What makes a person a character--it’s everything they’ve ever been exposed to. Debatable, surely, but it’s a topic I’ve thought a decent amount on in my short time of life thus far, and the statement sounded rather excellent; I’ll keep it. To be less sketchy and more structured, a person is molded by their environment, the surrounding people and/or creatures, and their own from-birth form.

Does the single, miniscule crumb that fell off of the boy’s cake into the pond without his noticing impact the boy’s life? Does it assist in creating his character? With the philosophy “All is connected.” or “All is one. One is me.” then yes. That crumb would disintegrate into the pond water; adding the tiniest, teensiest, possibly immeasurable bit more density--matter--water--whatever it would become (I failed science.). One could argue that if that addition was so small--immeasurable--then no, the crumb anecdote does not qualify for the philosphy used.

Yet even the mightiest river was once but a trickle.

Which is a quote from Disney’s Pocahontas and also cues this admittance; I have digressed.

On to what makes me; myself, who I am. It is not often that there is a single point of change; a decision of yourself you have no choice in; not how I view things. (Leaving room for others of a different opinion.) At this exact moment in time as I type this, I can’t even think of one. So let’s begin with the five boxes.

One; environment. I have never had a “hometown”. The longest I’ve lived in a single place was five years--the first five years of my life and that was in Virginia Beach. Then, for about a year, it was Virginia Alexandria. Following that, my mom decided she’d had it with Father and moved my sister, herself, and myself across the country to Lancaster, California. That lasted a year then the family reunited for two and a half years in Oahu, Hawaii; specifically Pearl Harbor, followed by a return to the mainland in Silverdale, Washington. Two years later it was Kennewick, Washington; what was supposed to be the final resting place. Dad is still there while the ladies of the house are here in Bend--where we shall remain.

Those moves were the results of my daddy the Naval Captain. They certainly impacted me in that I’m accustomed to new places--a fun oxymoron, I think--and no doubt assisted in a superior side of myself. Beyond just places of dwelling, however, I like to think of the world as my hometown if I could be allowed to have one at so late at a time. My environment extends beyond my foolhardy but useless father, my moody and needy mother, and it better be more than what I am truly regretful to call my sister. I spent a lot of time--spend a lot of time--connecting. Tuning in on the world, learning to understand. At this point in time I have no philosophy; I am purely neutral on nearly everything. Which is extremely hard sometimes, neutrality is, but I’m trying hard right now. That’s because the only thing I’m really sure of is that being sure of things, completely sure, can end in you being wrong.

My environment, this little world you’re in with me too, has such an impact I find it absurd to have to write this. That’s why I’m being so sketchy; to keep my sanity--but also because this is true and relevant and fits in just enough to...fit. With that lovely demonstration of writing prowess, let’s move on to box number two.

Which is family. I’ve mentioned my immediates already, but not so much how they’ve really affected me. I can’t say I particularly want to either, so prepare yourself and we’ll see how Box Two forms in writing.

Mom is half Korean, making me a quarter--thus she uses a knife and fork sensibly unlike most of the United States. I didn’t realize how others were doing it; I just did what mother did. Dad does it like an American. The difference is; fork in your dominant hand, cut with the other. That way the cut food is already stabbed and ready to pop into the pie hole. Sounds obvious. That’s mom’s tactic. Let’s take a look at dad’s. Cut with your dominant hand, holding whatever it is you’re cutting with the other (And fork. In case you didn’t catch that. This goes for mom’s strategy as well.). Once cut, switch hands so you can eat with your dominant. Switch hands. How incredibly inconvenient.

Why is that relevant? Give me a moment and I’ll come up with something. * Alright, it’s not really--only that it sort of expresses a somewhat relevant difference between my parents. My mom I find to be sensible in an obvious way; she’s for bombs, the death penalty, and pins her hope in life on winning the lottery. My dad is a blob of contradictions--foolish when it comes to his family, a genius in practical life; just not with cutting steak. In which he fails.

Family is supposedly a very precious thing in that they love unconditionally. It’s not always true--absolutely, I know, come on. What I’m saying is that, I think that idea is kind of stupid. You should earn love. Then there’s the immediate argument that...”should” is irrelevant; the parents are gonna love the kids. Well, I’m all for breaking natural laws; I love it, bring it on. Physics? Screw physics! I really got off-topic there.

Next on the agenda is friends. OK. As of now, I’m trying my best to be a loner. This is a challenge because, against my will, I happen to be a people person. In all my previous places of dwelling, I took a year to settle and by the second, I was a popular kid. A friend of mine who I ultimately betrayed, a developement that will stay with me forever I think, once described my social status as beyond a butterfly--I was an eagle. Which I laughed at and denied while most likely whole-heartedly believing. I say “most likely” because it was a few years ago and I can’t be certain of my thoughts, but whatever they were, I was a social eagle. And I knew it.

Now, as to why a so-called social eagle would struggle to be friendless... It’s certainly not unheard of--not even unique make no mistakes--but here’s the reason. Friends are troublesome. You get attached and they become something you must stay loyal to, support, be truthful to, and will sacrifice for. That’s what I think. Of course, as a social eagle I had the back-up friends and even after I left my area of rank Eagle and was trying out the loner thing for the first time, I made some attachments to linger around so I wouldn’t look like a loser. Currently, I’m having an awesome time without having to deal with friends but for the internet.

