SMALL TOWN, BIG IDEAS
Carl Scheidler | Print Operator | Be You-nique
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
Growing up in Cadott, WI everybody knows everybody. Small-town Wisconsin has a very wholesome and warm feeling when it comes to mind. Since everyone knows each other, everyone is very caring and for the most part very friendly. One thing I struggled with though is finding my individuality. There is some sort of unintentional expectation to follow a made-up guideline and “fit the mold”. I was doing things that weren’t necessarily making me happy but things that were making me fit into this mold of what’s expected and as a kid, all you want to do is fit in. Whether it was the sports I played, the classes I took, or even the music I listened to, the hobbies I had were chosen based on what I thought others would accept. Eventually, I realized how unfulfilled and unhappy I was becoming because I wasn’t being true to my own self and interests.
Fast forward to my first job which got me outside of my hometown and introduced me to a whole different group of people. Instead of feeling judged for my interests, these people thought they were fascinating and we embraced each other’s differences and individuality. I slowly realized I didn’t need to do things for other people’s validation and could do things for my own happiness and without fear of judgment. I was really able to grow as a person and figure out what I liked and who I was. I decided to quit all the sports I was in, joined a competitive co-ed volleyball league, and played for over three years. I had a great passion for music and was able to perform in multiple musicals and theater pieces, along with many comedy skits and talent shows. I started doing photography and joined a news writing class where we created and designed our high school yearbooks. I attended many different concerts with a wide variety of genres and even dyed my hair.
These adventures all brought many new friends into my life and some of those people I now consider family. All of the things that make me who I am are what brought all of my friends into my life and gave me all of the experiences I’ve had. Showing me that if you stay true to yourself and do the things you love, happiness will follow with lifelong friends and memories.
“You are you. Now isn’t that pleasant?” -Dr. Suess
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