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Identity

By vikihoney Feb 16, 2014 2067 Words
My identity: Stress resistance.
If you asked me about myself, I would respond without any doubt, “I am Britney, a stress resistant person.” I think maintaining full control over your emotional response to life's complications plays an important role in the way your day is shaped, and that of others. Confidence in one's abilities and a clear mind gives way to more calculated decisions, rather than falling victim to a potentially hectic environment. According to Dr. Keith Horinouchi, “stress resistance” means “the body’s ability to handle everyday stresses, preferably through a healthy lifestyle.” Now, stress resistance is my motto, which always reminds me how I should react to any difficulties that I face on my life's path. However, I was not always this way. I would say that this is a skill that I have slowly developed over the course of my life. Stress resistance is what helps me in every difficult situation. My mother was twenty-seven when she had me, and she always wanted a daughter. When I came to this world, my parents were the happiest people ever. They were always with me: bringing me up, playing with me and spending all of their free time on me. Unfortunately, I did not have any brothers and sisters around to play with me. When I played, I easily grew bored because I could not keep myself entertained alone, and because of that, I was stressed. I spent a fair amount of my childhood without many companions my age. However, I had two friends, (who were sisters), that were also my neighbors. We met each other often and played together for hours, but it was not enough for a kid like me. I was always jealous that there were two children in their family, and I was alone. I always wanted to have someone who could be available for twenty four hours to play and keep me company. My wish did not come true and I just got over it. This made me to be a self-sufficient person. I did not want to go to school in kindergarten. My parents tried their best to get me used to it, but every time they left me, I would run to the window-sill. I would cry and wave to them through the window. They could not leave things as they were, so they decided to enroll me into a private kindergarten school. The owner of the private Kindergarten school previously worked at the school I attended first, and I liked her a lot. My parents did not have any problems leaving me in the new kindergarten, because I enjoyed my stay there. The time for school came. My mother accurately prepared my uniform, bought me beautiful flowers that I had to present to my first teacher, put a big bow in my hair, and took me to the school. The whole family came to support me on my first day at the new place. There was a welcome ceremony, which I enjoyed very much. I was fully inspired by every performance. Once everyone went to the class and I had to leave my family, I felt scared. I knew that my parents and relatives were waiting for me behind the wall, but it did not help me at all. The beginning of my second day of school was like a horror movie for me. My mother took me to school and I had to start studying. She waited until I found my seat, said goodbye to me and closed the door. The second she closed the door, I ran away from my seat, loudly screaming, “Mommy, mommy” and I caught up to her near some stairs. She could not leave me and decided to spend the whole day sitting in my class. I got used to the school very soon. Every time I missed my mother during my classes, I got myself to stop thinking about it and concentrate on what I was doing. I began to look at different aspects of the class itself to heighten my mood, and allow me to get over the grief of being temporarily separated from my mother. Sometimes, it would be the kindness of my teacher, who I had grown particularly fond of, or something as simple as coloring within the lines of a picture perfectly to show my mother after school. This situation had a huge effect on my identity and made me stronger for the obstacles ahead. Eight grade was a stressful period in my life. I felt as if I should start having relationships with boys. My friends and I got very interested in them. So, I started dating a boy from my school who was the same age I was, and I thought I loved him so much. This was my first relationship with a boy; I could not sleep, eat or study. I thought about him every moment. We were dating for a month, but he left me for my friend. I cried for hours that night, because I did not expect him to do such a thing, but I did not tell anyone how I felt: neither my mother nor my friends. One of my friends invited me and a couple of other people to his house for a party. Upon arrival, I saw everyone laughing together, praising the good looks of the newly formed couple: my ex-boyfriend and my friend. I tried very hard to hide my emotions when I saw them together. I pretended as if I was having fun by smiling, laughing, and dancing with other people. When it was time to go home, my friend and I decided to go together because we lived near each other. My ex-boyfriend went with us to take my friend to a bus. I wanted to kick him, but I felt I would appear stronger if I didn't express my feelings for him. This concrete situation taught me how to channel my anger in other places in the hopes of reshaping a negative situation into a positive. Although, I really wanted to, I still praise myself today for not succumbing to my impulses. As I grew older and developed a fascination, and yearning for, the type of pure romanticism only depicted in film, I found that I had more complications with boys. I was fifteen years old, and