Monday, March 16, 2015

Who Are We

DNA is an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleicantidisestablishmentarianism, a complex string of syllables.” - Dave Barry

After watching various episodes of a television show named Who Do You Think You Are? on the NBC network, I was convinced to get my DNA tested. A search into the smallest of particles that make up who I am was intriguing to me. The website has a link for DNA testing which is rather simple to take, but complicated in the science of how it is looked at.

I had no preconceived notions about getting a nicely packaged history of my family such as the television program depicted. Having watched my mother research our genealogy for a number of years and having done so myself, it can be very difficult. It takes time, money, patience and lots of investigation. But it can be very rewarding when you find that one document which has a name on it. Honestly, it is an exciting moment to find a name on a U.S. Census from 1880, knowing it is a connection to your past.

My particular DNA test gave me a bit more information about my past, but more importantly it documented who I am for future generations. One day I will be in the same category as my current day ancestors. Heck, I am a parent so therefore I am technically an ancestor already. But this DNA test was able to tell me even more.

- Did it confirm things I have believed about my ancestors?
- Did it reveal something totally unexpected?
- Did it create a connection to people I would never have thought possible?

The unknown is quite exciting as opposed to being worried.

Some people asked me, "What if you find out something horrible?" My answer was "Okay, no problem, I'll deal with it." Finding out about the unknown can actually open new possibility. It can open new doors and put to rest that which we carried for years. The unknown has changed lives. My expectation was to let it reveal itself as another piece to the puzzle of my life.

It fills in the story of who I was for my children and generations to come.

Sounds a bit self important and it is not meant to be. Finding out about the unknown helps us learn more about who we are. If we can figure it out while living can help us achieve more in that life. Facing our fears of the unknown also helps us take one more step in overcoming obstacles in life.

We can't live in fear of the unknown.

We may not like what we find, we may be overjoyed by what we find. Either way, the tiniest parts of our life will have as much impact as the largest parts. DNA could stand for "Do Not Ask", but I choose to ask who I am. Let the smallest pieces of you reveal something about your life. They are there for the asking and may reveal the very thing you have been searching for.

Stay inspired my friends.

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