I have lived in Los Angeles for twenty one years.
So, by my careful calculations, I have spent a total of two years stuck in traffic, approximately three thousand dollars on non-fat lattes, and seen a cumulative of four and a half celebrities in person, give or take a few B-level soap stars I barely recognized in Whole Foods, where they were no doubt buying gluten-free, taste-free chocolate cake.
I recently graduated from college, and plan to move to Germany in September for the foreseeable future. All this transition has me feeling nostalgic about my home city, and has made me reflect on the many things I will and will not miss about this place. It’s funny, isn’t it? There comes a certain affection for a place that is only accessible to those about to leave it.
Truth be told, most of the time Los Angeles drives me absolutely crazy. The fast paced, never-ending hustle, the obsession with physical appearance spurred on by the pervasive influence of Hollywood, the ridiculously high cost of living, and so much more often builds up until I say, “I can’t do this anymore. I give up.”
On the other hand, I love Los Angeles with a deep, fierce love that can never be replaced. I am annoyingly proud to call it home and have been known to shout out the phrase “West Coast Best Coast!” at inopportune times. There’s a reason so many songs are written about this city and not, say, Wichita (no offense Wichita, you’ve got some killer wheat fields). There’s just something so enchanting about this over-grown town, where everyone believes their dreams will come true. People come here to make it– this city is populated with dreamers, artists, entrepreneurs and creators of all stripes. Just take a walk down the Venice Beach boardwalk and you’ll see what I mean. There is no prescribed lifestyle here– everyone can live exactly as they please! I’m so grateful to have grown up amidst such diverse cultures and groups.
But. I’m leaving. I am contributing to the transience that plagues this great city. And I feel all the mixed emotions a person can feel. Yes, I know I will return to visit. I care about too many people here to not visit. And yes, who knows, I may settle here permanently again one day in the future! For now, though, I am excited to try someplace new, to call another spot in this great big gorgeous world home.
Regardless, I’ll always say I’m a California girl through and through.
Thanks for everything, beautiful city. Stay chill. I’ll miss you.