I have over a dozen posts sitting unposted and partially written in notepad files in my Dropbox. Time for some fall cleaning. Here is one of the more finished posts:
I listen to Camera Obscura because it puts me back on a train in England. Sheep. Little green hills. The feeling of going.
I left my heart in San Francisco, but found a new one in Los Angeles.
My Los Angeles is not the same as their Los Angeles. I realized that one of the things I love most about this place is that it it is ultimately mine. Even though I share it with others and our experiences intersect like circles from a Venn diagram, there is always that part of me that doesn’t touch anyone else. Just me and LA.
I think I finally decided I was an LA resident when I flew back from my parents house with a carry on bag packed with the favorite books of my childhood. A lot of my stuff is in a crawlspace at my parents’ house in a city I never really lived in. It’s left there for the day I “settle down,” if there is ever such a thing. There is still a lot in the crawlspace, but those books are the most valuable things from teenagedom, because they are conduits of ideas and places that I existed in at that point in time.
I finally became a grown up here. I put nails in walls and hung pictures on them. No more posters and scraps of paper taped on walls. Though it took a juvenile move to get me here.
At the end of college I moved down to LA without a job and with only enough savings to pay for a few months of rent. It was just as the recession got going, but I was unaware of economics and blindly and foolishly optimistic.
A quickly dwindling bank account added too much urgency to my job search, and the only position I could manage to get in a timely fashion was the exact same type of job I did in the summers between high school and college years. I hoped working as a receptionist at the marketing company would be my foot in the door, but instead I got disillusioned by the size of egos. The office was up in a high rise building, physically held up by steel and architectual engineering, but figuratively held up by inflated measurements of self worth. Answering phones and serving coffee to Hollywood types was mentally unchallenging and it soon became clear that these were not my people and there wasn’t any other place for me at that company.
For sanity’s sake I enrolled in an MA program and planned to hold out at the company for just a bit longer so I could squirrel away extra money for school. It was both fortunate and unfortunate that two months before I planned on quitting, the company laid off about a third of its workforce in order to do some downsizing and restructuring. I was bummed not to have the extra cash in savings and to be robbed of my chance to quit on my own terms, but also relieved to not have to deal with the tedium anymore. That summer I had the opportunity to reestablish my worth as a living human being, so in the end things all worked out. I was relieved.
And like any relationship, my relationship with the city is fluid. I’m still not sure if it’s going to dump me in the next couple months, or if I want to work hard enough to fight to keep our relationship alive. What is that saying about ships passing in the night?
As a postscript: Since I wrote this post I found out that I’ll probably be here for another year at least. The romance continues.