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Saying Goodbye to Los Angeles
Reflecting on all that California gave me in the 6 years I called it home.
Welcome to the first edition of Offline Time. Wow… I am so excited about this, and so happy you’re here. We’re gonna talk about a lot of things in this newsletter, but first, I’m going to share a letter I wrote to California, a place I lived for 6 years, the most time I’ve ever lived in one city in my adult life.
Six years ago next month, I arrived in LA knowing three people. I slept on friends couches (thanks Ben) as I adjusted to the odd, surreal, sinking feeling of moving to a new city. Those first few weeks, I focused on the structured, this-I-can-do tasks of finding a roommate and leasing a car. I met a girl named Kacie through Craigslist and lived with her for a few weeks in her beautiful slice of Silver Lake heaven, where she grew kale in her backyard garden and practiced meditation on the east-facing deck. In the afternoons I’d go on hot walks down the hill to the Silver Lake Reservoir, wondering if, and if so, why, people in LA thought it was beautiful, an enclosed arid body of man-made water. (Which, as time went on, I did find beautiful, thanks to its cross-valley breeze, the way the setting/rising sun cast a blue shadow over the valley, the houses I’d dream of one day buying.)
I was just beginning my career with Lee From America, trying to turn that blog into my full time job, and California provided me with blazing sunsets, ample sunshine, a new community to explore, a symbolic “fresh start” away from my New England roots.
I grew into adulthood in LA. I went from girl to woman. I experienced love, heartbreak, the murky grounds of both. I went through career highs and lows. By 28, I thought I was done (laughs maniacally). Feeling lost, becoming found again. Adopting a dog who I miss when I’m away from him for any period of time longer than two hours. The opportunity to love and care for something outside of myself.
I made friends here that I will have for a lifetime, who picked me up and (literally and figuratively) drove me through some of my darkest moments. Who took me to Foxy’s in Glendale for chicken finger baskets and bottomless Coke (highly recommend that exact order when you are crying and can’t decide what to eat for dinner). Who answered the phone when I called, dropped off cookies and Thanksgiving leftovers while I was quarantined alone for the holiday after a potential COVID exposure. Friends who never let me feel alone. Who loved me, truly and deeply.
Today, I sit in my empty Eagle Rock apartment with a one way ticket back east. I don’t know if it’s permanent or just for a little. But I feel called to return to the east coast, to revisit those places that I wanted to get away from. Today, I’m open to all the possibilities life has in store for me, and I wish to remain flexible for whatever comes next.
And I shall leave you with…
Ok, the outro of this song is INSANE. Angèle’s haunting voice puts me into an emotional state of distress, but the good kind.