I find it rather interesting how no matter how we want to be different from our parents, we are almost like them. The definition of who we are today is often a reflection of how we grew up. And most likely, our parents play a major role in our childhood.
My childhood often defines my values and beliefs for the long term. And then what happens in between is highly influenced by the environment and people we surround ourselves with.
And yet, I would say college is often the most defining point of our identity. It is when we figure out what we want, how to treat people right, and how to achieve happiness.
Recently, I reconnected with someone who I hadn\’t spoken with for almost 3 years. We went different paths in life. When we first met, we both were naive, a bit innocent, a bit ignorant, but ready to take on the world. To me, he became more serious, less light-hearted and…more religious perhaps. I have become more easygoing, more light-hearted and more open-minded. And surprisingly, more tolerant.
At what point, can you say that how you see the world has changed so much that you can\’t relate with the people you used to know? A friend I know can\’t relate easily with his elementary school friends–they have become more materialistic and more yuppie. As a poor graduate student, he can only appreciate them for who they used to be–of that early, precious connection. But even then, I remember meeting up with a friend I knew from elementary school–someone I hadn\’t seen for more than 10 years. We reminiscienced a little about how it used to be. And then we were like strangers again.
For me, people define my life. How they influence decisions, how they interact. It\’s not that I am dependent. It\’s more that I look at them for inspiration.