After years of threats to myself and others, I’ve signed on the dotted line. I’m moving out of LA next weekend, and I’m going through a variety of emotions.
I came here in 2000 to attend college in Malibu, spent time in the valley, Hancock Park, Mid-City West, West LA.
I’m scared and excited. While I’m moving an hour away (rendering this post a little sentimental), there is a sense of loss. I’m giving up Yoga Booty Ballet, the Lady-Gaga-infused highlight of my week. And the apartment I have come to know so intimately, with its holes in the wall where the bedroom door accidentally hits it, and the innocuous (numerous) stains on its cheap beige carpet. And the Israeli woman down the hall who speaks quite badly of her deceased husband (and men in general) while doing laundry for her two forty-something sons who live with her in that corner apartment. I’ll miss the view of the Hollywood Hills from the balcony, the one I rarely took advantage of.
And Runyon Canyon, and celebrity sightings, and my “home” McDonald’s. The people I met – the ones I loved, hated or gave the finger to. And the sheer number of times I didn’t feel like I could get out of bed because the city was too much for me.
Looking back, we sometimes see only what we missed out on, even whilst doing our best to get through the day or week. I did my best; I don’t think it’s possible to live without regrets.
So…who am I now? After years of calling myself an Angeleno, taking a strange pride in being able to “make it” in a city that devours so many, I’ll be stripped of that pride and identity. The city itself no longer a character in the movie of my life.
More than anything, living here has taught me about the importance of relationships. How I want my life filled with more laughter, passionate fights, Sundays without itineraries, bike rides. It’s crossed my mind that I have, at times, used the city as a beard, one that covered up the deeper insecurities I have about finding someone, whether I’m truly lovable, failure. I’m not sure anything will be different where I’m going. But I’m hopeful.
So thank you, LA – friend, foe, dispassionate observer, stranger and lover to me all these years. Who knows? I may be back, unable to resist living outside the frenzied pulse of your gritty-beautiful heart.