I remember how the skyscrapers climbed above the wispy clouds that hovered over the city of Chicago. From our old home, you could hear the numerous cars on the streets below well into the night, but it was hard to tell when it was night because the city was always lit up with it’s stunning lights. The people there, such a variety to be seen and to be heard, there’s a place in the city for every race, religion, ethnicity, and culture.
You could take a bus to Chinatown and when you’re finished there, you could hail a cab and take it right over to Little Italy. Two completely different cultures not living far from each other at all. That’s what I used to love about the city, so many unique places to go, and there were always new experiences to have.
Walking around the city, all of my senses were sharp, whether there was a band playing in Millennium Park, or a guitarist playing on the streets, even the cab drivers who were yelling at each other, the city sounds still remind me of sweet memories of my childhood living there.
I can remember how my eyes were always scrambling around in my head, trying to see all of the sights and vibrant colors just on a single street. My favorite thing when I was a kid was to look upon the Chicago river. Every time I saw the river, I thought it was so cool how it flowed throughout the city.
On another note, the food in Chicago made my mouth water. Everywhere you go, you can find somewhere just right for what you’re craving at that time. American, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, you name it! Chicago also has a lifetime of entertainment inside itself. There’s almost no way to get bored in such a beautiful city. There are almost too many tourist attractions inside the area. If you’re visiting, you might want to stay a little while to get to experience all of the different things. Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, and the Magnificent Mile are just a few attractions that you can’t pass up. My personal favorite for a relaxing day was Millennium Park. It’s such a great place to relax and lose your everyday stress. All in all, the city of Chicago has given me so many great experiences and is such a great place to be.
Those were my thoughts about the city of Chicago from when I was eight years old. Now at sixteen, I’ve opened my eyes and see the true colors of the city. When I ride the metra down, I see people begging on the streets for some change to help buy themselves a meal or a pair of socks to make it through another day. I can also smell the nicotine from the cigarettes that are littered all across the sidewalks, and the fumes coming from the industrial buildings that fill up the city. Hearing people scream at each other over petty disagreements isn’t my favorite thing to witness either. I definitely don’t feel as safe as I felt when I was younger going into the city. After living in the suburbs for a few years, I know how it really feels to be safe, at least, safer than in the city. On the news, I can see the reports of people being murdered and robbed. I never realized what was happening downtown because I was too busy watching cartoons, the news was too boring and pointless to watch when I was younger. Even though it may have its downsides, I still think Chicago is an amazing place to be.
When my parents first told me we were moving to the suburbs, I was devastated. This meant that I would have to leave everything I knew and start all over again with my life. At that time, I didn’t understand that new beginnings can often lead to good things. While we were packing up our belongings, I started to remember all of the memories I had in that house, and in the city. I went to the basement to help my parents pack a few costumes from Halloween, and I remembered all the great times I had on Halloween. Going around our neighborhood with all of my friends, all of the houses were right next to one another so you could run door to door collecting much more candy than thought to be possible in a single night. I still think about the great times that I had when I was younger living in the city, I can’t recall any bad memories that I had. I’m guessing it’s because I made myself forget them so that I could remember my old home as home.
When we arrived at our new house, I already didn’t like it. The house was very old and paint was shedding off the house as hair does off a dog. The wallpaper inside was horrid and all of the colors clashed with one another. I already wanted to go back to my real home, but when my mom told me that this wasn’t going to be our home, I looked at her with confusion. “We’re gonna rebuild the house to make it how we want it to look,” said my mom, in the most simple way possible so that I could understand. This lifted my spirits a little because that made me think that I could turn my room into whatever I wanted it to be. We then proceeded to move into our new home and hope for the best. After 2 years, everything was falling into place, I made lots of new friends, went to a great school, gained a lot more freedom than I had before, and even got another brother (lucky me…).
Another 2 years later and 7th grade is reaching its end. My parents called myself along with my brothers down to have a talk, I knew these conversations never ended well. When we got down, we saw that this had to be an important discussion. Both of their faces were stern and looked as if the past week had been very stressful for them. I hadn’t really been paying attention to this because I was too busy off with friends or sitting up in my room like any pre-teen would. “We have some big news for you guys, we’re moving again!” Said my mom, trying to act happy. My brothers and I were stunned. Right when we started to fit in, everything was being pulled away from us, yet again. We were told that we weren’t exactly sure where we would be moving but it was down to two choices; Colorado or a town still in Illinois named Lake Forest. We ended up moving to Lake Forest, and somehow my parents ended up finding the perfect house for our family.
Going into 8th grade not knowing a single person was pretty nerve-wracking for me, but I could already tell the kids that I met on my first day were much nicer and down-to-earth than my old friends. As the months dragged on, I met lots of new people that I became friends with. I would hop from group to group trying to see which one I would gel with the best. In January, I finally found them. They were just right and liked all of the same things that I did, it finally felt as if the puzzle pieces were falling into place again, just how it should have been. After 5 years with my friends, we’ve shared many memories together, and I have never put a thought into regretting moving. In life, you’re not always going to get to choose your path, but you are able to choose how you act upon it, and so I end by saying no matter what life throws at you, carpe diem, seize the day.