I am Me

Have you ever done one of those DNA/ancestry tests? They’re pretty cool, and I would definitely recommend it if you haven’t done it before. The website I used sent me a kit and all I had to do was spit into a couple of tubes (they were really big, so I needed to use A LOT of spit). When I was finished I put it back in the shipping box they provided me with and then in a few weeks I had all of this information that I never knew about myself.

It told me about various traits I had inherited (like my inability to taste things that are bitter). It also let me know about certain diseases and conditions that I have a decreased and an increased risk for. This bit of knowledge is particularly beneficial because now I am aware of problems that I should be looking out for. The traits and the health risks were good things to know about, but the result that I was most excited about receiving was my ancestry. I never had the privilege of knowing where my family descended from (I mean I knew in the general sense that people who look like me come from Africa), but I never knew where in Africa I could trace my roots to. The test that I got narrowed it down to the parts of Africa my ancestors came from and that was really awesome to discover. I also learned about other parts of the world that my ancestors had come from. I’m not 100 percent of African descent, and so it was pretty amazing to see where else my ancestors had lived. The read out broke down what percentage of me came from what part of the world, but when it’s all said and done all of these aspects make me who I am. If even one thing changed, I wouldn’t be the same person, and the exact same thing goes for you too.

Your DNA makes you you, but your experiences have also helped to shape you into the person that you are today. The places you’ve lived, the friends you’ve had, the jobs you’ve had, and much much more help to make you unique. If you happen to change one of these outside factors, it would make you a different person. For instance, just think about where you grew up. People’s languages, vernaculars, hobbies, and even their values vary from place to place. If you live in Los Angeles, you’re not going to have the same experiences as someone living in New York, London, Paris, Sydney, or Cape Town. And even within a given city or town there is a lot of variety. For example, if you lived in a more compacted part then you’re going to be different from someone who lived somewhere who didn’t have to deal with that congestion. And if you lived in a part of town where you were surrounded by a certain ethnic group then you’ll end up acting differently than someone else who grew up around a different ethnicity. This is how your experiences are so important to shaping who you are.

Embrace these aspects about yourself. Sometimes people try and make us feel guilty because of who we are, but that shouldn’t be something that anyone has to go through. Even if someone does tell you that there is something wrong with you just because you don’t fit in to a specific mold, this shouldn’t stop you from being true to yourself. It’s important that you remain an authentic version of yourself because when you try to be somebody other than who you were meant to be you end up hurting others. The world only has one you, and if you decide to try and be someone else then we’ll all lose out on what you could have contributed to society just by being yourself. And while you may end up causing some damage to others by pretending to be someone else, you will also end up hurting yourself. When you try to be someone else, you are attempting to do something that shouldn’t be done. You’re going to have to work hard to keep up this charade and you will eventually end up becoming unhappy with yourself because deep down inside you know that you aren’t being your true self.

Positive thinker, you should be yourself. You weren’t born to be anyone else. You were born to be you, so make sure that you’re doing just that!