We live in a beautiful world. I am lucky to have loved ones on every corner of such a beautiful world, from Japan to Australia. However, it isn’t the stunning Opera House that holds the sacred key to my young and developing heart. It is Cleveland, Ohio. Apart from being one of the most crucial swing states; Ohio is not exactly the “cream of the crop” of states. And yet it is to me. My two great –aunts have lived in the same house since they were children during the Great Depression, and walking into their house every year puts a smile on my face; for I am now forever part of the history this gradually graying house possesses. And yes, this house stays true to every cliché: the minty ice tea on the back porch, the light frolicking through the sprinkler, the warm scent of cinnamons rolls baking in the morning and wafting their sweet smell up to my nose, waking me up with a growl in my stomach and a smile on my lips. Yet, the only cliché it does not hold fast to is the warm friendly aunt standing at the door with an apron on with the sacred scent of sweet sugar on her. Instead I receive two grouchy old women who love my sister and me more that they can express. Clearly emotion is a problem. Yet Cleveland, Ohio is still my beautiful world. I believe that the ten-minute walk to the neighborhood pool, the bike ride to the tennis courts, and the morning jog through the suburbs are indeed the good life. I believe my aunts are the providers of this good life, and its caretakers. There is no push into the fast lane – maybe a nudge now and then, but that is it. And for the most part, the fastest they go is while arguing on the freeway, going 90 MPH. I believe in the little things that cause memories, like tanning in the front yard and Aunt Sue watering me along with her roses. Or going shopping with Aunt Joan and learn that my taste in fashion is abominable. I believe in the power of memories. Good or bad, happy or sad. I believe perfect memories and imperfect memories most likely make a perfect life. So, being as succinct as possible, I believe in the perfect life, but I also believe that the perfect place is not the most beautiful or well-known place. It is the place that you know inside and out – from edge to edge, from the front porch to the back porch. I believe in memories.
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