Enjoying the Simple Side of Life

Kendall - Westmont, Illinois
Entered on February 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I always assumed the simple things in my life would always be there, things that are universally established so all you have to do is stop and capture them. My town bore me. It was routine, dull, and average. I yearned for adventure, passion, and new opportunities. When I got the chance to escape, I was on the next plane to NYC! Last summer, I spent eight weeks living in the core of the big apple. Everyday, I moved through the hustle and bustle of the stench- filled subways and cigarette smoke- filled city streets. The character of the city turned me into a shopaholic, food critic, and urban explorer. Here, I met my new friend Whitney. We attended a fashion school in the heart of the garment district. Our days were filled with creativity, and our nights with memories. New York was a whole new world filled with magic and adventures. By the end of the second month I was ready to head home. I had seen all the great tourists’ spots, maxed out my credit cards, and had enough of the city that never sleeps.

That summer I learned that I believe that the simple things in life are the best. I didn’t appreciate many pleasures life has granted me. At times, on my adventure, I wanted to close my eyes and remember the things that made my truly happy. They are simple and pure treasures that help many people, such as me, keep their sanity.

In June, while sitting at Bobby Flay’s Restaurant and eating a fifty dollar filet mignon, my mouth was watering for my mom’s homemade sloppy joes. I could almost smell the fresh, hot buns. While sitting across from Whitney, for what seemed like an eternity of meals, I missed hearing the laughter of my mom. She would always joke about how much I could eat! I longed for the comfort of my own kitchen chair and classic kitchen dishes my mom and I have collected together.

Everyday at school was a dress up day. I thought I would love getting dolled up for the runway daily. To my surprise my body felt like I was in withdrawal. During my travels I was limited to two seventy- five pound bags. I left my favorite jeans at home. I longed for those sevens that were perfectly worn in. The natural fibers make me feel content and relaxed. After wearing all those designer dresses and Manolos nothing can come between me and my treasured blue jeans.

Washington Square Park became my couch. On a single wooden bench I would call family, friends, and read countless novels. I would watch the commotion in the park. Families walking, dogs enjoying the summer sun, and joggers working out were the norm. The pooches are the ones that caught my eye! I suddenly remembered my dog. I missed the unconditional love, the long summer walks, and the endless hours outside together. Gigi greeted me every morning when I woke up. I no longer felt her warm white fluffy fur. I missed the soothing kisses of my pup every sunrise in the big apple.

New York presented me with soaring skyscrapers, diverse crowds, gazillions of restaurants, remarkable sight seeing, incredible boutiques, exquisite food, and my best friend. Yet, I missed my sweet fundamentals. These pleasures make me who I am. These are things that make my life worth living. Everyday my life is consumed with activities, but I never want to miss out on the things that carry most joy in my heart. Whenever I am stressed out, away from home, or just wishing for life to fast-forward, I think about the time I was in New York City without all of my life’s greatest pleasures.