Naturally, I decided who I was at a young age by believing the opinions of others. The weren't always right, but they weren't always wrong about me. I decided who I was solely on my talents and what people told me I was good at. Never challenging myself in any areas that were intimidating or uncomfortable for me. Playing it safe was easy and fulfilling enough for me at the time. The talents and interests that come easy to me are the things I chose to define who I was. I decided at a young age that I would play college basketball and excel in athletics because it was a talent I had found early on in life. No one ever mentioned that it is alright if childhood dreams aren't always what they seem and that you don't have to follow through with them. I pushed through the years of basketball even after my love for the game had left me because failure and quitting has been made into such a negative concept, especially in athletics. Quitting can be just another form of change. And change can be the best thing for us sometimes, it was for me. Changing my life direction when I was ready for a new chapter was out of the question, because it would make me a quitter. The time finally had come, I decided to end my basketball career and move on. I found that the only way to create who I really wanted to be, was to contradict myself. Entirely.
I had to step out of my comfort zone and face my intimidator and be uncomfortable. I could perform athletically in front of thousands, but turning my writing or something I had crafted in, knowing that it could be criticized and rejected was my biggest fear and insecurity. I pushed myself and overcame this fear of rejection and I started writing. This was when my blog was created. It was my way of putting myself out there and conquering my fear. I never would have created this part of me, the part of me I had feared, if I hadn't contradicted my childhood goals and the portrait of myself that had been painted by others my whole life. The brush was finally in my hands, and I became my own artist.
Creating who I wanted to really be started with contradicting everything I had been told I was by myself and others. My journey as an English major has helped me deconstruct my life and beliefs. Now I can really create my own ideology and belief system. I always thought I knew who I was, but I haven't even made my own decisions till recently. In academic classes such as philosophy, literary theory, sociology, and psychology we are told we are products of our environment. There are positive and negative effects that come from all environments, but if we are aware of their influences we can control how effective they are in our lives. I want to decide for myself who I will be and were I will go, even if my environment and beliefs contradict me. My education and literary studies have opened my eyes; eyes I never knew were closed.