Do you ever wonder how your parents’ genes configured you?

Eliza - Minneapolis,, Minnesota
Entered on February 10, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

Do you ever wonder how your parent’s genes configured and came up with the weird/unique/odd personality and body of you? Some things are passed down, some learned by example and perception, other traits are just so opposite of your parents you wonder where did they come from?

Personally, I am a lot alike my parents. As much as I do not want to admit it; but as I grow older and they grow older, I perceive their unique actions and match them with my own. For example, my dad is an avid talker to strangers. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, store clerks, servers, passer-bys. It can turn horribly embarrassing, and yet I do it too.

Is this ability to converse with strangers inside, or learned from years of exposure? Some things I know are innate. Such as, my love for art and creativity. From two creative parents, it’s an obvious trait. My two older brothers and I are creative, bright children, although in very different ways. Some things, like my ability to express myself through writing, is not one of my parents’ strong suits. Alex definitely received my dad’s ear for music, and Sam my mom’s draftsmanship skills. Me, I enjoy music, as well as drawing. But I find writing to be most fluid, easy, and recognizable for me. Even though I am the youngest, I have always felt I was in the middle, equal parts of everything. I consider myself a “Renaissance man”. Or woman. But I understand history for what it is.

Some behaviors are learned, and I especially recognize them in my interactions with others. I treat others the way my parents treated each other. That I know is not born into you. Some of them I do not like. I wish I did not treat others those ways. I can be manipulative, condemning. Superficial and judgmental. I fear showing my emotions, confrontation, and writing, achievement. I can only name one person to whom I can hug, cry to, be critiqued by, and who I strive to live up to their expectations; I like to think of him as my partner in crime. Even my best friend of six years I cannot confront. Even though we made a pact to be stronger, I have yet to improve I know. Though I can see she has.

Learning goes both ways, and of course my parents taught me to be a good person, recycle, the golden rules, and kick someone when they are treating you like crap. I might have just learned that last part on my own, but they never told me not to. Their parenting might seem weird, overbearing, and obnoxious to some [and me while growing up]. It does not mean I did not learn about karma, charity, integrity, and the importance of intelligence and thus intelligent decisions.