I was thinking the other day about why I like - or think I like - certain things and not others. Why did I avoid asparagus for so long? What was it that made me think I liked mint-chip ice cream? Then it hit me: I'm still not my own person yet.
By which I mean, I haven't figured out what *I* like. I've just sort of adopted bits and pieces of other people and fit them together into this picture of myself.
I cannot stand my coffee black. Just can't do it. The smell alone of black coffee often makes me want to hurl (Certain blends more than others).
My mom has a preferred blend and roast I'm sure, and I'm pretty sure it's something on the dark side of medium. Me, I want blonde. I walk into Starbucks and if I'm not getting a frappuccino, you can bet I'm ordering a blonde.
Plus, it's really funny to walk up and say "I'll have a tall blonde extra sweet." It always makes whatever male is behind me in line laugh, which also makes it a good conversation starter.
My mom isn't big on flavored coffee. I love it. French vanilla, blueberry crumble, apple tart (notice the dessert trend here) I will gladly try it at least once and as long as it's not caramel or toffee you can probably bet I'll enjoy it. My mom can barely handle the smell.
Noting all of this, it's not very fair to say that I love coffee. Because while I do enjoy the various forms coffee can come in it's not real coffee that way - as my mom and husband have both pointed out to me various times. I actually tend to prefer my blended chocolate milk with a hint of coffee, as opposed to a blended coffee with a little bit of chocolate milk.
This doesn't mean that I won't drink it from the pot. Starbucks gets expensive and sometimes I don't feel like walking or driving even as far as the 5 blocks it would take to get to the closest Starbucks. Even when I lived in Seattle and there was a Starbucks on the end of my block, I didn't always want to walk down to it and wait in line and fork over however much cash it was going to take for me to get my fix. So I drink coffee from the pot, with about half the cup full of milk and about two tablespoons (I kid you not) of sugar.
All of this considered, why do I drink coffee?
The simple answer is because my mom does. I can't remember a time where my mom wasn't drinking coffee. Even with strict orders from the doctor to cut back on her caffeine, she still drank decaf. I was allowed to drink coffee starting at 13 years old. One cup, one day out of the week. At 16 I was allowed to decide how much coffee I wanted to drink and admittedly went overboard, getting up to 5 pots a day at one point (it's really amazing I'm still alive, folks). But in all of that I've never enjoyed coffee without somewhat massive amounts of sugar and milk. So there's a piece of the mosaic. Mom's coffee obsession.
For the longest time, I was pretty sure I loved mint chip ice cream. How could you not? it's mint and chocolate. Mint and chocolate go fantastically together, right?
The other day I realized that I hadn't actually had mint chip ice cream in somewhere over five years. Considering that I'm 20 that's a really long time! So, I took the next possible opportunity and had some mint chip ice cream.
I pretty much hated it.
In fact, I disliked it so much that I wondered why I ever thought I liked it in the first place! Which got me to thinking, why *did* I think I liked mint chip ice cream? I laughed at myself when I finally discovered that I was under this - albeit mistaken - impression because of my dad, whose favorite type of ice cream is mint chip.
Me, I'm not a mint ice cream kind of person. I'm more of a chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and brownie bits and fudge swirls kind of person.
This is not to say that I love what my mom loves and hate what my dad loves. If that were the case, I wouldn't like fruity pebbles.
Realizing these things about myself, I've begun to wonder just how much of "me" is made up of bits and pieces of other people.
Some almost funny examples:
I write my "D"s the way my dad does and my "2" the way my best friend in school did. I often find myself forming my words when I talk a little bit like Amy Pond from Doctor Who, and many of my facial expressions and body language cues change depending on who I'm around. I crochet and find it somewhat enjoyable even though I do frequently hit the "ahmagashthisissofreakingboring" wall and put it down for a few months. I enjoy anime - the blame for which may be placed almost totally on my husband's shoulders. I love many of the cosplay outfits - thanks to my husband's weird friends - and can sometimes be caught thinking about my zombie apocalypse plan rather seriously - entirely my sister in law's fault.
So many pieces of the things I would use to describe myself are actually pieces of other people's habits and interests.
Now for the serious note of this post. In speaking to Dearest about these things, he pointed out that I never really took the time to define myself. I never sat down and said "Who do I want to be?" and then worked to get there. According to him, the process of defining oneself is just like any other goal. You sit down, decide where you want to get to, write out where you want to get to, and then identify and write down where and how you'll have to change to get there. Then, you do it.
So as funny as it is to talk about my obsession with coffee and aversion to mint chip ice cream, I'm recently finding myself asking the rather daunting question that I'm sure has plagued many before me:
Who am I, really?
Who do I want to be?
And what's the difference between the two?