We Are a Mosaic of Everyone We've Ever Loved

A composition of colorful, jagged fragments.

Fatimah Alayafi
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
6 min readJan 31, 2021


Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.” — Chuck Palahniuk

This quote completely resonates with me.

Indeed, nothing within is original.

We’ve inherited everything that defines us as individuals. Our genetic makeup partially determines a great deal of who we are; the rest derives from our interactions with others and our environment.

Yet the combination of these traits is what makes each person unique.

I also like to think of people as unfinished art pieces.

Each person is characterized by their very own mix of colors, shapes, and textures. Composed of the bits and pieces people leave within us, we are very much a work in progress, with new parts being added as we go through life.

I perceive myself as a huge, vibrant, and colorful mosaic.

Formed by hundreds of small squares, each representing a memory left by someone who managed to leave their imprint on my heart. An artistic expression portraying the complexity of my inner self, endlessly expanding as my journey continues.

I enjoy being shaped by people, emotions, and life experiences.

Mom & Dad

Your parents (or primary caregivers) had the largest and most significant impact on the person you are today.

Our self-esteem is greatly influenced by how they treated us as children. Either making or breaking us, at times creating deeply embedded wounds that are carried into adulthood. Yet we must remember that much of these were unhealed distortions, unconscious beliefs, and projections our parents carried from their very own upbringing.

Many behavioral patterns are linked to what we observed during childhood. Our subconscious minds were flooded with a range of beneficial and detrimental beliefs on a range of subjects.

A myriad of mental illnesses and personality disorders can also be traced down to how we related to our caregivers during our first years of life.



Fatimah Alayafi
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Third culture kid | Unconventional life story | Creative overthinker | Writes on life experiences, psych, travel & human nature | Twitter: @fatimah_alayafi