I am 100% completely and totally myself.
But what I define myself as is a series of quirks and traits that I have picked up from those I surround myself with. Even those who are thousands of miles away are still with me every day through the smallest impacts on my life. The moments we shared together compacted to create the very fiber of my being, and each time I repeat something from that memory, I am flooded with the warmth of those who gave me so much joy during a time I didn’t know who I was.
I am made of squeals that sounded on nights we surrounded a computer watching music videos. I am made of terrible puns that I attempted to resist but ultimately had to laugh at as they infiltrated my very being. I am made of thinking that staying up late is perfectly fine because we did it for years and we never had any major problems. I am made of impromptu jam sessions because we could never resist singing loudly, even if some of us couldn’t hold a tune. I am made of craving touch, because two years of using each other as pillows made me realize how humanizing it is to simply feel the warmth of someone next to you. I am made of loving rainbow flags because I was lucky enough to find people who helped me find and accept myself, and I can’t help but love those who are proud and strong enough to show the same sentiment. I am made of believing that all people have the same fundamental rights, no matter what race, sex, religion, or orientation they identified as, resulting from so many conversations on the floor of cold hallways, growing to love the people who broadened my worldview. I am made of keeping the smallest random mementos of memories that cover every inch of my wall and stand on every shelf above my desk because, like myself, each and every thing in my room has a story that makes me remember why I have become the person I see in the mirror.
I am made of knowing that who I am is an ongoing process, that so many parts of me are fluid and everchanging, that each person that is crucial at any point in my life will leave some imprint on my mind. And every trait they leave with me will add up to be the only person I would ever wish to be.