Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Inspiration

Please answer the following prompts:  Be honest and specific:

1.  What inspires YOU?
2.  How are you staking your identity?
3.  What keeps you from finding that identity or being who you are (or do you even know who that is yet?)

27 comments:

  1. I found that I am often inspired by the stories of people that have become successful after struggling for most of their life. I am also inspired when I watch people do things that are amazing.
    I am staking my identity by trying to be an individual and by doing things that make me happy. Sometime in high schools its hard to be your own person because some people will find anything to bring people down. But their going to bring you down no matter how you act.
    I think that the biggest thing that keeps people from staking their identity is our take down culture. Everybody is always trying to find things that are wrong with people and people who stand out are often targeted more. People tend to become what others want them to be rather then themselves because they are afraid of what people will say about them.

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  2. I am inspired by the people who don't conform to social norms but instead do what they love. It's so easy for people, especially young adults, to get caught up in what others think or what they might say if we tried to chase our dreams that we forget that we need dreams and hopes to have purpose. I particularly love the stories of the young adults who have decided to break away from social patterns.

    I don't really know that I am staking my identity but instead creating it. I really want people to see me for who I am but I don't think I know everything about myself yet. I think by just doing what is natural to me, I get find out a bit more each day along with the rest of the world. Maybe I'm staking my identity by not trying to stake my identity at all but just figuring out my identity. I find it to be a really fun adventure finding out little things about myself as I go along. I think that a lot of young adults are so intent on finding out who they are that they miss the chance to just be them.
    Sometimes though, living day by day is easier said than done. There are a lot of days that I just want to conform and be like everyone else because I'm afraid of being alone or ostracized. I know in my mind that I need to do what I want to do and not be controlled by what others might think of me but the temptation to just give in is always present. Not fully knowing who I am puts me at a bit of a disadvantage because it creates an opportunity for me to do as everyone else does and claim that that is who I am. I definitely think that a lot of other people have faced or continue to face the same difficulties that I do. Maybe one day we as a society will be able to understand that individuality is not necessarily a bad thing.

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  3. I believe inspiration is everywhere, all you have to do is open your eyes and find it. In the past, my main inspiration was nature and quotes. My best piece of writing yet was inspired by South African novelist, Bryce Courtenay, as he claimed the power of one is infinite. Today, I find inspiration in numerous places. Relationships inspire me, good, bad, complicated, seeing how people interact and communicate allow me to delve deeper into meaning. Failure also inspires me. The threat of failure permits me to put my best effort into everything I do. When I am not successful, the experience inspires me to improve. An ample amount of inspiration comes from my former teacher and mentor, Mrs. Smith, who no matter what, pushed me to my limit, ultimately leading to an exponential growth in my character and my writing. There are times I want to quit, but whenever I do, I think of my hero, Mrs. Smith, and it encourages me to go further. I do not always give myself credit for my hard work, but in a way, I am a source of inspiration for myself. When I am low, I push myself and continue with the trek I am on. Even though my work and me are not extraordinary consistently, I aim for astonishment, daily.
    I am beginning to stake my identity by focusing on myself and the relationships I have and wish to build. I focus on being happy and taking one day at a time, occasionally taking a break for laughter. There are multiple things that prevent me from finding my identity, however, I take full responsibility for this. I keep myself from finding my identity. I depend so much on other things and people in life that when I become invested, my identity becomes based on something else entirely. To become the person I want to be I need to start thinking consciously and become aware of everything I do and how to improve on my initiatives.