I fell in love with a guy who, at first, didn't pique my interest at all. While I was on vacation, a group of my close friends added another guy to our usually tight-knit social circle. Honestly, I never thought much of it at first, and dismissed him as, "just some guy." He told my best-friend that he was interested in me, and would appreciate her giving him a formal introduction. When I came home that same day, I remembered taking note of how nervous he looked, sitting with my group of friends, staring into his coffee cup. We started to communicate and I didn’t notice how I started to like him. We were dating for almost a year, but I feel like our time together, though relatively short, had a drastic impact on my social identity. He taught me what it was to feel deceived, used, and humiliated. This taught me what it was to hit rock-bottom, and to feel pain that you can't control or understand. He also taught me that this was a pain that I would never wish upon anyone else. This experience taught me the importance of standing firm in an emotionally stressful environment, and maintaining a positive outlook for the sake of yourself, and potentially, those around you. My mother has never punished me for a bad grade. She knew about some of the unsatisfactory grades that I had been getting in the school, but she never told my father. He is very strict about grades, because he was a perfect student at school and at his university. He thought that I should be perfect as well. Once I told him that I got “C” in my biology class, he criticized me for a week, deprived me of pocket money and made me read an entire book about biology. I found it hard, because I had absolutely no interest in the subject, but to avoid punishment, I decided not to share my failures with my father and keep it strictly between me and my mother. I’m no longer in the school, but I still keep my past failures away from my father because I’m afraid of his reaction. My mother always supported me when I had a bad grade, which made me think that there are more important things in life. So now when I receive an unsatisfactory grade, I don't worry as much as my friends. Instead, I try to focus on what caused me to receive this grade in the first place. I see them as an opportunity for growth that, as long as I consistently give it my all, I can overcome. I know that I can get a good grade, and eventually attain the level of knowledge needed to succeed. This helps me to resist the stress related to fear of failure. One major factor in conquering stress is nerves. Nervousness can be triggered by past shortcomings, intimidation, and lack of self-confidence, which all equates to fear. I believe fear is an important tool, because it exposes our fears, and gives way for new strengths. When we look at fear in this light, we become more adept to it being a natural response, and find a comfort zone in which we can still make calculated decisions while stressed. Succumbing to fear, or being a "nervous" person not only reshapes your mental well-being, it can showcase itself in degrading your physical appearance: it causes nervous disorder, deterioration of appearance, and lots of different diseases. According to Marriem-Webster dictionary, “nervousness” is “an uneasy state of mind, usually over the possibility of an anticipated misfortune or trouble.” With that said, I feel it is always in a person's best interest to neutralize any stress factors in their life. When I see that my friends are nervous, I always try to make them understand that succumbing to nerves will not improve the situation. Instead, they will spoil the situation and destroy their ability to concentrate, giving way to the same failures that they so adamantly try to avoid. My close friends often wonder how I can be so imperturbable in the midst of a heated situation, be it: something as miniscule as a continuous workload, or when I'm at odds with someone who I've trusted for a long period of time whose actions were deceitful and malicious. The secret is hidden in my past, they don't know what I have experienced in life before I became a stress-resistant person. I often hear from my peers, “Vicky, teach me how not to take difficulties to heart.” Of course, I try to help people who I feel are overly sensitive, but you cannot simply get rid of emotion. I believe this is a skill that can only be acquired through experience. As cynical as it may sound, in order to overcome true heartbreak, you must experience it time and time again, that way you know what to expect. As stated before, I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone, but in order to overcome it, it is a pain they will soon have to accept. Although this manner of living is effective, it does not make you invincible. I may seem tough, but I am still a woman and I have feelings. When it comes to my family, I cannot be indifferent to it. I cannot simply disregard the love that I have for them, and how close we all have become. As Princess Diana once said, “Family is the most important thing in the world.” I absolutely agree with these words. The trick is to focus on the positives in life, and use those to strengthen every decision you make. You have to have faith in one's self, and to never forget the people who will stay with you, hoping for your success for the years to come.

Work Cited:
"Nervousness." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. “Princess Diana Quotes”. Brainy Quote. BookRags Media Network, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2013. "Stress Resistance." Stress Resistance. Dr. Keith Horinouchi, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.

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