I recently saw a video that was posted about my hometown, Enumclaw, WA. The video states that Enumclaw is amongst the rainiest cities in the United States. Alongside the fact that Enumclaw is essentially a shower 24/7, you get a small glimpse of the types of people that live there. Having grown up in Enumclaw and residing there all my life until August of 2014, I don’t personally see myself as those types of people. Not all people within a city are the same, but the majority of them in Enumclaw are farmer type individuals. It’s funny to get an outside look on my hometown because it’s a different perspective and interpretation than what I have. It makes me smile because I’m proud of where I came from. Just saying the name Enumclaw brings a flood of memories to my mind.
I came from Enumclaw and moved to Fresno for college. I had no idea what Fresno State would entail, nor did I imagine all the opportunities it would offer. I always saw myself as this small town kid who just flew under the radar throughout high school. Thinking about myself now, I have become so much more! I can’t personally see into the future, so almost everything I do surprises me, but when I amount it all, it’s shocking! I never imagined myself doing what I’m doing here in Fresno. Even in my last two years of high school I was becoming someone I had never seen in the mirror before. I took on challenges and utilized unique opportunities that were presented. During my time in high school, I was a student state officer for the WCTSMA (Washington Career and Technical Sports Medicine Association), I was accepted into CSU Fresno, I placed 2nd and 3rd place in the anatomy/physiology tests during the Spring Symposium in 2013 and 2014 for the WCTMSA. I carried that ambition with me to Fresno and I have expanded who I am even more so. I volunteer at the Meyers Family Sports Medicine Center, I’m president of the student organization United Student Pride, I received a scholarship, and I am an outreach coordinator for MY LGBT PLUS.
I don’t have a long list of titles or achievements to brag about, nor are they all astounding or prestigious. However, in my eyes and standards, I have surpassed my expectations exponentially. I am beginning to obtain and develop my own sense of self pride. Instead of comparing myself to others, I am owning who I am and what I can and have done. Just because people are created equally doesn’t mean that we are all meant to do the same things. We aren’t all meant to achieve the same heights. With that being said, who is to say that one’s achievements are any less valuable than another’s? I’ve learned to never compare yourself to another because you then lose all self-worth. Pride yourself in what you can do. Recognize yourself for all that you’ve accomplished, no matter the details. Even if you graduated high school, passed a class, got to bed on time, or did any ordinary chore etc. What matters is that you strive to push yourself.
To connect these two separate ideas, remembering where I came from helps me evaluate where I am now. Seeing the tiny city of Enumclaw in that video made me reflect on who I am now in Fresno. I’m still Stefan, but there are new parts of me that I’ve discovered and seen that I never knew existed.
No matter how old you are, there is still room to grow and expand yourself. You never cease to learn even if you’re on the verge of death. Even then, humans are energy and we continue to exist within the universe. We all have our own tentative journey and it is led by nobody other than ourselves. We are who we create ourselves to be. I personally do not match or reflect the people in Enumclaw, but I’m proud of where I came from. Acknowledge your past and present to see the future.