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  4. I find my inspiration in creation. Anyone can decide to loath this generation, or feel as though mankind has become a lost cause, but this is a beautiful world. Our species is blessed with the ability to understand and appreciate the wonders of this planet, to see mighty oceans and powerful volcanoes. This is not our world to seize, these miraculous and overwhelmingly, beautiful treasures that is nature is not ours to take or manipulate. Through Jesus, many people have experienced their life being transformed, and becoming a renewed spirit. I stake my identity in the fact that my heart has been changed from the inside out, and for the better. Unfortunately, it is not easy to follow this path every single day, especially when this society is judgmental, and cruel, and unforgiving. There is a lot of pressure to please everybody, and more often than not I fall short of who I want to be. I want to be content with life and love the Earth every single moment, but somedays, I disapprove of the trees beside me and there is not enough stars in the sky to satisfy me. This is simply how humans are, born into a sinful nature- we are greedy, and selfish, we make mistakes, and we want more. I'm not any different. With this in mind, I hope to find my identity in humility, and realize that my mind did not make the glorious mountains, and I don't have a heart deeper than the canyons that loves like the Lord. I was made as a pure soul and who I will try to become will be a pure reflection of God. In the meantime, my inspiration will come from this beautiful world that I hope to explore one day from east to west.

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  5. I am inspired by people who put their all into what they do. Whether it's curing illnesses or building houses or even carving birds from wood there is nothing more inspiring to me then someone putting a tiny piece of their soul and identity into everything they do.
    I try to stake my identify by how I dress and how I act around and towards other people. Dressing the way I want to expressing my personality and preferences, and treating people with kindness and patience demonstrates my morals and beliefs.
    I think the thing that prevents me and many other people my age from fully discovering our identity is the restrictions America's society has put on us. Not only are teenagers labeled for what they wear and how they act, they are also told that there is only one why to act and dress if you want to be right, and then society projects unattainable standards that result in low self esteem and the feeling of never being good enough. I think our generation can change this though, if we just try to accept each other for who we are instead of expecting each other to be who society wants us to be.

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  6. When I think about what inspires me, my mind goes blank. I go into a world of cliches, where inspiration comes from a part of me that's driven simply by perfection. A world where I am inspired by perfection and "perfect" people. So, that's why my inspiration is driven by imperfection. It's driven by the simple thought that even in a perfect society we'd all fail because failure is perfect. The ability to fail and get back up on one's feet inspires me. It's truly about the simplicity of failure. The fact that people mess up and make mistakes, but they can and will get back up on their feet, and say, "I am only human and learn from the failures I make because people know that I'm imperfect, but what truly matters is how I utilize those imperfections. This is why imperfection really inspires me, because it causes failure and failure is a gate way to become a better person. Unfortunately, there are people who stake themselves as terrible people because of their failures in a negative way. I take my failures slap them in the butt, brush myself off, and turn myself around. My identity comes from a place where I was once lost. I was once so lost I had trouble finding myself back to anyone. I pushed people away and defined myself based on my mistakes, so I stake my identity as a Jesus freak. I am someone who follows God and the Bible because God saved me at a time, when I was on the verge of destruction. One day I woke up and realized I needed to become a better person. I escaped depression went to an alter and felt something I had never before in my spirituality, and that was love. I was once ashamed of carrying the Bible around school because of what people thought until one day I realized that book and my God saved me and all I can do to even start to repay him is ignore the comments, rumors, and judging people throw out me, and be who I am and that's someone who loves God and her church with every ounce of blood she has.

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  7. I'm inspired by the people who are not afraid to be who they are against what others might think. This has always been hard for me especially in high school, when everyone seems to be pressuring you to be someone they want you to be, but probably not who you want to be. I'm also inspired by the people who against all odds create their own success. Such as the olympic athletes who work day in and day to fulfill a dream that is one in a million. I don't even want to get off the couch from watching Netflix too much, but I know that when I watch these people succeed it inspires me to follow my dreams too.
    What helps me when staking my identity is staying true to myself and sticking to what I believe in. I know I can keep this if find friends who don't want to change me, but who want to love me for who I am, and make sure the friends I already have don't change me as well. I know it's hard to stay true to yourself, but what would this world be without the unique individuals that make it up. For me inventors are the ones who truly stay true to themselves. Each and everyday they have to come up with something that no one else has thought of, and people might love it or hate but the inventors always stick to their ideas and imaginations.
    Sometimes I find that I want to be like everyone else, because it's supposedly cool like getting vineyard vines shirts and hats, but where would we be if everyone was the same. Other days I just want to be me and I don't care what people think of me, but this is getting less and less each year and I want to change that. I don't want to become a different person, I just want to be a better me. I might not know what my identity is or if I will ever find it, but I do know that if I find it I will be an original like nobody else in this world.

