Do you ever wonder what it would be like if you grew up somewhere completely different? Not in any other societal situation, just a different place. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, a very typical middle class suburban life, but I always wonder what would’ve happened if I grew up a middle class life in say Italy? Would I take the thousands of years of history that was around me, or would it all still be so exciting? I have been into downtown Chicago more times than I can count, I’ve been to museum park, I’ve stood under the bean at all stages of my life, I’ve been to the top of the Sears Tower, none of these things are really exciting to me anymore. There are hundreds of years of history in this city, and I really could care less. Would it be the same if I lived just outside of Rome and had unlimited access to history that was just a train ride away, or would I still be in awe when I stood on top of Palatine Hill looking out over all of Rome? Would Europe in general be as exciting as it is? So much of the excitement and wonder I feel towards Europe is because we don’t have anything that makes me feel the way I did when I saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle for the first time. But did I feel that way because it was really that spectacular or was it because after years of building Paris up in my head, those years of dreaming finally becoming reality, that I just couldn’t handle it and started crying because I had never been as happy as I was in that moment. But what if I had grown up just outside of Paris? What scares me is that I’m not sure that seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle would have anywhere near the same effect on me. I live 30 minutes away from what was once, and still is in my opinion, the tallest building in the world. And it has little to no effect on me. In my heart I’m hoping that everything I find spectacular and wonderful about the foreign world is because it is spectacular and wonderful, and not just this ideal of adventure that I have created in my own head. I want to go to exotic places, meet incredible people with whom I will create lifelong memories, I want the world to teach me everything I could never learn in a classroom, and that really doesn’t happen when the most exciting place you go is Springfield, Illinois. So I will wander, until I find, not that place, but the feeling I am looking for.
Everyday thoughts from an ordinary life.