The beautiful sunsets each day accompanied by a brilliant, sparkling ocean is one thing that I believe makes this world so much brighter. To me, it is the eighth wonder of the world. As a younger kid, I’ve always wondered why my parents specifically chose to live here above all other places (most notably New York, Alaska, Italy, in Yellowstone [my favorite national park] or a house within walking distance of Disneyland), but now I know why. The ocean, in its vastness and elusiveness, just has a luring part of it that begs people come and fall under its blue, mysterious beauties. Absolutely nothing can compare to it. Yes, there are three other oceans and countless other seas in this world we call Earth, but really to me there is none more beautiful than the Pacific Ocean.
As a child growing up, I have to honestly say, I did not go to the beach or visit the hidden cracks and crannies of Newport Beach as much as 1 would have liked to. I only went to the beach once probably every other year and took pictures of sunsets probably once every month. I have only been to the Crystal Cove State Park once or twice in my whole life, but if you ask a random person who lives inland, they have been countless times. I have never been to Catalina Island or sailed in the Pacific anywhere close to home. Just this past week, while visiting my Grandma and Grandpa in Hoag Hospital, I have seen with my own eyes more of Newport Beach than my recently turned 14 years of my life. Though my opinion may not be valid because I was only passing through a car (and who can really appreciate something if they are riding in a car), gosh I have to say there is not one city to compare to this. But my deprivation of ocean visits and walking the streets of Newport Beach do not make me unappreciative of my environment; during school, whenever I have troubles I can’t share with my family or write out I go outside, take a deep breath, and look out into the ocean. While I was growing up, my mom, who has lived here for 18 years already, always said to me, “When 1 look out into that ocean, I think about how big it is and realize how small my troubles really are. Not to mention, how small I really am. I am literally nothing on this Earth”. For me the ocean has the same effect: it calms, comforts, and encourages.
One aspect of growing up in Newport Beach that I have enjoyed really all my life is of course, when I was younger, weekly visits to the Newport Beach Central Library. As an avid lover of books, I have and will always truly savor the visits to this library. Though I regretfully say I have not lived the life of a Newport Beach citizen, I can proudly say I have lived the life of a kid who has been enveloped by the warmth of books and the nourishment of the absolute touching care of this library. I do not really remember what age my dad started to bring my brother and me to the library, but I do remember that I have always treated it like a safe haven. I remember walking through the kids’ section, picking out those fairy books that I would only read as a first or second grader, and running my hands on the spines of so many books. I remember watching my father pull out old newspapers from the 1860s about Lincoln and look over his shoulder wondering how on earth someone could enjoy reading that stuff. I remember demanding to visit the library and checking out all the books I could find whenever I had a project in elementary or middle school (and I am sure in the future as well) and not feeling better until I laid my hands on those texts. I remember the first time I did the library’s summer reading program as a third grader and the excitement and thrill getting prizes and a paperback book of my own felt. And not long after (it seemed), l remember taking a seat for the first time as a volunteer for the exact same summer reading program that I had grown up with. And I remember taking my first steps in the upper section of the library (the “adult section”) and most importantly the teen section— a symbol of my graduation from a kid.
Newport Beach has played a huge part in shaping my life and who I really am. As I continue on the path of my life, I know for one fact no matter where I go I will come back. Newport Beach is, and will always be my home, the only place where I can be who I want, feel loved, and belong. It is here, and here only, that is truly the “happiest place on Earth”.