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Reality vs. Imagination: The REAL Life in Beverly Hills

By E.B.

Multi-million dollar mansions, super sports cars, luxury watches, celebrity friends, blue skies and sunshine – these are just part of a normal day in Beverly Hills, California. The birthday parties are at five-star hotels, are the prices of weddings, have celebrity guest lists, and those are only for the little kids! However, living here is very different from what people may imagine; in most ways it is just an everyday life like anyone else has, but with some distinctions. Everything is relative and what seems like a lot may not be when compared to others. The most important thing is not what people see we have on the outside; but instead, what we know we have on the inside.

Where I live, some people are not always the best. They judge or make ideas from what they see we have. They also may only care about what they think they can get from us. Those people do not care about whom we are and don’t understand how things may be the same or different in other areas. However, I think that is true anywhere one goes. My father is well known for business in the entertainment industry, Instagram, and is also a YouTube celebrity. When we go out, many people recognize him and they want photographs. He tries very hard to keep my mom and me safe, so we know that we have to keep walking and pretend like we do not know him. When we go to restaurants without my dad, they treat us very well and take great care of us, but we understand that is because they know my father. I live in a house that I think is the best for our family – it is on the top of one of the hills of Beverly Hills (the very top!). My house is not small; it is a mansion to most. However, for our area it is little compared to the BIG billionaires’ houses that are near us. For example, just down the street, about nine of my houses could fit in just one of the MEGA houses!

My friends and I are considered by many to be privileged, but make no mistake; we are NOT spoiled and we are grateful for what we have. Most of my friends are like me, and they have a considerable amount of things compared to the majority – toys, jewelry, and fancy bedrooms – but we are also very nice. We may have the newest dolls, the best and biggest dollhouses, motorized cars, robotic toys, and drones - things my mom gets annoyed about and calls “the latest and greatest”. Though it is not unusual for a child to receive an important piece of jewelry by their fifth birthday - gold bracelets, pearl necklaces, diamond earrings or rings – it is what we do to and how we are every day that is more important. Bedrooms are fun and fancy - my friends have custom tea tables with porcelain tea sets; personally monogrammed rugs, blankets, stepstools, or book holders – but every year we give back to those less fortunate. Almost everyone I know has a bedroom in a theme. I have a princess room with a silver carriage for my bed, walls painted a custom Ralph Lauren candlelight pink that shimmers in the night. However, the theme we all have is that our bedroom is our safe place. I have gone with my mom to teach children in South Central, Los Angeles about how to be safe and to report when things are unsafe in their homes. The best thing about my group of friends is that they do not ask for things; they have good manners and work very hard in school. My mom calls asking for things all the time as “The Veruka Salt Effect” from the movie, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” when she was spoiled and said, “I want it Daddy, and I want it NOW!”

My friends and I strive to be kind and helpful to others. In my house, we really focus on giving back. My father donates large amounts to charity, which is great, but I prefer to help in my own way. I donate my time by going to an underprivileged preschool in Los Angeles and reading books to the kids. I also donate toys and books each year for my birthday and for Christmas to that same school. I assist a young friend who is in need by giving her all of my clothes, shoes, toys and coats. My mom wrote a book for me that helps kids with feelings and emotions – she donates them for free to schools here. I have even donated most of my hair (and made my mom do it too) this January to make wigs for children who have cancer through Locks of Love.

Though we may have some things that people call fancy or consider as more than others, in our house, we really focus and appreciate what we have and are thankful that we are so privileged. What is most important in my home is that we pay the utmost attention to what is on the inside, not what is outside or what one has. For example, my most valuable treasures in the world are: the old porcelain doll that I have from my mom when she was younger. It is cracked on the side of the head but I know it was so important to her so it is like gold to me. My great-grandma’s ring and necklace are of most value to me. They were from France during the Second World War, and it was very difficult to keep them during this hard time.

Though I never knew her, she left them to my mom and told her to wear them and save them for her daughter – ME! My puppies are also so very dear to my heart. They really love me and I truly love them. My littlest dog, Professor Pi, who is almost five years old, sits in a tiny chair near my desk and learns with me every day. That brings me to my most valuable treasure: being homeschooled. Homeschooling lets me learn freely and move swiftly when I can, or slowly if I need to. I never take this gift for granted and am thankful every day for it.

While I enjoy my life in Beverly Hills, or the life people think that we have: such as fine dinners, fancy things, famous friends, and fun toys - on the inside I care most about my friends who are like me and can be free just to be. Everything on the outside is nice, but it is even nicer to be inside - to be home with my parents, my puppies, and put on my pajamas and binge watch my favorite shows on Netflix. In the end, we are people just like anyone else. In Beverly Hills, it is not what you have on the outside that is really important, but instead, what one has on the inside that matters most.

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