Journal Article — Not Just a Wave, But Part of the Ocean: Examining my Small Town Roots — by Jennie Porter
In this paper I use various sociological theories and concepts, particularly those of Georg Simmel, to explore how my small town upbringing has helped shape the person I am today. I am particularly interested in examining the problem I have with branching out in new surroundings while still maintaining the same identity I have in the comfort zone of my hometown. At one time I thought unconditional love and attention were things I could only ﬁnd in the family I had in my small town. The security I felt there had a lot to do with my only feeling comfortable as my small-town self surrounded by the people who have known me my entire life. I have always failed to realize that I am not just a part of a small community, but a part of something much larger, and that it doesn’t have to be scary. I always felt that without my safety zone I would crash and become nothing, like the little wave Morrie talked about in Tuesdays With Morrie. When waves crash onshore and then retract, as they also do in Cape Cod, they are reborn in a sense and reunite as part of the ocean. What I’ve also realized is that I’m “part of the ocean.” I too am regenerated. Moving away from Chatham doesn’t mean I have to lose being the person I became there. I am not just a wave, but part of the ocean and a vital part of this world.
Porter, Jennie. 2005/2006. “Not Just a Wave, But Part of the Ocean: Examining my Small Town Roots.” Pp. 157-164 in Student Scholarships of Learning (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume IV, Issues 1&2, 2005/2006). Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).
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Not Just a Wave, But Part of the Ocean: Examining my Small Town Roots