There is that old saying “you are a product of your environment” so I thought I’d sit down and work out that phrase for myself. I came up with something quite surprising after awhile and though it’s more than likely not the rationalization that most would take when considering that phrase I think it explains my relationship with my hometown pretty well.
Like Youngstown, I grew up with traditional ideals and it was these old school ideals that helped foster a strong foundation for growth.
This early growth was a golden age for Youngstown as the steel industry drove the city’s expansion into the mid 20th century. Likewise, my growth led me to an expansion of my own, an expansion of my education and the discovery of my love of learning.
Then as things often do there was change. Change to Youngstown brought the steel mills to an end sending Youngstown searching for a new identity. Similarly, I was dealt a sudden change, which then sent me on a path of reinvention for a new career.
And just like Youngstown, which in recent years has emerged as a great city to start a business and has gained a reinvigorated downtown, I have a found a niche for my colorful skill set.
So you see I, like my city, was able to adapt to the changes and perhaps came out better for it. (Though, I’m not old enough to know what Youngstown was like during the Steel Town days, I’m told it’s much cleaner now. Similarly, I think my reinvention has led me down a path where I have the opportunity to make a big difference.)
The correlations don’t stop there. Youngstown to the passerby wouldn’t exactly give off the vibe of a grand city, it like many other Rust Belt cities is more likely to present the rustic facade of a city that had a beautiful past. That’s where you’d be wrong because within the confines of that rusty city lies a green oasis that few other cities can rival, Mill Creek Park.
I myself at first glance won’t remind you of Zac Efron but if you take the time to get to know me I’d argue I’m pretty awesome. Between the hilarity, I provide both intentionally and unintentionally and my awkward but friendly demeanor I’m a handsome gentleman in my own right.
It’s really uncanny how well we match up, Youngstown and I, it truly seems like it’s meant to be my hometown.