Earlier in the semester, I wrote about "who I am." I know I probably shouldn't have started answering that question from my current perspective, but I guess I will just work backwards through my life in looking at who I was, and how those versions of me are similar, different, or alien-like to the current me.
Since I already talked about my current definition of who am I, I will reverse until entering college 2.5 years ago.
I am a startlingly different person at this time in my life. I am scared to death, with a side of excitement, regarding the big world that stands before me waiting to be experienced. I'm deathly afraid of going away to college, but I know that if I don't I will never become the person I really wish to become. I've never stepped too far outside my comfort zone when it comes to anything in life. When I look back on this person I was just 2.5 years ago, I thank God that He gave me the courage to go away and learn how to live my life to its fullest. And maybe studying in my dorm, with only emerging for Bible study and food, now seems like such a tragic first year of college. But it was that first year that I learned how I wanted to spend my time. I realized that enjoying things outside of academia and actually building more concrete relationships would be something I would earnestly seek in the future. Over the past year, I did just that. As bad as it may sound that I didn't always make school my number one priority (and my grades even showed it with A-'s that could have been A's if I had just stayed home that night), I feel it has been worth it. So it isn't that I like the me of 2.5 years ago, I revel in the fact that who I was 2.5 years ago brought me to ETSU and enabled concrete relationships that God had in store for me.
Hmm, next we should go back to the "me" of my high school days. What can I say about the me of high school. Several events that defined who am I occurred during high school. I was an overachiever who just had to have the highest GPA, but only because I never thought I would make it that high. I had always believed I was average until high school. I will never forget how much I actually loved to go to class and learn. I wish I still had that great of a passion for putting everything into learning. Although I still have that passion, I don't think it will ever be as great as it was then. Well maybe it really wasn't a passion for learning then, it was more of a great desire to impress people disguised as a love of learning. Now I honestly don't care so much about impressing others as I have learned that if I don't strive for excellence for personal reasons, it isn't worth achieving. Some of my best and worst memories come from my experiences with colorguard/winterguard in high school. The work ethic I learned from practicing over and over again because I was never a natural is something I brought away from the experience. I absolutely loved performing, becoming somebody else out on the field/floor. If I could go back to any me for a moment, I would go back to this me and perform once more. I guess all good things must come to an end eventually, or at least God had bigger plans. The hardest lesson of my life was also learned through my experience with colorguard. I respected an instructor, saw him as an older brother, even idolized him to an extent. It came crashing down, and I realized that I could put no faith in man because he would always disappoint me. Every since that day I have strove to always put my faith in the Lord and look to no human as "perfect." Even though I was not directly affected by what happened, the indirect affects truly changed me forever. [I do apologize for the vagueness here, but the details are better left unsaid].
I really don't know any "me" that is worth discussing through middle school, or even primary school. When I look back at who I was then, what I remember is what I learned from my favorite teachers. Mrs. Nunley was my first teacher that was forthcoming about being a Christian within students; I still remember her inspiring me by praying every morning during our moment of silence. Mr. Reynolds taught me that you really could have a blast while learning. Mrs. Rigg taught me to love writing with a passion. Ms. Kilgore gave me the desire to go out and see the world. As little as the things these teachers once portrayed to me, as purposeful or insignificant as they saw them, they did affect the person that I now am.
The last "me" I will look back on with be a carefree 5 year old. The summer before I started Kindergarten, I remember swinging on the swing set all the time. I would look at the creek flowing in front of me, as the shadows of the holly tree danced on the ripples. I remember looking up to the clouds and not wanting to ever grow up. I thought the world was going to be such a scary place full of bad things that I never wanted to experience. I just wanted to stay on that swing set forever. So I used to think I was a wise kid, being that I already understood like wasn't going to be perfect and all fun growing up. Just in the past few years have I come to hate that 5 year old me. What was I thinking? Why on earth would I want to miss out on living my life?!?!
Well that is a brief glimpse back to who I was, why I was who I was, and how I changed through the past 21 years to become who I am today.