I get a lot of that, “Don’t give out your name! You aren’t posting photos of yourself, are you? You can’t trust people online. Never meet them!” Which is all good and fine, it’s not a bother and I don’t object really either. However. Nothing can change the definite, positive effects the people I have met online have had on me. I don’t know where to begin with the internet and my friends there. Records of shame, regret, and my mistakes are floating out there. As are my realizations, my decisions, and, basically, my life.

Regarding the world-favorite warning of, “People online may not be who they say they are.” there’s an easy answer to that, I’ve found. It is; what does it matter? A brilliant, infuriating guy I met online who challenged me, drove me crazy, preached way too much... Supposedly he’s like, eighteen, has a ponytail and wears shades all the time for his sensitive eyes. One could tell me he’s lying to me and that he’s really a forty-seven year woman typing on a laptop in the men’s restroom of Consolidated Industries...with a snaggle-tooth. With lipstick on it. Completely irrelevant! That woman is still that guy. If it’s a roleplay; okay, roleplays rock. I have extensive experience; bring it on. Her character is my friend.

On preferring online friends to IRL (In real life) friends then... Well... About that guy... I have blocked him. I was running out of things to say, he was too far ahead of me and I wanted to be able to challenge him. We had an Endgame and as I prepared to leave, he demanded more than the epilogue I promised. He wanted a sequel to our story. IRL; you really can’t do that! I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. Why is that? Call me racist but it’s interwebz versus IRL and internet folk know the internet; know the languages. I speak sincere. IRL folk couldn’t if they tried. This is all personal experiences, mind you; the people I’ve been friends with. Upon being inducted to the interwebz, I gained an entirely new perspective. I don’t know what to say about the internet. There’s too much.

Here’s something relevant to this essay and this box. I’m a lonely person. I’m used to company, someone who would stick by me if I called and still be there even if I then proceeded to ignore them--because that’s how it was. I remember reading for the first time this incredible manga by Natsuki Takaya, “Fruits Basket”. In it, one of the characters--well, most of them but one in particular--really struggled with loneliness. I couldn’t even comprehend the word. It sounded extremely attractive in that mysterious, brooding way. I’ve always been excellent at imagining situations foreign to my own; as a kid I would practice what it would feel like to be wounded--try to hone in on it. Not the physical sensation of pain, I knew it wasn’t something I could just imagine; but the mentality of being in a position of brutal injury. As a kid, I didn’t try anything like loneliness; death, sure, but I didn’t know what that meant either. Which is fine; it’s good. If I did... Well.

Anyway, as I was saying. During a big transition in my life--I changed myself massively and nearly killed myself in the process--I wanted to be alone. More than that, I wanted to be lonely. I’m not sure if I was. It’s all kind of a blur. I wanted a blur so that worked anyway. (I am proud it did too.) Yeah, I don’t think I really became lonely until Bend. Now I wonder occasionally; do I still want this, or do I just want to be alone? Which I think I could do if I tried hard. I’m almost sure of it. Which one, who knows loneliness, may gawk at; if they know the pain, they might know it’s not something to be wanted. That’s what someone who doesn’t know loneliness would think. Did you follow that? I can only be so detailed here, some things aren’t relevant to this paper. Oh--I remember why I brought this up.

That old thing, “Lonely in a crowd”. Agh, this is lame. Yes, I laughed at that. Even not understanding it, I wasn’t one to laugh at something like that because I knew it might be something I could learn. No reason for laughing; it’s not relevant. Well, surprise, I understand. The internet is a very lonely place. More people than one person could ever interact with, trillions of images, each worth a lifetime of words, a world of information and warring factions, legends, memes, even snuff films. (They’re not urban legends. That’s one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard! But that’s another topic.) And still...nothing.

It’s better than friends, though. I tried it out, and I wasn’t wrong.

Now we’ll move on to school as an effect to my character. We’ll start at second grade; huge imapct there. It was a private Christian school. Scared all sense out of me. I’m an atheist now. Religion was a big thing for me; it sprung depression, terror, the suicide thing, rage, and did I mention the terror? Yet leaving my god was one of the hardest things I’ve yet to do. Understandable, of course, but I thought I’d mention it. Now let’s skip to sixth grade--I was in elementary school, it was that sort of sensible district and that was my year of the Eagle. The best friends I’ve ever had--the kind of friends I never want again--a level of confidence that just makes me chuckle like an idiot, distinguished old man now, and overall the happiest time of my life. When I moved, that was when everything changed. I don’t regret it all; I dread to think who I would be had I stayed. When I was there, I was on top of the world. When I left, I was destroyed as a twelve-year old girl can be when separated from the dream. As such, I became hugely destructive and may still be suffering--or maybe benefiting. The fact that I can’t tell may say something but I don’t know what. Now I’m detached. I think I should loathe writing this essay but I don’t. That may be scary. But I can’t tell.

Summit is pristine. It distracts me from internet so it’s a nuisance.

Last box is “moves”. Which we’ve already done, and I think I’ve written enough to qualify for some passing grade, so...

To end this horrendible thing I possibly should have just skipped and accepted an “F”.... What makes my person a character; my environment, my family, my friends, my schools, and my moves. Boo-yah.