I came to Wellington when I was three years old. For a three year old, anything can become a jungle or a princess’s castle with the right imagination; and that is what Wellington was to me. I grew up in a small village filled with people who encouraged my creativity, and for that, I must thank you all.
I experienced a lot of “firsts” in Wellington. My first friend, love, heartbreak, and funnel cake (my favorite first). However, I did not respect the community that raised me as much as I should have. I spent years saying “I can’t wait to get out of here” and moping around self-loathingly. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how important of a role my hometown played in raising me. I come from a family of four completely diverse people, and this has shaped me in many ways, but the community we live in has impacted me even more. I learned how to welcome people with different lifestyles into my heart and life. This helped open doors for me that I would not have reached without the help of all the kind hearted individuals I met in Wellington.
Wellington is such a close knit community. Everyone knows each other here, which is both a blessing and a curse. You rarely hear, “hey, who is that kid over there?” but are more likely to hear, “oh that kid? I know his parents, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, neighbors, and dentist.” That’s one of the coolest parts of this village. Nobody has to wear “Hello. My name is…” tags around here. Then again, if you screw up, your name could be a headline title in tomorrow’s paper. Since we are so small, our graduating class peeks at around 105. Thank the Lord though, because I don’t know what I would do if we had to spend an entire day sweating through our caps and gowns in the high school gymnasium. But we have been together through everything, whether it be good or bad. I’ve watched our community come together in times of mourning and celebration. The beauty of it all is astounding.
If you’re from Wellington, you know I can’t go without acknowledging the biggest event we hold in our small community- the Lorain County Fair. Every summer we break out our piggy banks and take a circular stroll in the big carnival. Concerts, tractor pulls, demolition derbies, and animal shows are what make our summers, well, summer. For those of us who live close enough, we never even have to purchase a ticket to the nightly events. We can hear the Beach Boys and revving of engines from our homes. But for students in the area, we all know that once the fair is over, we have only a few days until school rears its ugly head.
Although we’ve had our differences, I would like to thank my hometown for raising me. I have no shred of doubt in my mind that you did a good job. Thank you for providing great peers that I would eventually call my bestfriends. Thank you for building a community that would inspire me everywhere I turned. Finally, thank you for being Wellingtonians that I will always have a special bond with. I will never forget the town that I grew up in.