B.I.I.G. Belgian, Italian, Irish, and German. Four pretty different races. Yet they make up me. But at the same time, they don’t. Some of my heritage is celebrated. Like every year for the summer birthdays, we go to the Cadiuex Cafe here in Detroit and go feather bowling…only the greatest game ever but I digress. My Grandma Harris is 100% Italian. So yes, I love spaghetti, family functions do get a little bit loud on that side of the family, and we force food on everyone. But on the other hand, the German and Irish part is never portrayed. Honestly, being Belgian and Italian is all I showed to the world and really to myself. Self-perception plays more of a role in one’s identity than anything else (Silverman and Radar 268). With that thought, another comes into mind. It’s more of a question. “Who am I?” It’s hard to answer. A lot of factors have to be taken into consideration when answering it. Like the enviornment you’re set in, your family and friends, and your interests. All of these things make up my identity who I am. I know I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without my parents. I’ve had friends with bad home lives. And to be honest, I didn’t really realize how much I appreciated my parents until I went away to school. They’ve never told me I couldn’t do something, they’ve always been encouraging, and most importantly they’ve taught me discipline. The friends that have come and gone throughout my life and the ones who have stuck by me through thick and thin all took part in changing me in some way or another.
I believe that there are always those people that shape your life in some way. People that helped build your identity. Whether it a coach, a teacher, or a family member. But they were a mentor, a role model, someone you knew you could always look up to. Lois Meissner was my dance teacher since I was very young. I never knew someone who worked as hard as she did. And she was in her late 60’s early 70’s when I started at her studio. She was a hard teacher and let me tell you I did NOT like her! My 9 year old moody self dredded her tap class every Saturday. It wasn’t until later that I actually appreciated her and realized the impact that she had on me. She made me into who I am today. Not only in dance, but when I picked up running. My work ethic and striving to do better is something I learned from her and I am sincerely greatful for everything Miss Lois has brought to my life.