Oh Yalei this is a tough one but I've accepted the challenge. I assume 'things that have defined my life' means people/things I have read or seen or heard or experienced that - (for lack of a better expression) made me who I am today.
1. My name
As strange as it may be 'Minna Pamela Gilligan' I have a real sense of loyalty for my name. I often wonder how different I would be if I were named Fiona or Simone. I feel like one's name is the single most defining thing in their life. We grow into our names, into the aura of everything the word encompasses or suggests.
2. A certain mix tape
My Mum had this ONE mix tape that she would play over and over in the car when I was young. The songs on it I have uploaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/?ubb00zv9v50mp I feel like this tape marked the beginning of my imagination, and an appreciation for imagery created through music - in particular, lyrics. At the age of 5 I knew all the words to these songs.
My first word was flower. I think I wrote about this here once before, but the significance of them in my life is incredible. My Dad is a garden designer and my Mum a florist so I suppose from when I was very little I was trained to notice not only the beauty of plants, but the health, the placement, the aesthetic qualities. It was all about nurturing, watering, caring, tending to. I would just adore to live in an old weatherboard house surrounded by an overgrown cottage garden with berries and flowers (probably much to my Dad's disgust and my Mum's delight)
4. Trip to America
When I was 16 I went to America with my parents. This trip was incredibly influential on me, I was made fully aware of art, of the existence of a wider world outside my little suburban haven. I saw New York, Los Angeles, Connecticut, Philadelphia and New Haven. I love America. It's a huge expanse of land encompassing everything and anything from restaurants called 'Nancy's Diner' to the most beautiful beach houses of the Hamptons and everything in between. I had a ball. I ate Oreos for breakfast and gave my pizza to a homeless man and saw my first Andy Warhol. I've never looked back.
5. Where I live.
I have lived in the one little town and the one little house for my whole life. This is weird and has definitely played a massive part in the kind of person I am and the kind of things that I want for myself in the future. Obviously I'm not going to tell you where I live on my blog but it's somewhere between suburbia and and rural fringes, about an hours north of Melbourne. I travel into the city everyday and I enjoy the city but I love having that distance from it. Coming home allows me to gather my thoughts and look at the stars. Thanks to my parents I live in a beautiful house with a beautiful garden that they designed and built all themselves.
Our little town has a population of 1460 people (just looked it up) a general store, Fire Station and a Train Station. That's it and that's why I like it.
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I suppose some of these choices are really all encompassing and essentially apply to everyone but it's hard to think of incredibly specific things that caused huge revelations. I often wonder if sudden revelations even exist or if they are just a result of a series of events and experiences that have gradually built up into an intense realization...? but I digress.