Rethinking My Own Identity: An Introduction

For those who have made it this far on my blog and are still not sure, welcome to my blog. I’m Jenna deBoth and I have decided to change up my mindset. Throughout University, I have started to realize that I was very sheltered growing up. By this, I am referring to lack of experiences I had to self-determine my identity. Being a child in a small town meant that I followed in the beliefs and values of my parents. Not until I came to Regina was I submerged with various different and unique ideologies and perspectives.

My parents have always followed a fairly conservative christian belief system. When I was young, we regularly went to church and took part in various fellowship activities. As I started to get involved in extracurricular activities, I started to choose friends and dance class over attending church on Sunday Afternoons. My parents were very accepting of this as they wanted me to figure out where I fit into the world. Due to this, I started to pull away from our local Lutheran Church. I always felt that something would take its place, but throughout high school, nothing ever did. To make matters more interesting, during this time, I started to go through coming of age and trying to figure out what my place in the world is. In the chaotic blur of adolescence, I did not worry about have a religious belief so for a long time I often forgot about thinking about my were.

In the beginning of University, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people at the University in comparison to my small town high school, this caused me to revert to staying in my room and away from others. By second semester, I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and start to connect with people around me. I pursued a group on campus that got me involved in volunteer experiences. This opened my eyes to the number of different perspectives that existed in the world. Around the end of my 2nd year of University, I realized that I needed to figure out where I fit into our world. In theory, this realization was the true beginning of my search for my spot in the world.

Now, I want to clarify a few things. First, I have always been someone who has wanted to be a teacher and share my love of learning with the world. I realize that the explanation above could be interpreted as I had no motivation in life, but this is not the case. Basically, if you thought about my life as a puzzle, at the end of second year university, I was a 3/4 completed puzzle, but the rest of the puzzle pieces were missing from the box. The second point I wanted to clarify is that I know many people who know me would not believe it, but yes, at one point in my life (for about 6 months, but who’s counting…) I was an introvert and avoided people and interactions.

So, if you have stuck with me this far in this post, you might be wondering what values and beliefs of the past have to do with changing my mindset. Please, let me take a moment to explain.

Since the end of my second year of University, I have explicitly been exposed to information about Indigenous peoples in Canada. I had the opportunity to be a part of a Treaty Education workshop, along with my fellow classmates. On top of that, I took on a responsibility to not only learn about residential school experiences, but also I trained and eventually facilitated Witness Blanket experiences with various groups of school ages youth. Learning about Indigenous perspectives and worldview has become of great interest for me.

In the recent weeks, I have realized that I have a strong interest in these topics because I strongly relate to this worldview. I strongly believe that the world is interconnected and when something happens it causes a reaction. Growing up with a mother who works as a counselor, I have a strong respect for the four parts of health and I can always tell when one part of my self is lacking and how that affects me as a whole. I want to learn more about this perspective in hopes that it will be able to fill a part of that void in my understanding where my beliefs and values fit into the world.

For now, I leave you with this. I have realized that in order to make a change in your life or truly understand who you are, you must make a deliberate decision to try new things, expose yourself to new experiences to help yourself learn and grow. I look forward to learning more about my classmates, treaty education, indigenous perspectives and myself during this semester.

Until next time,

Jenna

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