A couple of weeks ago during one of my introductory seminars, our lecturer went round all of us and asked us to tell the group our name, where we were from, and any fact about ourselves, or what we wanted to do with our degree. It was pretty standard really; people talking about their ambitions, why they're at uni, and what they want to get out of the course. I talked about how I want to go into publishing or teaching because I love both industries bla bla, you can imagine what everyone's responses were.
Then it got to one girl who told us her name, that she was from South Wales, and her fact about herself was that her boyfriend fences for England. Her boyfriend fences for England. Really? She doesn't fence for England, her boyfriend does. Her fact about herself was actually about her boyfriend. She is literally defining herself by her boyfriend's achievements. I don't care how much you love someone, how much you care about them, how much success they've had - you do not introduce yourself by talking about them. Because what does that say about you?
This girl is actually really, really intelligent. She knows all the answers, she grasps concepts we're taught before any of us do, she's always one step ahead. She's bubbly and funny and confident and charismatic, yet she defines herself by her boyfriend's success. First it kind of pissed me off, but then it made me sad. Like, I know it looks like I'm reading way too much into this - and perhaps it's really none of my business to comment on it - but I wanted her to talk about herself. I wanted her to show me and the rest of the seminar set that she actually has ambitions for herself and that she could talk about them. Because she can.
I don't really have a way to sum this up properly but I hope you can kind of see what I'm trying to say? In the least lame, least cheesy way possible, be proud of who you are and always present the best version of yourself to other people. That never has to involve defining yourself by someone else, be it their success, or what you are to them, or anything other than who you are individually.