailed. California has made me the strong, confident woman I am today.

I have not been the same since my sophomore year of high school. My passion at the time was Water Polo. I played all the time. I trained hard knowing that I would hopefully be the starting goalie on Junior Varsity. At the end of the summer my team went to the junior Olympics and I came back pumped and ready for the season to start. All that joy came to an abrupt halt the third day of regular season practice when I tore a ligament in my knee. I was devastated. All my hard work was suddenly worthless. As hard as I tried to convince my coach that I was fine, he never believed me and worst of all I had to train my replacement. I became extremely depressed and bitter, I almost left the sport completely. Luckily my coach was supportive and helped me get back in slowly so I would not hurt myself again. Thanks to him, I was able to work hard and come back the next year and make the varsity team. I have learned that everything happens for a reason and how important patience and hard work are.

My supportive mother, living in California, and recovering from an injury are three important things that have shaped me and made me who I am today. These events have given me a different outlook on life, and a whole new way of living. I know that falling is only another chance to overcome. I see that California has given me the strength and courage I need to survive everyday life. In addition, patience has made me appreciate what I have now. All of these are characteristics I currently possess because of the people places and events that I have experienced. Only a person who knows these things about me can truly say they know me for me.
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