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  8. I am inspired by people who can't. People who can't walk inspire me to run. People who can't learn inspire me to soak up knowledge. People who can't confidently be themselves inspire me to just be me. I have abilities that others don't, and to give less than my best is to sacrifice the gift. It bugs me when people waste their abilities, but it also inspires me to not waste mine.
    I am staking my identity by not caring about people's judgement and criticism. All too much, teenagers, myself included, jump to conclusions about people. One interaction with a person and we walk away thinking all these judgmental thoughts. I am trying to be less this way and more accepting, and I hope other's will too. I'm not a very popular person. I don't dress cute or care about how I look. I don't go against my morals just to fit in. I am staking my identity by being myself, and I am not ashamed of who I am.
    I know my likes and dislikes. I know that I have a good life. But other than that, I have no idea who I am. Nothing is stopping me from finding myself, I just don't really believe that I should be defined by a single identity. Or multiple identities. I just go through life lost, but I never loose myself. A person is not defined by there past, present, or future. A person is not defined by anything words can describe, because to me, each individual is so unique and special that nothing can define them.

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  9. I am inspired by those who face the challenges that life has dealt them but instead of backing down, they accept them and push through those challenges with their heads held high. Just the other day I watched a video of a man that was born without arms or legs; he did not give up. There were points in his life that he said that he wanted more than anything to be done, but than he said, "There were times when I sort of looked at my life and thought well I can't do this or I can't do that. And you keep on concentrating on the things you had or the things that you wish you didn't have, and you sort of forget what you do have." His name is Nick Vujicic. With so little, Nick has so much, and that inspires me.
    At this point in my life, I do not entirely know what my identity is. I want others to see me for me, but I am not even sure who that is yet. Living my life and working hard while I am at it will lead me to pieces of who I am that hopefully complete the puzzle that is me. I think by trying to find my identity maybe I am staking it as well. In the mean time, I am just me, and that is all I know how to be. I enjoy not feverishly searching out who I am like many others my age because I enjoy living day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute as me.
    The main thing that holds me back from finding out who I truly am are the expectations I feel others hold for me. I feel that if I do not meet those expectations than I am worthless in their eyes. I, as I am sure many others are, am scared of being looked down upon, for everyone wants to be accepted. Even though I do not know who I am entirely, I want to become someone that I am proud of being. Like Nick Vujicic said, I need to focus on what I do have and not what I don't and let that lead me to who I will become.

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  10. I find my inspiration in nature. The Earth inspires me to believe that there has to be something larger than life. Every time I look up at the sky, everything is changing. It looks as if someone is painting a beautiful picture in the sky, just for me. I am a follower of Christ and I believe in God's creation. When I am outside, I feel like I am pure. The trees, the sunsets, the mountains, the clouds, the stars, and everything else in nature inspire me to be drawn closer to our creator and it reassures me that I have a purpose in my life. The little things in nature, such as flowers, the sun, and the grass, amaze me. There is so much in this world for us to explore and I believe that we were created to explore the intricacies of this world. There is so much out there that we don’t even know about! I believe that we were created with a sense of longing for a greater love in this mysterious world. I hope to travel this world to explore all the different aspects of this Earth.

    When I think of how I am staking my identity, I am not sure yet. I am still learning about who I am and who I want to become. I know that I want to become a person of strong faith in their relationships with others. I am one who fully commits themselves to a relationship and I am very vulnerable when it comes to relationships. I believe that vulnerability is the key to building relationships. However, society holds me back from being vulnerable. Society sees vulnerability as being open to pain and hurt. However, if we were not vulnerable, than how can we feel good things such as love and longing? I am learning to overcome what society thinks and to be vulnerable to pain and hurt, as well as love and longing.

