We live in a town where the opportunity to prosper is abundant. But to what cost? For me, living in our small town has had its ups and downs. I think you can have that everywhere you live, but in a town where wealth is almost shined in your face with every turn, it’s intimidating.
This town is the smallest, most populated county. It also is home to some of the most well-off people. Now, there are still demographics of individuals who fall in line of being your median family and those below it, but when attending a school with Mercedes Benz filling a parking lot, it’s sometimes hard to see that other side.
Over the years I have seen the effects of living in this bubble our little town has created for us. We are sheltered from the realities of the rest of the world. Many of us have found a way to expand that said bubble into areas that could pop it, but it somehow never pops completely. We have parent’s that will do anything to protect our ‘reputations’, or our families reputations. We drive cars that we really don’t need. Yet, we have these materialistic things and shields because the society we live in says you need to keep up with those around you.
Everyone looks the same. Maybe that’s because we dress alike or because a select few stores are at our disposal, but maybe it’s also because we say that’s how it has to be. I don’t know how many girls you could pass in the hallway and mistake them for one you just saw. Or pass a guy in the hallway and wonder why ‘all’ their shorts seem to be getting shorter. We are mere images of the person next to us (literally and figuratively), because we have been groomed to fit into this mold of what’s “cool” and “popular”. We attend school and are told to expand our imaginations in order to reach our wildest dreams, yet we once again are all the same. We all are pushed to take higher courses. We all are pushed to be athletes. We all are pushed to stick to the mold: a mold of higher placement, a mold of advancement. We may be different from others around, but we are very similar to those we surround ourselves with on a daily basis.
I think your community can define you in two different ways. It can either define you completely: you can act, talk, dress, and presume to be like everyone else. Its comfortable: it’s what you have known your whole life. It can cause you to like what you see and hear so much that you copy it in hopes to perfect a facade of what is deemed appropriate. Or it can make you the complete opposite: you can walk differently, you can look at things differently, and you can strive to be different from everyone around you. It can make you see what you don’t want to be, it can give you an idea of what you hope to achieve. It can give you the drive to keep searching for your identity. The community you grow up in can either define you, or it can cause you to search for the power to define yourself.
So I suppose the place you grow up has extreme power over who you are in life. But it’s not so much the place in itself, but the people apart of the civilization you find yourself surrounded with. Some let the people apart of their community define them, others choose to define themselves. It’s our decision to choose which route we take and which roots we grow.