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The question, "Who am I?" is difficult to answer. There are so many aspects that can make a person for who they are, and yet there are only a few that stands out to complete them. For me, those are my four favorite hobbies: writing poetry, acrylic painting, traveling, and listening to music. With all of these combined together, it has made my life a little bit easier and has allowed me to be the better person that I am today. But of course, just stating those hobbies does not truly answer who Virginia Thuy Tran really is. And that answer can not be simply found on some birth certificate, a social security number, or a driver's license. It is just only the matter of the heart and sole of the person.
The first hobby that shaped me for who I am today, is my love for writing poetry. Writing poetry, was a source of my own self-reflection on paper, and sometimes it even told stories of my life learned lessons. Even if I was the only one who tended to be interested in my own writings, it will never make me stop from sharing what I recall "my works of art". Writing for me, is a way to release my feelings, and express those special or heart wrenching moments. I found that it was clearly easier to connect from given a simple translation of my ideas. Normally, it does not take me to wait for a theme to get started. I just let my pen glide and away a poem begins! After awhile, I would stop and read over what I have written so far, and soon I will examine a motif! But variably does that happen! Yet, I have noticed that writing interprets who a person is, and deciphers their bottled up moments. One example, was when I was published in a poetry book called, "Great Poems of the Western World" by: Lavender Aurora. Another example, was when Teen Ink Magazine wanted to publish my poem, "Last Memory" to their magazine website! I was very astonished about my two published works! My close family and friends have always told me how much of a good poet I was, but never did I thought it would be something to be recognized for. Having my poems issued gave me the self confidence I needed and made me pleased to know that there were people out there who enjoyed my creations! A third example on how writing poetry has effected me, is how much more I learned about myself from the knowledge and experience that I grasped. Constant writing can channel to improve on how we are able to express oneself efficiently. Whenever I write, it gives me another puzzle piece to expose my character. It amazes me how much a person can seek through mountains of poems, no matter how teenage-ish I tend to be. But it is not that I worry about trying to know who I am at every second, because as I grow older in life I will soon figure it out.
My second hobby is acrylic painting. Painting was a great way for me to show my artistic abilities in life! As a young child, I would play with my paint set more than my stuffed animals. I was always willing to experience and look up to my main influences: Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. With painting, it has let me be my own advocate and create myself to a bigger person. It is nearly as apparent to take another person's ideas and make it into our own, but when we try to mirror ourselves and thoughts into a picture, is the reason of why I paint. When a person first paints onto a canvas, it is like they are opening the door to make the many blown away. This is really what painting does for me, it lets me stimulate to my audience into seeing what I see in a whole other dimension. Acrylic painting was being taught from dad to me, and is one of the reasons of how I became closer to him. One of the few passions my dad has in life is painting,
and as a result, I wanted to be a part of sharing that passion. Together as father and daughter, painting has made us one step closer into being good friends. Now, I declare myself as being a daddy's girl and it makes me proud that this hobby is something that we can both enjoy. By my dad sharing his background on artwork, it is has altered me to find my own type of art style, which is Pop Art. My artistic talents has lead me to my last example, that is having the chance to be in some high school art shows! During my freshman and junior year in high school, my works have been entered into two district wide art contests for money and scholarships. Although I was never awarded for both years, it does not give me a let down at all. In fact, I was glad to have a mark of myself out there and was accepted. One thing that I will always have in mind, is that our own visual experience is something that can go farther, deeper, and richer into life. Art has shown me, that even when we make a slight mistake it can assume that it is a benefit of separating ourselves from other artists. What makes us into an artist, is when we tend to paint freely only to observe with our eyes of what we have done, we spring back with our brush to realize we had began something so sensual and magical. In addition, to comprehend the activity of acrylic painting is to sense its thrill and appreciate the moment that we are turning our day dreams to life.
Traveling is the third hobby that I completely admire because I am adventurous! This hobby can be very rewarding in terms of meeting new people, getting enlightened with different cultures, and eating some of the tastiest foods of America. My traveling is usually based on what my own activities of interests are! With each and every place and that I visit, I attain something new and becomes a part of my education. As my hobby of traveling, it changed my life when I got the opportunity to go to Vietnam and visit my ninety two year old grandmother for the first
time! For so many years, I have longed to find out what she was like. Every year I would hear stories of how strong she was as a person and still is today, just a healthy lady with a young heart. Since I was born, I had only knew my dad's mother, because both of my grandfather's have been dead in my parent's teen years. The only person missing in the picture, was my mom's mother. But considering that she is so far away, I had a dream that one day I would see her. Soon enough, I finally paid the visit! By then there were no more looking at pictures of my mystery grandmother, no more of wondering who she is, and no more of wishing that grandma would be here right next to me saying that I am Virginia, her grandchild! For those couple of weeks, it was as if my dream has turned into reality and I was ecstatic to have witnessed my ba ngoai; grandma. Also another factor to traveling, was that it was a reason to keep me preoccupied on my leisure time! When approaching a new environment that you have read about or not, it surprises a person and as a result, keeps our enthusiasm alive and revitalize the ongoing journey.
Furthermore, I travel in order to challenge myself to other people's way of living and conquer being at one of the most famous sitings, like going up nine hundred steps at one of Vietnam's biggest caves, Dong Phong Nha with having a heart defect with breathing.
Besides my three mentioned hobbies, there is listening to music! By far, this is actually my favorite hobby, because it runs in my daily life. I have grown up with listening to a variety of genres: country, folk, jazz, blues, rock, screamo, techno, rock and roll, and classical music. It is hard to say which one would be my preferred genre, but if I had to choose it would be rock! Music is everywhere around us, from that Ipod that we own, to the radio station of 99.7 FM, or from the movies we watch in the theaters. Our society have carried out music to so many stages, that I just can not get enough of its madness. Music is not something that is really tangible, but
its composition is what makes our ears appeal to it! Through the lines of music, it seems as if life is so much more beautiful. Listening to music was a way to express my own personality and be in my own serenity. By the types of songs that I listened to, it told my friends and family what my interests were. When I am sad, I can always listen to a uplifting song to get my feet right back on the ground. The majority of the time, it keeps me calm and away from my problems. Just slipping on my headphones, automatically shields on what goes on around me and my mind drifts away into a relaxing day dream. At times, it assists me into feeling like my normal self when stressed. Another reason for listening to music, is that in influences my style. For example, during my middle school years all I ever listened to was rock and metal music. Therefore, my stereotype back then was a goth. Now these days, I rarely follow through with stereotypes and I am just whoever I want to be at any given moment. It is my favorite bands are the ones who influence me for the way I dress or think. Commonly, this is because when there are those who listen certain music, they tend to have similar values as the artists. Therefore, they will dress the same way and it is also a way of distinguishing others the same way to communicate with having the same interests of tastes or values. The last example of how listening to music moves me, is that it has made me become an artist myself. I started to compose my own songs when I was about fourteen years old. Writing my own lyrics and performing them at family gatherings, birthdays, and friend outings was always a treat! Singing my songs, were special since they were coming from the dept of my heart and are about my everyday life. Moreover, music is a subject that validates the struggles, a start of a new love, days of a teenager's life, or common issue factors that a person can relate too.
In conclusion, the answer to the "Who am I" question have been summed up by my four
hobbies: writing poetry, acrylic painting, traveling, and listening to music. A quote that I like is, "Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto" (Carnegie, Dale). This is valid and explains of why I do the hobbies I do in my life. When a person first gets into a hobby and experience it, they never want to pause doing it because it becomes a purpose into their life. So again, who am I?; it is Virginia Thuy Tran!