Dear Los Angeles,
I always knew you were different. When I first met you when I was 20, I remember standing bare feet in Venice Beach and thought “Woahhh….I think this is it for me” ( And not JUST because I was obsessed with the TV show “The O.C” at the time). It felt perfect- the palm trees, the skateboarding teens, the oddball bohemians (err, bums), the people playing beach volleyball…all together under your beautiful sky. I never really believed in magic but there I was, my heart beating slowly, feeling like my body was not the only thing in “LA-LA land”.
I so desperately wanted to be with you but the timing was off. I was in school, I was young, there was this thing called money that I didn’t have and I wasn’t mature. Years went by and we did long distance for a bit……..a few days here, another two weeks there but mannnn- it was tough. I decided it was time to get real with you so 2 years ago I packed up my bags, left my job, and bought a one way ticket to you. Some people thought I was crazy and tried to make me see all of your flaws but I knew better. That’s the thing with you- people either love you or hate you but NOBODY can ignore you.
I think back to when I first arrived after the big move and I thought, “FINALLY… I MADE IT!” In reality though..I didn’t make it at all. I showed up with two luggages, no job, no friends, a craigslisted apartment, and a lot of doubt. “Making it” would require serious work. You didn’t pick me up, kiss me on the head and tell me it was going to be ok though which made me realize the honeymoon phase was over. It was different living with you than vacationing with you and at first I thought I made a big mistake. You made me really work to get comfortable here and challenged me. You made me feel uncertain. You made me feel lonely. You made me feel lost. But you made me a stronger person. And you made me appreciate you more because of it.
Your beauty, from an outsiders perspective, is obvious but what I like about you most is how beautiful you are in a less obvious way; all of your features and traits that one can only see from knowing you really well. As my time here comes to an end, I have been able to reflect on why I love you so and all the things I will miss about you.
I’ll miss the hipsters of Silverlake, the work out freaks in Santa Monica, the stoners in Venice, the rich and famous people of Beverly Hills. I’ll miss Koreatown, Little Ethiopia, Thai town and downtown LA. I’ll miss all of these little crevices that are really each their own town. They each offer a little bit of culture to this masterpiece of a city.
I’ll miss driving down Sunset Boulevard watching the most insane sunsets
I’ll miss saying ridicous things like “OK this weather has been awful. It’s been cloudy for 2 days…STRAIGHT”
I’ll miss my favourite taco joint ( BABY BACK RIB TACOS FOREVER), the taco trucks, the taco stands and your ability to turn anything and everything into a taco.
I’ll miss summer movie nights with wine at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery…because WHERE ELSE CAN YOU DO THAT?
I’ll miss popping my head out of my bedroom window. Not only because I can see palm trees but also because when someone is picking me up, I get to yell “be right down!” ….like in the movies. I’ll miss my neighbours…the ones that say hi every time I see them because YES, there are NICE AND REAL people here believe it or not. I’ll miss living with my roomie who has also become one of my best friends.
I’ll miss your fresh strawberries and avocados (the best) and your year round farmers markets.
I’ll miss being able to get a fresh juice paired with an organic salad that makes my insides scream with glee…..at any.single.corner.
I’ll miss how beautiful you look in the rain.
I’ll miss people being like ‘OMG DRIVE SAFE!’ when it does rain…because nobody can drive here even if it’s just spitting out.
I’ll miss hiking, specifically the hikes where I could be at a top of a mountain while simontaniously looking at the ocean.
I’ll miss all the flea markets. Not many places where you brush arms with the most stylish people all while trying to find a cool sweater to buy for $2.00 that was originally somebody’s Grandma’s.
I’ll miss Yogurtland because yes, it was a food group at one point ( fine- it still is)
I’ll miss weekend trips to Palm Springs or Santa Barbara. Only two hours from LA but when you are there you feel worlds away.
I’ll miss Trader Joe’s (tearing up now)
I’ll miss all the people that came here chasing a dream and are still here chasing it. I’ll miss all the ambition – “I’m writing a screen play”, “I’m producing a short”, “I’m doing this side project”…
I’ll miss all of the people I have met- some people that came into my life for a season, some people that will be in my life forever and anyone who has been part of a fun memory here.
The one thing I won’t miss? LA PARKING ENFORCEMENT! See you later YOU JERKS!
Thank you for everything LA. For the tan. For the laughs. For filling my life for the last two years with excitement and passion. For the endless summer. For the experience. For changing me.
In the words of your old governor though…”I’LL BE BACK”