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  11. 1. What inspires YOU? The fact that other people survive with so much less than I have is what inspires me. Even when I was little I didn't know what to say when people asked what I wanted to be when I was older. I knew that I wanted to do something I loved and I wanted to make an impact in the world. Last year I discovered that being a doctor fits under both of those categories. I don't just want to be a doctor for people who can afford great surgeries and expensive treatments though, I want to help people in poorer countries that actually need it. The idea that I will someday live up to my dream is what inspires me to live life the best I can.
    2. How are you staking your identity? I am staking my identity in the idea of a great future. In order to be great in the future I need to start now by paying attention in school and taking opportunities that will help me become who I want to be. I am not only a person who strives for the future, I also enjoy these teenage years that I know will be some of the best of my life. I try to be spontaneous but not reckless.
    3. What keeps you from finding that identity or being who you are (or do you even know who that is yet?) Sometimes the lack of faith that others have in me knocks me down. I have faith that I can become what I want if I work hard and believe in myself, but without support from others it can be hard. Sometimes I'm told I take school to seriously or that taking hard classes is stupid and pointless but I know in my heart that it's the right decision for me, so that's what I do.

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  12. 1. What inspires YOU? I am inspired by people's stories and experience. I find inspiration in their adventures, struggles, and decisions. Humans are capable of so much emotion and I think that is beautiful. I want to travel the world just to learn about people and listen to their experiences. I am inspired by humans who have lived life to the fullest. I am inspired by small acts of kindness, selflessness, and acceptance. People who live for adventure and who live to love and learn inspire me. I aspire to be like the people who are open minded and excited to try new things, to listen to and learn from others and try to be the best I can be.
    2. How are you staking your identity? I am staking my identity by trying to be unique and learn from others. I do my best to listen to everyone and never judge what they believe. I like listening to other viewpoints because sometimes they change my own. I always stay openminded and curious. I'm constantly challenging myself and searching for answers. I'm setting goals and trying to do the things I love to do. I want to set an example for others and leave a fingerprint on the life of each person I meet. I want to be someone who is trustworthy and honest. I work hard on being my own person but also someone who can change.
    3. What keeps you from finding that identity or being who you are (or do you even know who that is yet?) I know who I want to be but I'm not sure I'm there yet. I still have a long ways to go but I don't have anything holding me back from being who I am. My family and friends always support me with what I believe even if they don't agree with me. There has never been something that has stood in the way of me being who I want to be. Sometimes I make mistakes, but I feel that making mistakes is an essential piece of being a human and the lessons you learn from them shape you. Even if obstacles do come up I think its important to be who you are no matter what and never let anything stand in your way.

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  13. 1. What inspires YOU?
    2. How are you staking your identity?
    I'm inspired by the determination I see in my community. I'm inspired by the way some people know exactly who they are and how they are going to live. I'm inspired by the people that enjoy everyday doing what they love, and doing it for the people they love. I am inspired and admire, everyone that has gone through major struggles and pulled through. I don't think I am inspired solely by people though. I feel inspired by nature, by other countries, by the planet. I always feel amazed everytime I think about how big the world is and honestly how insingificant I am. So why not do the things that you love, spend your time achieving what you want to achieve not what other people want you to. I am inspired by the good people. It's the little things that make the big differences. The people that have lived lives so differently then mine makes me feel inspired to do a little better, or keep doing better. It inspires me to travel all over the world and find who I really am.
    I am staking my identity by really finding what I love to do, what I can do with a little bit of hard work but find so much happiness in. I'm really finding myself by observing and spending time with lots of different people. By listening, watching, and reading about all kinds of different stories. I think I will know more about myself by leaving Colorado for a little while. Traveling somewhere by myself to a third world country would give me a new perspective on life. I believe that by taking chances I am finding myself and by living every day like it's my last and really wanting the best for the people I care about.
    I don't really know exactly what keeps me from finding myself, or being who I am, I think that by letting other people get me down or make me nervous I'm really watsing my time. I think that if I really want to find who I am I have to let a lot of things go and realize that the only important thing is love. I think that material things are a little bit in the way of letting me find who I am, as well as technology. I think I could accomplish a lot more if the world was simpler. So my solution is to make my life simpler. Complications are a big part of what's holding me back.

