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If I Am “A Mosaic Of Everyone I’ve Ever Loved”, Then Who Am I?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

The idea that each person is a mosaic of everyone they have encountered has gone viral on social media, and while it is neither incredibly original nor controversial, it does raise many thought-provoking questions. How much are my likes and dislikes influenced by other people? What happens when the person who inspired my passion is no longer in my life? Do I have unique qualities, or am I absorbing personality traits and characteristics of others and claiming them as my own?

I have asked myself all these questions, whether I am going to a restaurant, examining my music taste, or processing the loss of a relationship or friendship. When people we admire enter our lives, it is normal to share in their passions and emulate the characteristics of theirs that we value most. In the context of a relationship, this rarely strikes us as odd or unusual, because it is natural to absorb the mannerisms of those we spend the most time with. However, it can be jarring, frustrating, and confusing when we lose a friend or significant other and notice these personality traits in ourselves. I have recognized this in myself and generally refer to it as “copycat syndrome,” as I adopt mannerisms, phrases, fashion sense, and other personality traits from people that I spend time with and respect. To some, this concept may seem negatively connotated, but I don’t think it should be.

People were made to make connections with others and develop love and understanding with one another, and this naturally sparks inspiration and growth. The people you love may not stay in your life forever, but the way they inspired you to grow, think differently, and try new things remains. If you only surround yourself with people exactly like you, you might never grow, change, or be challenged to think differently than you always have. 

Maybe you drive to a coffee shop off the beaten path because a friend from high school introduced you to it. Maybe you dance in the rain because it reminds you of a past significant other. Maybe you go to concerts of a band you were introduced to by someone who is no longer in your life. I think this is exactly as it should be. No matter how someone made you feel, or if they are still in your life, their presence has affected you. There is no problem acknowledging that. Whether you discovered a passion, tried something new, or found your favorite food, how people inspire you has no direct correlation to the amount of time they spend in your life. It is impossible to walk through life and not be affected and changed by our encounters with others, no matter how brief, and I think we are meant to continuously carry these experiences with us. After all, each person has endured incredible joy, pain, laughter, sadness, and growth to get to where they are today. Why not celebrate and acknowledge everything and everyone that makes us who we are?

Hi, I’m Hannah! I am a junior at Grand Canyon University, and I am studying Professional Writing for New Media as my major, with a minor in Dance. I have a passion for writing and journalism, and I love the self-expression that writing allows. I am originally from Seattle, Washington, and was homeschooled my whole life. I competed on a dance team throughout high school, and dance continues to be my main passion. Moving my body and creating choreography is a refreshing emotional outlet and results in artistry that constantly changes and feeds my passion. As a Pacific Northwest native, I’m virtually required to love everything that has to do with the outdoors. Whether it is hiking, swimming, backpacking, climbing, or watersports like wakeboarding and wake surfing, count me in! I am highly passionate about nature and sustainability because I love Mother Earth and want to do everything I can to give back!