I was reading Anya Seton's Foxfire, and this passage jumped out to me. The book takes place in the early 1930s.
Dart shared with most native Westerners a large tolerance towards eccentricity. Here against the vast panorama of mountains and desert each individual became sharply silhouetted, traits intensified, passions more violent. The air itself bred sharper men then the soft and foggy East where corners blurred into a monotonous smooth mold.
There is no denying that there is a "molding tendency" in the New York area. I don't believe it is applied by outside pressure, but by individual choice to "fit in." Many who attempt to gain acceptance by "rule following" and do not succeed. For all that effort, I might as well do what pleases me, which I have done since I was a wee lass.
I think my brain is merely hardwired differently; I never got sucked into current trends as a child, unless I was actually interested. Fourth grade was Lisa Frank Stationary - I didn't see a benefit to spending my precious recess time auctioning off stickers. Fifth was Chinese jump rope - my reflexes aren't the best. Sixth - kugelach. Again, sucky response time.
It never occurred to me to go along with these fads as a way to gain acceptance.
I wonder now if anyone I know would be different if they merely had a change of scenery. Would I be any different?