Miss Maps - Who - by Anika Mikkelson - www.MissMaps.com - Merida Venezuela

Who Do You Want to Be? Answering Life’s Most Important Question

In September 2008 I was in my final undergraduate semester at The University of Minnesota. I’d just returned from two months studying in Venezuela and felt a particular inspiration from a Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature class… a subject which had little to no relation to my Mathematics Education major.
Yet eight years later, several components of this class continue to have the strongest link to my present being. One, a study I completed during the class with a focus on of the Karen People of Burma. Another, an inward reflection as an answer to the impossible question: Who do you want to be?

I recently came across a paper I’d submitted and am sharing it as a way to show the transformative side of life, and particularly of a life influenced by travel.

Who do I want to be for the rest of my life? It’s an important question for all of us to ask ourselves, and its answers are limitless. Many of us are already being and doing many of our ideals, and that is a wonderful thing. That is comfort.
We can be thankful for the comfort and simultaneously aim for more “Who I want to Be”s hidden deep inside us. Listen to the answers. They will come when you let them!

Here’s my answer, circa 2008.
If you asked me now, my answer would be… just the same.

I want to be…

An actress, adventurous, an animal lover, an antiquer, an architect, an argument-maker, an aunt, all-knowing, articulate, a baker, beautiful, believed, a believer, a best friend, a biker, a bird watcher, a bride, a bridesmaid, a calculator, a camper, cared for, care-free, a caregiver, caring, a cliff jumper, a coach, a coffee drinker, a collector, comfortable, comforted, comforting, content, a cook, a counselor, a cousin, crazy, creative, a crier, a daughter, a decorator, dedicated, a designer, determined, a dog walker, a do-gooder, a dreamer, driven, educated, an editor, encouraging, expressive, a fashionista, fearless, a first responder, a fixer, a flower picker, a fluent Spanish speaker, focused, fun, genuine, giving, a friend, a game player, a garage-saler, a genius, a go-to, a granddaughter, a healer, healthy, a hiker, a homeowner, invisible, kind, a laugher, likeable, a listener, a local, loved, loving, a lover, a manicurist, me, a mentor, a minority, a mother, a nanny, needed, a niece, noticeable, oblivious, open-minded, organized, outgoing, an Ozzonna, a painter, a party planner, a peace maker, a pen pal, a pet owner, a photographer, positive, a principal, proud, punctual, a reader, recognized, remembered, a role model, a runner, a S.A.F.R.A.S., selfish, selfless, serious, smart, a sewer, a singer, a sister, a sky diver, smiley, supported, supportive, sweet, a swimmer, a talker, a taxi driver, a teacher, thought of, thoughtful, a threat, a thrill seeker, a translator, a tree hugger, a trend setter, uncomfortable, understanding, understood, unsuspecting, a victim, visible, waited on, wanted, a wife, a wisher, a witness, witty, a world traveler, a writer.

…I want to be.

Taken from the skies of Venezuela - by Anika Mikkelson - Miss Maps www.MissMaps.com
Taken from the skies of Venezuela – June 2008 – by Anika Mikkelson – Miss Maps http://www.MissMaps.com


Back in 2008 when this was written, I had no inclination that within eight years I would have traveled through over 70 countries, or that I’d be writing this blog from Burma. At the time, I’d been to only one country outside of North America!

Since then, several of these ideas have become truths. Several have been set on the back burner, and others have been discarded. Still, every one acts as an all-seeing window directed toward various aspects of life.

With this I encourage you to wonder…

WHO do you want to be?
and with that…
What can you do to get yourself there?
What WILL you do to get yourself where you belong?
Write, think, reflect – and share some thoughts below!
I’d love to know what goes on in those marvelous minds of yours!


2 thoughts on “Who Do You Want to Be? Answering Life’s Most Important Question

  1. Such an inspiring post, Anika! Your drive and sense of who you are is so impressive that even back in 2008 you knew who you wanted to be. I seem to be completely the opposite – still figuring out who I am, let alone who I want to be.


    1. Jess, thank you so much! At the time, I didn’t know how true all these thoughts would remain! I merely wrote them down and found them a few months ago. Give it a go! Force yourself to write down whatever comes to mind!

      Liked by 1 person

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