Ever since I was small I was paid in materials. Barbie’s, dolls, strollers, clothes, shoes, and anything else I wanted filled my room. Those materials filled my room, my life, and the void of absent parents. They made up for the excuses of “I don’t want to play ball, or cards, or aboard game, or take you to the park, or watch someone else child for you to play with” I used to feel so sorry for the kids that were “less fortunate” than I was. So sad… those poor kids are outside riding bikes that had different colored handle bars and imitation Barbie’s. Although we were FAR from rich or even comfortable, I still had. And even then all I could think of was I want more. Until I found myself one day looking around an apartment that wasn’t on the “safe side of the tracks” about 600 square feet. Trash spotted throughout the lawn a refrigerator that contained a gallon of juice and condiments, and a cabinet of oodles and noodles. A room that consisted of two mattresses and two box-springs side by side. A sink full of dishes, a broken kitchen table, no washer and dryer back at the laundry mat. Riding off of a quarter tank of gas in a dodge neon, walking to a store on the corner in cold temperatures. With a guy with old sweat pants, beat up tims, no haircut, and a faux fur coat on and I love him. I found myself being content underneath the guy I never imagined I could love so much, in a situation I said I would never put myself in. And to my knowledge I found myself…. Happier than I had ever been. I didn’t care about not going out to eat at San José, chilis, Ruby Tuesday or any restaurant other than McDonald’s dollar menu. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t in Raleigh with the rush hour traffic flashing lights and two story malls. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t wearing expensive clothes I could simply be in my pajamas and be accepted and those were the ones I knew that accepted me at my worst, and my best. Instead of spending my Fridays in restaurants, and shopping centers. They were spent listening to loud music, with few friends and family, gathering around a table playing cards, talking and laughing. Cable and internet or a phone didn’t matter. I saw myself watching franklin with his little girl curled up between us in her pajama’s, I didn’t have to worry about her not having on fine clothing that you were afraid if they got a drop of juice on them. She could enjoy her dora popsicle on the back of an old Buick with ice cream dripping down her face and hands and those were picture perfect moments she could do this in peace. I found simplicity in life… I could finally love life as is, with few expectations. I could finally stop and smell the roses without someone telling me how they should smell, how they should look. I could be myself. I felt free finding simplicity in life. Now I know why those kids riding those bikes with different colored handle bars, imitation Barbie’s, kicking rocks were smiling. They were happy with the small things in life in essence they were sad for me.