What makes us, us?
Is it mostly genetics?
I largely swing to the DNA side of the aisle because even when I’m trying as hard as I can not to, I hear The German and see The German in my idiosyncrasies. Her “Oh my Got, Patti!” rings through the air. I can’t escape it, people.
Is it mostly nurture?
If that’s the case, I should be heavily medicated, swigging rum from a bottle and running around in only my underwear, which I am not. No, really. I’M NOT!
The open secret in my family is that I had a tough road in my high school years. Tougher than others? Yes, in some instances, no, in others. What I do know is that most of us have tough roads to navigate in our lives. Doesn’t make me special that I lived to tell the tale. It’s just a matter of fact that things didn’t go as I would have liked in order to come into adulthood without battle fatigue.
While I believe nature has more to do with my basic self, nurture took the genetic seeds and helped them bloom into something that allowed me strength to withstand the shit storm that I walked through, or would die trying, as a young woman.
SHIT STORMS KILL, YO! Or not…
My humor is definitely genetic; it’s simple and easy and innate. My entire family is funny. Although, I’m the least funny of the bunch. They’re some of the funniest people I’ve ever known. I would defy you to sit through a family dinner with us without almost peeing yourself. Sure, it would most likely come at your expense, but somehow I don’t think you’d care.
There are some parts of me that I had to cultivate, that I had to study in others, in order to be a good wife, to be a good mother, in order to be a good me.
I was once asked what was my most defining trait. I answered, “Optimism.” Boy and Husband said, “Determination.” Combined, with my childlike faith that God has put me where I should be, those two markers have been a fearsome force for all the good that has ever happened to me.
I think what makes us, us, is us. Taking all that we are given, nature and nurture or lack thereof, and purposely deciding to form a life worth living. Maybe even a life bigger than we could have imagined.
We may or may not be able to get more than what we’re born with to bear this world, but if we decide to move through the bloodshed even as we’re bleeding out, if we remember there is a joy that transcends all understanding, if we hold fast to love, I think we have all that we need.
As of February, I have more than I need.