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  14. I am inspired by a variety of things. Different types and variations of music are inspiring to me because I aspire to make a mark on the world with my musical talent. When I hear a lot of songs or watch shows like The Voice or American Idol, it makes me realize that I do have a chance. If I work hard and continue to do what I love, it will pay off. I am also inspired by my best friends. They look at life with a positive attitude, be the best they can be at everything they do, they have a strong faith, they value relationships, and so much more. They are so strong and loving, and that's what inspires me. I try to stake my identity by what I wear and the kind of person I am to other people. I try to show people through my clothes that it is possible to wear a cute outfit without showing off your body. You don't have to wear makeup to hind behind a mask. I use these things as a fun way to show my uniqueness. I try to show my individuality by treating people as the special human being they are. I try to love them in every way I can so they know how amazing and worth it they are. When people criticize or judge me for my actions or what I do, it makes it hard to be unique and myself. When people exclude me or leave me out, it also makes me feel this way. It makes me want to fit into a mold of what they want me to look like. As the years go on though, it has gotten easier for me not to form into that mold and to stay individually me.

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  15. 1) I am inspired by music. Music is the one language that anyone in the world can understand. It has a unique ability to bring people together, no matter their differences. Imagine how empty the world would be without it! Through music, people can express themselves as individuals, yet shares common characteristics throughout different genres. It can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of abilities. This is especially inspiring in a world where people strive to be like a specific "normal" to be accepted by society. Through music, people are free to be themselves without judgement.
    2) I stake my identity in music as well. I tell my story through the music I write. For example, a minor key in a song could represent hardships in my life. The resolution of a dissonant chord could represent how I overcame such a hardship. I express my faith through worship music and praise. In addition, I participate in the Marching Band. In Marching Band, I have to lead by example, as with the other veteran marchers, to set the standard for our "newbies." It is also a place where I can live out my ideals of working hard and striving to be the best I can be.
    3) Sometimes I am hindered in my search for my identity when I allow the perspective of the world to get in my way. Society today is judgmental, and sets an impossible standard for the people to live up to. I disagree with society on this aspect, as everyone is different, so I don't see how we can all have an identical image of what we want to become. I struggle against forming my identity of accepting others and praising their talents when society focuses on criticizing their faults, which include mine. I am scared of being judged by others. Perhaps this is why public speaking terrifies me. Through this fear, sometimes I change myself to be who society wants me to be, as opposed to reaching my full potential. I struggle with being accepted for my natural self, so it is extremely easy to put on a mask in front of others. This is something I have been working on, and will continue to break free of.

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  16. What inspires me is the happiness that can be found just about anywhere and how the little things sometimes mean the most. There are so many bad things going on and sometimes the people who are affected in the worst ways and they still find things to be happy. There are children in Africa who have close to nothing and they still find reasons to smile everyday. Sometimes even the little things can mean a lot to people even just giving a homeless man some left over pizza can make their day. I am staking my identity by doing my best in school and creating a future for myself. Also by playing football I am creating an identity of an athlete. Not only am I creating an identity by playing football and doing well in school but I am also doing that by hanging out with my friends and just being a kid. The only thing that's holding me back would be that I always seem to try and follow society's normal things like how to dress and who to hang out with and what to do. But for the most part I have no idea who or what I want to be in this world. My main objective through high school is to take many classes and discover what my passion is.

