This I Believe

Haley - Brewster, Washington
Entered on October 30, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

You Can’t Choose Where You’re Planted, You Just Have To Grow.

Growing up in a small town, I’ve always been used to the friendly “everybody knows everyone,” atmosphere. I remember going on drives up in the mountains with my dad and every time someone would drive by, he’d wave. “Who’s that…who’s that?” I’d pester him. “I don’t know.” Then of course I’d always ask him why he waved if he didn’t know them. “Just being polite.” Now when I drive, passengers ask me why I wave at people who I don’t know. “Just being polite.”

It’s so much different in the big city. People don’t do things just to be polite. You never really feel that friendly warmth walking down the streets of Seattle or St. Louis. That’s okay with me, because that’s what makes a small town special. Stopping for five or ten minutes in the middle of the grocery store just to make friendly conversation, lending a hand to someone in need even if you don’t know them well. There are so many little things that you can do, and you’ll never know how much it can actually mean to someone.

With a small town also comes drama. No secrets. You can’t make a mistake without it seeming like the whole world knows. However, it doesn’t always mean that good deeds are recognized. Sometimes it can be hard to handle everyone knowing your business, you wonder if life would be different in a bigger place. I often ask myself that question. Does where you grow up determine the type of person you will become?

To a point, I think it does. It effects your beliefs, attitude, social behavior, and many other qualities. But, when it really comes down to it, you are the only one who has the power to make a difference in yourself.

Even though living in a small town has its pros and cons, what doesn’t? Obstacles are a huge part of living life, and how you take on the challenges you are faced with show your true character. I believe that growing up here in Brewster has ultimately made me a better person. When I have my own family, I can only hope that they will have the same opportunitites that I’ve had, and even more happy memories.