The definition of our ourselves first begins with the definition of where and who we are from. Before we really develop a self, we come from another already formed. In birth, she leaves a psychic imprint. She is the one we will be held in comparison to, shaped as she is, and then as we grow into ourselves, a natural distance forms with our legacy behind us. We pull away into the air like a fully formed bubble.
But our history floats tethered by long sticky strands. Stories pass to children of the generations that bore them. Before we meet ourselves, we know these stories. We feel pride and love for them as though they tell us something of ourselves. They help us land in the grass.
It’s a very disconcerting moment when you realize that you are more than these stories and in many cases, contrary to them. There is no return to the comfortable notion you had of yourself. At this moment, you become solely responsible for the rest of your own upbringing. The stories still exist but they aren’t about you anymore. They refile themselves under memories, having served their purpose; they gave you the strength to start your own.
I am my stories, their stories, our stories.