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  17. I am so incredibly inspired by music. The fact that something as simple as a song can elicit a variety of emotions out of so many people and bring them together through one common feeling is amazing to me. I love the fact that I can express how I'm feeling through music, whether it's through writing my own or listening to others. It really does not matter what kind of music you like, because it all relates back to the same collective idea, and emotion can come through all of the different genres. I also stake my identity through music. I can take someone else’s song and make it my own, or I can write my own music, and either way I feel like I can understand myself so much better than I did before. I am absolutely positive that if music didn’t exist in this world, I definitely would not know how to understand and describe my feelings as well I can with it. While I can admit that even I come in the way of my identity because I am scared of what I actually feel at times, more often than not it is other people that stop me. I have a horrible habit of letting others dictate my mind and choices without them even knowing it, and that sometimes gets in the way of how I can express myself and create my own identity. I hope that someday that I stop doing that and I’ll finally be able to be completely content with my own identity.

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  18. There is a lot that inspires me. It can vary from the little things. Like when you see someone encourage someone who really needs it or just giving someone a smile. To the big things. Like when you see a person help out people who need it or when you personally are going through struggles but still do everything you can to help everyone else out. Happiness and a good attitude inspire me to be better. Also happiness, bravery, and genuine kindness and love inspire me to become a better person. Music is also something that can inspire me. I am not personally musically gifted, but some songs with great meaning behind them, can inspire me to become a better person. There are many ways that I am staking my identity. The first way would be that I am participating in a lot of different activities. From student council, FBLA, the library committee, and many other clubs I find ways to stake my identity. I love traveling and adventures that is helping me learn who I am. I also am firm believer in education and learning so that is helping me. I also swim, which shows me as an athlete which is also a part of who I am. But with all of that I am still learning and finding who I am. But there are many things in this world that are preventing me from finding out my identity. The conforms of society are keeping me from finding myself because there many things that the world expects of you that you may not want to be. Also they world wants you to be with the perfect group of friends and perfect life. But that does not exist, so it is hard to find yourself when all of that is happening. Overall in high school I am going to try to find out who I am through my classes and what I enjoy in life.

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  19. I am incredibly inspired by the imagination of the world. I can find so much insight and inspiration through other people's art, writing, and music. I think that even by looking at people's inventions and dreams you can see the hope for our world that people hold. Just looking at photos from National Geographic or a preschooler's drawing it is evident that our world is made up of people with incredible imaginations and dreams, which just inspire me to become a better person, and not lose sight of my dreams. I also like to stake my identity and find myself through these means. Through my writing, art, and photography I can sort of put out my identity in a tangible way. I am able to see who I am, what I am becoming, and also lets me discover who I want to be. Yet sometimes I find that I get so caught up in what other people will think of me or what I will think of myself that it holds me back from being who I really am. Our world is so full of expectations, and it can be so busy and demanding that sometimes its hard to see myself through all of the chaos. However, I think that this finding yourself in the storm is part of growing up and being a teenager. Life in general is a constant journey to find yourself, and it never really ends. I don't think that there is ever going to be a point where I will say "This is who I am, it will never change, and I am happy where I am" because I will always be constantly be discovering. I will be discovering new qualities within myself, new talents, and new dreams.There are always ways to become better, to learn more, to develop new opinions about the world, and to develop new identities. That is kind of what life is all about, that journey as you continue to search for yourself. To answer the final prompt, I don't necessarily have an identity yet, but I am constantly changing and learning and growing as a person. Which I believe to be an identity in itself. The incredible journey that I am on right now is a large part of who I am. Life isn't about the destination, it's about the voyage.

