Childhood is my most cherished and missed memory. Along with innocence, naivety, and stress-free enjoyment came safety, and the care of others around me. I believe the person I am today was shaped from living in the neighborhood I grew up in and the people I was surrounded by.
During my youth I was lucky enough to live in the town of Webster, New York. From age four to seventeen I lived in a very safe neighborhood. My environment was my life. My adult neighbors were like second parents, babysitting my brother and I, taking all the kids to the beach, making meals and hosting sleepovers. The children were my best friends, and partners in crime. I spent my days taking long walks and bike rides with my next door friends and my younger brother, selling lemonade at the end of my driveway, swinging and singing on the infamous swingsets, playing classic games such as hopscotch, four square, and capture the flag. Eat, sleep, and play was our daily routine.
We would circle the neighborhood streets day after day, stopping by other nieghbors houses, starting kickball games at the local elementary school, collecting cans to make money. When we were old enough our parents us allowed to walk 10 minutes down the road by ourselves, a great reward at the time, to the neighborhood grocery to buy a candy bar and a drink. Even though my mother taught me about safety and cautioned me about strangers, I believe that my childhood has made me a very friendly, trusting person.
There was never a worry of crime in my neighborhood. We were able to grow as independent children without our parents having to keep a very close eye on us every second of the day. This freedom molded me into a very trusting person today. That can be viewed both positively and negatively. On the plus side, I am a very easy person to become friends with. I trust each and every one of my friends, and I know they can trust me. I am reliable, a result of being cared for as a child. I think that many children that are neglected during their youth become far less trusting and reliable further on in life. I see the innocence in each person I meet, allowing a personal relationship to create at the first hello. This has opened a wide array of friends for myself, which I feel extremely lucky to be blessed with.
On the other hand, my naivety tends to come into play along with the trust. Although I’m not proud to say it, I can definitely say that I have been taken advantage of in several instances by those who were not worthy of my trust. This has happened at school and in the workplace. It is hard for me to judge whom I can trust, and I do not like to think negative thoughts about a person when considering them as a friend. This strong sense of trust could also put me into danger in the future, with strangers or while I am alone.
All in all, I believe my circumstances as a child have helped form my identity today. I would not change who I am, and do not regret growing up where I did. I formed dependable relationships that I will have throughout life and memories that will never perish.