After the major decision of the United States Supreme Court yesterday – and the inevitable debates I begrudgingly participated in with friends and complete strangers – I felt inspired this morning to spend some time celebrating. I feel it appropriate to make my topic of celebration “choice,” as Americans now (hopefully) will be able to celebrate choosing how they receive healthcare – through a private insurance company or through a nationalized system.
I want to leave the political debate at the door – I have had my fill of it for a while – and to be honest, haven’t quite decided how I feel about this event in the grand scheme of things. I DO want to share with you some of the choices I have made in life. For better of for worse, my choices have brought me to where I am now: Sitting outside in Los Angeles next to my pool, watching my kitty happily chase her own shadow and tail in the sun.
Even though I feel some of my choices were poor in retrospect, ultimately they brought me HERE. I can honestly say that there is nothing more to be than thankful.
So begins a week of celebrating my choices.
(In no particular order)
Choice #1: Moving to Los Angeles
Along with the debates I had yesterday, the conversation of my moving to Los Angeles came up. I believe it specifically came up during a discussion about auto insurance coverage, and how difficult it was for me to find a rate that seemed reasonable. I could go into that, but I shant 🙂
The point of bringing this up IS: My friend ultimately decided that he wouldn’t feel sorry for me (wasn’t asking you to, buddy) because, in the end, I CHOSE to move to California where auto insurance rates were crazy high yadda yadda yadda. Essentially, because I chose to move to L.A., I must pay the price through auto insurance rates etcetera. I felt that this was similar to the argument I have heard for women to not wear short shorts or skirts…or anything that shows skin or cleavage…or shows off the divine feminine figure in any way. If a woman CHOOSES to wear these things, she is asking to get raped…”I don’t feel sorry for her.”
There are a few (or more) things wrong with this argument but yes…with my choice of moving to L.A. came the following not-so-amazing consequences, including:
- Higher rents – my rent went from $675 in Memphis for a penthouse apartment in an historic high rise complex in Midtown, to $925 in L.A. for a studio apartment on ground level with cat feces lingering (briefly, courtesy of the last tenant) in my closet door track, and a window I could break into in 30 seconds or less.
- Mental breakdown-inducing traffic – In Memphis I had to worry about crazy drivers…In L.A. I need to worry about crazy drivers EN MASSE.
- Pollution – both noise and air pollution are inescapable (at times) within Los Angeles.
- Fast-paced city life – My mother will argue that there is no better living than city living. I kind of want to disagree except for the fact that I love the easy access to culture, innovation, and STUFF. I love that I can get whatever I want within a day or so of wanting it without having to outsource through Amazon. The drawback of this privilege is the ever-lingering urgency to keep up with the pace of life here. It can get exhausting, but there are always ways to unwind. 🙂
- Competition – There are a lot of very smart, very dedicated, very beautiful, very willing-to-do-what-it-takes people in this city. You cannot come here and expect things to happen TO you. This is a city where you need, in general, to prove yourself in your career…within your networks…in the DATING SCENE. You are always in line with dozens of people who want the same things you do. So you get REALLY good at learning how to find that one thing that separates you from the pack, and you go with it. In the end, no one else out there is just like you (I don’t care what Chuck Palahniuk says). As soon as you submit to the thought that you are just like everyone else, you have failed what this city is amazing at helping accomplish: showcasing AWESOMENESS.
The reasoning behind why I moved to this city is complex, and not what I want to share at the moment. The point is that I made the choice to move here in 2007 – for better or for worse – and, although the worse seemed to eclipse my enjoyment of life at times, this particular choice has aligned me with a wonderful, self-inspiring, self-inspired, rich with opportunity life.
Three things that bring me Happiness in Los Angeles:
1) Palm trees…be they short and fat, like big pineapples…or tall and thin, like paintbrushes reaching for the sky…I love them. I love the sound their leaves and branches make against one another. I love their resilience. I love that they are what they are…year-round.
2) Cool mornings, warm days and cool nights. I love that I can wear a sweater and leggings in the morning, a sundress in the afternoon, and a smart outfit with a chic jacket and sexy boots at night. This city’s weather agrees with my desire to change my outfit up multiple times a day.
3) The opportunity. This city is SWIMMING with opportunity. And networking. You may run into your next business partner in line at a coffee shop. You may run alongside an A-list celebrity in a 5k. In short, you have the resources here to make your dreams come true (unless your dream – as one friend pointed out – is to live in a drizzly, green, eco-conscious, alternative lifestyle city…like Seattle.) Rain is not a guarantee here. 😉
And how DO I miss those midwestern thunderstorms and lightening bugs ❤