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  21. I am inspired by all the possibilities in the world. The free will to choose my own path and be my own person is the reason I try to be as successful as I can. I don't know what I want my path in this life to be, but the idea that I can relentlessly pursue my passion once I find it is what keeps me going. I am very thankful for all the opportunities and freedoms I have been given, and I plan to make the most of them. I am staking my identity by playing basketball, being the best student I can, and trying to be different. Basketball is my favorite sport, and I try to have a positive impact on my team as much as possible. I love being a part of a team, so my identity as an athlete is very important to me. Along with athletics, part of my identity is being a good student. I know how important education is to my future, so I try to make the best of the great schools I have attended and currently attend. Combining those two separate identities, I would say my personal identity so far is a student athlete. I hope to expand my horizons and experience as much as possible, and make my identity far broad and far reaching. One trait that holds me back is my tendency to try to fit in. I don't know why, but I find myself trying to blend in if I don't consciously think about what I'm doing. I need to overcome that, and forge my own path towards my own future. If I can let go of what others want me to do, I can hopefully become the person I want in the future.

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  22. 1. What inspires YOU?
    I am inspired by people who excel in their fields. People who have found their passion and achieved what they once dreamed of show me that anything is possible with perseverance and hard work. To see someone doing what they love and doing it at the highest level is incredibly inspiring to me, whether it's a musician, an artist, or an astronomer. They put their hearts and souls into what they do.
    2. How are you staking your identity?
    I am proud of who I am. I put everything I have into anything I do, and I do the things I love: I play soccer, I play the violin, I draw, I paint, I read... There's only so much time in the day- my goal is to make sure that I always save some for things that make me happy. I am sure never to lose sight of who I am- my internal drive and focus, my love of learning- and that allows me to be myself in whatever situation. For me, that is what it means to stake my identity- to be myself no matter what.
    3. What keeps you from finding that identity or being who you are (or do you even know who that is yet?)
    I believe that identity is something you develop. Who I am now is someone different from who I was a year ago, and the same will be true a year from now. I do not let social restrictions keep me from being myself- that has always seemed like a sad option to me. How could I enjoy life fully while I’m pretending to be someone I’m not? I am proud of who I am, and although I don't yet know what direction I want to go in life, I am sure that whatever path I choose will help my identity continue to develop.

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  23. I am inspired by the simplest of things. When a friend of mine is there for me in a hard time, when I stumble upon a story of hardship and strength, or when I simply see a beautiful picture, I am inspired. My friends inspire me in more ways than you could imagine. They are constantly teaching me new things about myself, and encouraging me to stay true to me even if it may be hard sometimes. I am staking my identity by staying true to my morals and my faith. I am constantly trying to inspire others through my actions, because I know how hard it can be to act differently than others. I think my biggest enemy is myself. Generally, I am a shy person around people that I don't know. I try to be as friendly as possible, but sometimes I end up being standoffish and unfriendly. Though I don't fully know who I am yet, I am constantly working on my faith, friendships, and self confidence to try to better myself.

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  24. I'm inspired by people who are open, bold, and courageous in their beliefs, values, and relationships. When others can be real about how they feel and see the world, it inspires me to trust myself more. I'm also amazed by people who are able to wholeheartedly trust in God, someone they can't see.Knowing that God is in control inspires me to get through hard times so that I can thrive rather than just survive. Although this is unoriginal, I'm encouraged by people who keep going after failing time and time again. I haven't experienced true failure and for some reason I'm afraid of it, even though it is expected. I also find it refreshing when others can have a blast doing something they aren’t perfect at or good at. I’m such a perfectionist that I have the most fun when I’m doing something the right way. Musicians also inspire me. After taking a theory class this summer, I realized how much is put into writing music and I gained an appreciation for instrumental music. As a result, I am inspired to work hard at playing my saxophone.
    At this point in my life, I’m trying hard to root my identity in Christ. He has gifted me athletically, musically, and academically; I'm learning not to take that for granted. I'm usually shy and quiet, but I've heard that we as humans are most connected to our identity in our younger years. At the age of five, I was very energetic, talkative, and thoughtful. Coming back to the US really made me close up, but I hope I'm starting to open up again. Kenya and its culture is also a huge part of my identity, which is sadly hidden much of the time.
    Many things keep me from being who I am including doubt, cultural norms, self-consciousness, lack of confidence, comparing, and conforming. Many times people don't understand me and who I am. Consequently, I try to hide my true self because even when I'm myself they can't truly see me. Although Christianity is excepted and its encouraged to have your own beliefs, true spirituality and wholehearted faith in the bible seems to be inadvertently mocked through media. That, in combination with my desire to please everyone, hinders me from expressing how important my faith is in my life. I feel freedom in my identity because the US supports individuality, but sometimes I feel confined by an unspoken fear, surreal happiness in performance, and in the hidden expectations for conformity.

