Wednesday, August 10, 2011

City Life vs. Wheaton Life

I can’t believe it but, it’s almost been a year since I moved to Washington DC. I’ve really just got to say, this city is amazing.

I had never been here before moving. Which was quite the experience, by the by, moving to a city I had never SEEN at the drop of a hat. However, my life shifted, entirely. I got this totally wrong for me but totally amazing job offer, seemed to FEEL called to take it even if it was what I never wanted, and so it was all I could do to shift with the new turns of my life. Even if, as I can assure you they didn’t, the paths I was being pulled toward didn’t make sense to me.

And I am now so glad God presented such a path. That my family supported it and worked it out for me, that everything has been so spectacular for me here, so RIGHT for me here, since I moved.

I digress. Sorry. I am just pretty much ecstatic with how my life bloomed into something I couldn’t imagine. Life’s funny like that, huh?

Prior to living here in DC, I lived in a smaller suburb of Chicago. Accent on the suburb.  Wheaton is my home, despite the other cities I’ve lived in, residences I’ve taken up, and places I’ve worked- Wheaton is where my roots end. Florence, Dublin, DC- they all have pieces of my heart, have been a home to me in some way. However, Chicago is the place that comes to mind when I think “Home”.

Going from my life in the suburbs to living in a big city is always an adjustment- the comparisons often being jarring/hilarious.

For example. Guys here as opposed to guy’s in Florence. Once upon a time in Italy, I was dancing with my roommates at a club and we ended up being surrounded by sketchy European guys. Sketchy, non-english speaking, unshowered, pierced European guys. Sadly, not uncommon when it’s a group of girls at a club. However, I noticed one particular sketchy Euro-dude was definitely starting to invade my personal space so, I attempted to maneuver away. However, he was faster, and before I knew it, I was licked.

LICKED! Also, I realize that is the second time I have drawn a comic involving licking. My apologies, but, true story. Licking was involved. Also- I just love my lil comic me's "going out" look. Wish I could have pumps like that in real life...

Needless to say- this would NEVER happen in Wheaton! First of all, because there are no clubs in Wheaton. But second of all, rather than attempt to lick a girls face as a means to entice a dance from said maiden, the guys in Wheaton are from the Midwest. They would maybe open with a smile, a kind offer along the lines of buying them a drink. Or by saying hi shyly to them. Or even just planning to talk to her, telling a friend he thought she was cute, and never doing anything.

American boys are easier like that. And guys from small towns can be all shy and nice like that.

No one licks strangers faces in an attempt to get POSITIVE attention. At least, that I have ever heard of. Just extremely unsanitary. Also, FYI to all men who might find this shocking, it is NOT appealing to be randomly licked.

Food for thought.

Comparing the specific cities themselves also yields funny results. In Wheaton, leaving your door unlocked is just irresponsible. In DC, you had better have renters insurance to replace your computer and television.

In Wheaton, you pretty much know everyone when you walk down the street or go to the store. Or go to the ONLY bar in town. Not always the best, lemmie tell ya.

Inevitably, when you go “out” in Wheaton, you run into your entire high school class. It probably relates to that “one bar in town” thing. And when you get stuck in those awkward conversations, you’re almost okay with everything in Wheaton closing at 11 PM, including the traffic lights, just so you can get the hedge out of there.

Huge points for the cities. Anonymity and places staying open/roads working past 10PM on weekdays, 11PM on weekends.

However, cities also have the scary and danger factor. Especially as a female, safety is always something considered and, frankly, there’s simply no way that DC or any of the other big cities I lived in can be as safe as Wheaton. I mean, even the allies in Wheaton are completely non threatening.

Alleys in cities:

Alleys in Wheaton:

I am not making that up, by the way. Someone turned an alley in our town into a candy store. The Popcorn Shop has been unapologetically serving candy and popcorn to the cheerful people of Wheaton for decades from 111 ¼ West Front Street.

Google it if you don’t believe me. It is the most awesome alley in the world.

Cities also have the whole unsanitary thing going for them in general. In Wheaton, you could walk barefoot around your block and even in the downtown itself without stepping on anything sharp, toxic, or unclean. Your feet wouldn’t get grimy, just dirty from dirt itself. And even the dirt in Wheaton seems to be cleaned off the sidewalks pretty regularly so, you’d probably be okay.

In Dublin, that was so not the case. In Dublin, I wanted to wear four pairs of socks and some galoshes before walking to work each morning.

Still, as of right now, I’d rather be in the city. Or rather, in this specific city. DC gives me adventures, a new circle of spectacular friends, and the option to go out and be an active young adult after 9PM. I feel like I am living in this electric, colorful, historical hub. It’s the perfect time to be here, especially as I know me and, someday, I’ll want to slow down my pace. (Well, as much as possible. I tend to keep chaos at a maximum around me, can’t not be busy at all times).

Wheaton has my family. That’s what always brings me back. Wheaton has that and it’s charm and the quaint feel of home but, I find myself being a city girl at the moment. Maybe in a few years I can have the best of both worlds and move to the city of Chicago.

We’ll see how long I can keep up. So far, the lifestyle and pace are both leaving me feeling exceptionally excited about my tomorrows, even when I constantly have to reboot the energy levels. You just never know what spectacular thing the next day may bring :)

Speaking of which: my friend and I had a cooking throw down. Battle Pizza.

You can expect those pics and the accompanying recipes this upcoming Friday.


  1. I've heard that DC is one of those cities that you either absolutely love, or you absolutely hate. Seems that you are in the first group!

    For me, I don't mind living outside of DC and venture in every once in a while for an afternoon of sightseeing or an evening out with friends.

  2. Hey, I didn't know we were practically neighbors! We've lived in the DC area (in Northern Virginia) for the last 14 years and have fallen in love with it as well!

  3. It is funny how time flies by, I came to Scotland for Uni in 1997 and am still here.