Carleigh - Millington, New Jersey
Entered on June 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in physical and mental existence. However, I am thoroughly perplexed by how this existence can be quantifies or proved. I know I have a physical body, and a mind that reasons and thinks, but I can not say I know why or how this has come to be.

This topic so engages me because I have recently hit a milestone in my life; I am eighteen, a legal adult. While being an adult has not morphed me or my life into anything vastly different, it has allowed me to reflect on the person that I am. If I have a mental existence than how have I defined myself? Or better yet, how have I let others define me?

While pondering who I have become in my eighteen years, I began to wonder about my beliefs and how much others have shaped me into the person I have become. I really began to realize that I was less of an individual than I thought when I had to decide where to go to college. I thought I was forging my own path, picking a place that fit the exact mold of who I was as a person.

As I heard others declare their choices of where they were heading off to in the fall, I always asked myself why I did not pick that schools they had chosen. There were scores of qualifiers that my college needed to have but I realized that many of these choices were influenced. Why had I not wanted to live in the city? While I have never loved the city, it was much more due to the fact that my parents went to college in the mid-west, and also said they would not give me enough spending money. I don’t look at the influence my parents have put on my as a bad thing, it is just an outside influence that I have decided to comply with whether it was knowingly or unknowingly so.

So, now I sit and think about what my core beliefs are, outside of any influence I have had. My so called “perfect fit” college probably would not be so perfect if I lived in a different family. My staunch opposition to the death penalty might be different if I had a relative brutally murdered. My belief in God might be wildly different if I was raised in a different religion. Acknowledging this fact that everything I am has been influenced by someone or something else to some extent has brought me to tears, yet it has thrilled me as well.

It is a scary thought to think that I am nothing of my own creation; however, I know that every influence I have had I have been able to choose and alter to define myself. I am here on this earth so my existence is real, and I am a thinking person so my mental existence is real. But my real self, my beliefs, and my definition as a person are still under construction, and will continue to be changed and altered until my existence on this earth is no more.