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  25. 1. What inspires me is an inner drive to serve others. This is what motivates my to give all the effort I into every thing I do. It is also why I participate in activities like Civil Air Patrol to not only serve now but prepare myself to serve others is a greater role in the future.
    2. I am staking my identity by not staking my identity and this is an issue. I do not contentiously attempt to draw attention to myself nor do I enjoy this aspect. I have never made many friends just a few good ones. So if I were to stake an identity I would have to say it would be kind, caring, and dependable. I do not agree with many of my teammate's actions and opinions. Especially those that regard women as I find them degrading and explicit. With that said, I would also add an independent personality to my identity.
    3. What keeps me from being who I am is my peers. I have become numb to their behavior and have become identified with them. I do not condone their behavior and will act differently in the future. This is something that I have been considering for a while.and believe that I can change. I need to assert my own identity that separate and well represented by myself and peers. (I do not yet know who I am or will be but can only imagine who I want to be.)

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  26. I'm inspired by others who are inspired. As silly as that sounds, it’s true for me. When I see others excel in what they are doing, it makes me want to go out and achieve my own goals. Sometimes, its hard to know how I’m going to become the best me. If the end is near, I can stretch and finish strong. For example, if I am doing a dance camp for a week, I am inspired by the others around me and I try my best the entire week. When I’m surrounded by others who are good at what they do or who are just passionate, I become fueled. I live off other’s energy and when they are inspired, so am I.

    I am staking my identity by being genuine. I think, personally,that being genuine is one of the best qualities in humans. It’s also hard to find. I won’t say something if I don’t believe in it wholeheartedly, knowing that sometimes it can expose different parts of me. I want to be known as the one who is always herself, who is nice and makes people laugh because she wants to hear them laugh, not to gain popularity. I want people to know I am smart and talented. Staking your identity is something people don’t think about necessarily, but leaving a mark on where I have been seems like a high priority to me
    The things from keeping me who I am are all over the place. It may be the people and the places that I have visited, or the past experiences I may have encountered. At time, I don’t know who I want to be. Yes, I want to be genuine, but the way I can do that can get foggy. I think that in order to have an identity, you need to know who you are first. If you don’t know who you are, no one else will either.

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  27. 1. What inspires YOU?
    I believe that other people really inspire me. People who get out and do stuff that is truly amazing. People that help others without even blinking an eye. If a person chooses to help serve others on their free time they really inspire me. It makes me feel that I can do something too! I look up to those people for guidance. I typically look up to my mom, she really inspires me because she is so selfless. She chooses to do things for others before she chooses to do stuff for herself. She truly is my inspiration.
    2. How are you staking your identity?
    I am staking my own identity by trying out new things. I make new friends and see if I fit in with them or if when I am around them, I change. I try different things in order to see if I am good at something I have never tried before. I look to others for guidance and use my friends and even people that aren't my friends to sculpt me into the person I am. Although I don't think I have completely discovered myself yet.
    3. What keeps you from finding that identity or being who you are (or do you even know who that is yet?)
    Again, I don't think I really know myself completely. I think I have a pretty good idea for who I am though. Although, peer pressure is really hard to get past I make the choices that I want to make not the ones that everyone else wants me to make. I think when you have really good friends and they choose to do something that isn't what you want, you still may do it because you want to be "cool" in your friend group. My friends help me find who I want to be but can also hold me back a bit as well.

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