Beauty In The Burbs

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I always have.

I grew up in a suburban house, a 40-minute train ride away from the city. The college I went to was not only in the suburbs but was set apart a bit because it had its own airport. When I moved out and into a place of my own, my apartment was only a few towns over from my parents' house. Then I moved in with my boyfriend, to another nearby town.

I've always lived in the suburbs, and some people don't get it.

People have said to me that they don't know why anyone would want to live anywhere but in a city. I even had someone say to me once, "You live in the suburbs, right? Ugh, how do you do it?"

What a weird (and rude) question to ask. How do I do it? I just do. It isn't hard for me, because it's where I want to be.

Sometimes it feels like there's some sort of weird divide, City People versus Suburb People, and I don't get why it matters so much. It's a difference in preference, like Having A Pet versus Not Having A Pet.

I feel the rift between the two fairly often. I have friends who work or live in the city, many of my coworkers make the commute from there, and of course, a lot of the nearby Things To Do This Weekend are in the city.

The suburbs get such a bad wrap, often thought of – or even portrayed, in TV shows or movies – as boring or dull. The truth is that while cities have more going on, the suburbs have their own appeal. There's a quietness, a stillness, to them. Some people like that.

I love where I live.

I love sitting out on my balcony and seeing trees and grass, hearing the birds chirp.
I love that there's a lake right outside my apartment where I can go for a scenic walk whenever I want.
I love the forest preserves and nature trails nearby.
I love the peacefulness of a quiet neighborhood of cute homes. The sun setting and the street lights.

There's nothing wrong with living in the city. And maybe one day I'll do it. After all, I'm still young and who knows where I'll end up.

At the same time, there's nothing wrong with living in the suburbs either, so please don't talk to me like there is. I'm not stuck here. I'm where I want to be.

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