Home: The City, the Country or a Suburb?

Ideally, every person should be able to live in the type of environment that suits their happiness. I have met many people who are like mermaids living in a desert: they completely clash with their living space and its surroundings. I have never lived in a suburb but I have lived in the city and the country. As time passes, I lean toward the one that is suitable for my current state of spirit. Listed are my reasons for choosing whether or not to live in one place or another.

THE CITY

I spent a majority of my childhood living in a blend of the city and the county. During one part of my life, we lived in an apartment in the Central West End, which many would consider the city. A bulk of my youth was spent in Ferguson which is in the county.

I thought that I was used to city life until I visited Chicago. It was the first time that I had seen a true, bustling city. In St. Louis, I could walk downtown and see a handful of people most of the time. I considered relocating to Chicago until I returned there seven years later for a birthday day trip. The commotion of the city rattled my entire body. My senses were overwhelmed with the sounds and the sites. Everywhere I looked, there was a person. People gushing out of corners, waving out of windows, walking all around me and going in and out like a hurricane of worker bees. I didn't realize that I was being affected until I went into the Harold Washington Library.

Though I had worked in libraries for about five years, I did not realize the powerful impression that silence can have on the physical body. After an entire day of noise, I was shocked to hear my ears were ringing. I was even more confused when I felt my hands shaking. I had come to Chicago to get away from my town and suddenly I wanted nothing more than to be at home or in a monastery. When I returned to St. Louis early the next morning, the streets were bare. My entire neighborhood was asleep and in the twilight, I saw a black cat. As I pet it, I enjoyed that it was just the two of us, not crowds of racing feet. I appreciated the quiet air and realized that visiting cities was wonderful, but I could never live there if I wanted to feel mentally healthy.

THE COUNTRY

My alma mater was in a small town, about three or four hours away from St. Louis. It was in Canton, Missouri and it was the first time that I had stayed in the country. I wanted to leave the town because I felt somewhat trapped there. However, now that I am a bit older, I have fond memories of the peacefulness there. There was only one college in Canton and it sat on top of a hill. There was one elementary school, middle school and high school and all three were in one building. The Amish people would park their horses in the parking lot outside of the grocery store. There were no buses, which made me feel somewhat claustrophobic. The closest town was Quincy, Illinois. My roommate had lived there for most of her life and everyone knew everyone. People I didn't know knew me, which amused me. At this point in my life, I would like to live in the country for a year or two, simply because I love the solitude. Over the past few years, I have grown more introverted and the feeling of being alone is comforting. I would live in the country for a pleasant mental rest.

THE SUBURBS

As a child, I disliked the suburbs. I had many friends and a bulk of them lived in nice homes in lovely neighborhoods. There were two girls I knew that lived in mansion like houses yet though I was impressed, I never desired to live in their area. I would not live in the suburbs because each time I visit one, I am bored by the sameness of the homes. Though they are grand and exquisite, I would rather have a small knobby cottage instead of a tower. If there were a suburb where each of the homes were different and had a reasonable amount of land between the houses, then I might consider it. However, what I have seen are homes made out of materials that could probably be blown away by one tornado. I would rather have a small, strong red brick house with all wooden floors than a massive and gorgeous frail structure.

Overall, my perfect place would be a home on an island that is on the outskirts of a city. I prefer the best of both worlds.


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