Comme il faut: everything as it should be.
Well, Los Angeles, it’s already been 10 full days. Where did the time go? I’m writing this from a table on the street outside an adorable little cafe on Tujunga called Aroma. Its interior holds a display case of desserts so decadent, cakes and tarts so vast, my pancreas quivers at the very sight. Naturally I am indulging in a double americano and a chocolate peanut butter muffin (taste: decidedly less decedent than expected). It’s about 18 degrees and the sky is blue and streaked with wispy clouds. Shortly on the blog I’ll return to regaling you with days 3 through 10, but right now I want to talk about where I’m “at” i.e.: do I really want to live in Los Angeles.
But first, a digression (I would hope by now you would have come to expect nothing less):
Before I turned the wise old age of six I lived in four different countries, seven different cities, and ten different houses. A globetrotter before I could even spell the word, moving house (and continent) was old hat. But after my sixth (sadly lacking in champagne) birthday (Sept. 6th, mark it in your calendars), my family settled down…
Well, no, that’s not true — but my parents did pick a country and a province and they stuck to it. So for the last twenty years (also known as, the years I actually remember) of my life, I’ve only ever lived in British Columbia. (There it is; this seque does have a point.) While traveling is in my blood, B.C. remains my homey, homey comfort zone.
This all hit me last Monday as I was wandering around Santa Monica. I’ve been romanticizing Los Angeles for a very long time and have never fully digested the reality of actually moving here. I am extremely lucky to have solid friends and a smattering of family in this city, but those wonderful people aside, B.C. houses probably 80% of the people I love in this world. And, also, B.C. is AWESOME.
Vancouver, my home, happens to be one of the most incredible cities in the world. And while it will be several years before my own personal traveling experience can back that statement up, the good people behind magazine lists everywhere have confirmed this belief over and over again. It certainly ain’t perfect (and it’s damn expensive), but, Vancouverites, you got it good, (so less complaining, okay?).
Anyways, as I was walking around I thought to myself, do I actually want to live here? move here? spend multiple years of my life here? It’s so huge and hot all the time and everything seems so hard to get to.
It’s a scary thing when something you’ve been striving for and dreaming about confronts you and rings a little bell all like, “Heeeey! Guess what? You didn’t entirely think this through!” I dealt with this in my early twenties when I “gave up” acting. I had been half-heartedly pawing at that dream for several years when I had to ask myself, “Is this what I really want?” And it was hard to let go — I’d been aspiring to be an actor my entire life. But I’d lost the passion and the drive and was coasting on the fumes of a childhood dream. (I apologize for that last sentence, but ooh, it gonna stay.) I was chasing a career that I no longer wanted because I wasn’t able to let go. It was hard to accept that.
(Thankfully my high school yearbook achievement “Most Likely To Win An Oscar” wasn’t given for a specific category.)
If you’re skimming through this post to find more pictures because you’re sick of reading about my boring feelings… I get that. But, wait, now you’re wondering if you should you go back and read the entire post because it might relate to this ridiculous and hilarious selection of Cards Against Humanity cards?! (No, it doesn’t. Carry on skimming.)
So now here I am with the dilemma: do I want to live in L.A. because I’m supposed to want to live in L.A.? Or do I really want to live in L.A.? Or, if you’ll last with me through one more digression, is it not a yes or no question? In Kelly’s Redundant Life Lessons (That She Only Recently Realized) #1: Life is not black or white, good or bad, yes or no. For example, it’s okay to enjoy Miley Cyrus’s music and admire her tenacity and ability to shock while simultaneously being concerned for our youths and wish that she would put on a few more clothes. Headlines are made of extremes, everything is either THE BEST or THE WORST. We’re conditioned to love or hate. But the world is actually full of grey. I can love and hate everyone on GIRLS simultaneously. I can enjoy a 50’s rom-com despite all the misogyny. I can add bacon to my veggie burger!! We are human beings full of conflicted emotions and it’s okay to not pick a side.
So, yeah, Los Angeles isn’t perfect. It’s sprawling and polluted and full of people who are full of shit (or so I’m told); but I can wear shorts in the winter and explore a new part of town every weekend and… work towards the career I want; everything else aside, that’s the most important part. But, nothing’s “done”. Right now, this is still a visit. And who knows, after this month, I might return to British Columbia to live and work happily ever after the rest of my days. But I don’t think so. I think I’ll end up here. Here where I’ve met amazing people. Here where the wine is cheap. Here, not forever, but for awhile. And not because L.A. is the exact city of my dreams, but because it is the city of most of them.
More Venice Beach.
Who the hell am I kidding? L.A., omigawd, please let me stay!!!