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Are you who you are because of your genetics, how you were raised and/or your choices, are they equal amounts? I think that you can probably bet on 30/30/30. I know that I have a lot of my father’s traits and mannerisms. My great-aunt Georgette who adored my father and me, loved telling me how much I was like my father. She babysat both of us when we were young. My grandmother was nineteen when my father was born and my great-aunt never had children, so she doted on my father and when I was born, she loved my mother like a daughter, and was thrilled for my father that he found such a lovely young lady for a wife. So when my mother had me, my great-aunt volunteered to watch me whenever she could, which was all the time.

I digress, so my love of reading, my stubbornness, my sense of adventure are the qualities that I inherited from my father. I’m sure that I inherited much more, but those are the ones that I’ve been told about. These are the basic building blocks that I had to work with, then if you add the way my mother raised me, you get another piece of the puzzle that makes me, me.

My father wasn’t the disciplinarian, he was a presence, yes, but my mother raised me. She was the boss and her way wasn’t to guide, it was to enforce. Since I had an easy time with school, my mother would not accept anything else less than an A. If I came home with a B, no excuses, it was 3 weeks of being grounded. I don’t know if doing well in school all throughout my academic career was more about pleasing my mother or if I wanted it for myself. I know that I still crave my mother’s approval even to this day. I wonder at times, how much of my need to please people is in a result of my own personality, or if it’s a result of my mother’s call for excellence and never saying good job or well done.

My own choices have determined my further development in my adulthood. My first serious choice as an adult is when I agreed to my marriage proposal, I was 22 when I got engaged and 23 when I got married. I made a firm decision in my mind to separate from my parents and embrace life as a part of another unit, mine and my husbands. Not to say that it was all flowers and song, for some strange reason, my husband and my mother have many similar qualities. Just be sure to never tell them that, each one will be very, very put out and insulted.

Aside from that and a few other challenges, marriage has been a growth experience. I’ve developed a great deal of patience and learning to really let things go, choosing my battles very carefully. I should specify that I am speaking of 21 years of marriage, this has been a long process of growth and learning, as much or even more on his end than on mine. Because, honestly in the grand scheme of things, life is simply too short and in my opinion, the family is everything. As long as you are focused on the same goal, the family, that is what counts. We all love each and we are on the same side, that is the basic denominator. I’ve also never had to deal with an issue such as infidelity in my marriage so I can’t say how I would respond to that challenge. I won’t even try to surmise, you never know until you are in that dreadful moment.

Overall, I think the ratio of 30/30/30 is an accurate measurement, since one is more than the sum of one’s genetics, nurture and nature play important roles in providing the foundation where one then furthers the process by the choices made and the experiences one lives through which makes you change, grow or stay the same. At the end, I think the personal choices become more influential when one is no longer under parental care and one knows themselves.