My Definition of Who I Am

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Who am I? I have never really thought about this question before. This is what I know about who I am. I am a sixteen-year-old boy, a son, a brother, a friend, a college student, a high school student etc. My ethnicity is what shaped me today as a, African American throughout my childhood, I have had many experiences attributed to various forms of my personality. For me my ethnicity, regardless of its categorization, has constituted a profound loss of self-identity that has driven me to search for answers as to why I am considered weird, able to do in order to search and grab those answers. This search has involved many interactions and many more questions.

First, when discussing an autoethnography paper in class I thought to myself, ‘Wow nothing I had never written anything like this before’. Who am I? It was interesting to me because this was a question I had never really thought about before. Looking back, I do not feel like this is not as true anymore. Who I am is what I want to figure out. I want to create my own definition. I am going to look at my past experiences and try to puzzle the pieces. Part of who I am today is because of events that happened in my past. I cherish all my memories from that past, especially those with my family and friends.

Life was simple back when I was younger and I took advantage of the little things around me and now that I look back at it, I realize I took it for granted. My brother, my dad and I would always work outside our garden and after a hard days work we would finish playing catch, it was one of those days where the weather was just perfect to be outside, cool breeze and the sun shining bright. Growing up, I was mom's favorite son and we would always spend time at my aunt’s house. My aunt was always inside because she did not like to be outside when the weather was warm. When we got tired, we decided to go inside and as we entered the smell of the fumes of jollof rice was seeping into our nose. She was always making little snacks and delicious food to eat, jollof was her specialty. Now that she is not in my life anymore, writing a story with them both involved brings back the times I miss most.

My aunt had a big impact in my life. She was the only aunt I had in my life. Growing up she would spoil my brother and I like crazy. Christmas and birthdays were always over the top. My favorite thing about her was her cooking, especially jollof. I do not know how she made it or what she used but it was the best jollof I had ever tasted in my life it tasted like a pot of gold. Every time I would come over, I would ask her: “Aunt Rosie can you please make me jollof?”. She always laughed and said, “Maybe”. To this day every time I eat jollof I think of my aunt and compare the taste to hers. Every time the cold silver spoon would touch my tongue and the spicy jollof would melt in my mouth, it filled my heart with joy.

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Sight is probably the most important sense to me. I use it every day. Growing up, I was surrounded by beautiful landmarks. I sometimes think to myself, yeah, they are beautiful but I would rather be at a beach. I love where I grew up and the familiar landmarks to me. I do not know how I would be able to live my life if I was not able to see. Or maybe I should put myself into that perspective, I would not be able to recognize a familiar face like my mom or a friend. I would not be able to see when there down or when they are up, these things that play a key role in my life.

Smell was probably the toughest for me to write. One thing I love about our sense of smell is how we are able to relate it back to a certain memory, I know how much I love the scent of homemade stuffing, thanksgiving dinners, certain perfumes and more. My mom loves to cook whenever she has a free moment or is in between work. It is not a rare occurrence when my house smells of stew, soup, pasta or any other kinds of goods. The comfort of these scents reminds me of my mom’s love of baking. The smell of stew always makes me think of home. along with cooking, my mom always has candles burning. The scents are usually lavender and coconut. The tropical fruit smell reminds her of the beach, which is a place she often dreams about. I enjoy cooking like my mother does and will be cooking at free moments just to remind me of her. Or I will have tropical smelling candles burning to so I reminisce about the good times?

Touch is one of my favorite senses. I say this because when I am sad all I want is a hug from a friend or family member. Me and my family to talk with one another we use our hands and touch the person to make sure they are paying attention. Even today when I am having a conversation, I tend to touch the person’s arm. I use my hands and sense of touch to ensure that the person I am talking to is listening to me. I did not realize how big of an impact touch had in my life. I would not say it is the most important one but it is the one I love the most. I find comfort in the feel of things.

Hearing has such a big impact on my life and culture, music was always the one thing that can define someone and allow you to understand a person’s background a little more. Whenever going to a relative's house, the one tune that would get everybody dancing on their feet was Sunny Bobo. I would always ask my Aunt Rosie, “Could you play Sunny Bobo?”. She smiled and responded, “Sure can little one”, and before you know the whole room was dancing it was loud like a volcano had just erupted. Second important thing about hearing was our language. Being raised in a Nigerian household we spoke a lot of Igbo I never really took an interest in learning it was just one of those things that just developed over time and being in America we most of the time we had a mix between English and Igbo I remember my mom once said to me: “Gaa, get me the ite”, which means go and get me the pot. After hearing that line, it got me thinking about what it meant. I was more observant on my own listening habits and wanted to see if I was just listening to what the person had to say or if I truly was listening and taking in what they were saying. It seems like a stupid idea maybe but I think a lot of people don’t really listen to what people have to say. They just hear the words and give them no real meaning.

In conclusion, I am a family-oriented person, a cherisher of memories and passionate about my surroundings. What makes this unique is that not everyone would use the same words that I chose from my writings for themselves and no one can say the same things I say. Everyone has a different definition for who they are but this is who I am. I am a mix of a lot of little different qualities put together. These words form my definition of who I am. I am me. I am from the beautiful moments of my family, coming from my mind, my dusty altered journal it is these memories I will never forget.

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My Definition of Who I Am. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
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