I’d be safe and warm, if I was in LA

Today I woke up feeling a bit down, I think working from home and the lack of human interaction is getting to be a little bit. My life is literally wake up, study, work, gym and that’s about it. I need to start getting out of the house but every minute spent away from the readings and essays of uni work is a minute filled with guilt. This is the lament of a student.

When I feel like this my brain starts to miss specific places and the need to go somewhere intensifies. Today it has chosen Los Angeles which it chooses quite often to be honest. Sometime it will be London,this was especially so in the year after I moved back from London. That was a difficult year, the grieving process I went through was terrible. I know this sounds dramatic and a little first world problem-ish but I know a lot of other people experience this. My least favourite word is wanderlust because its been turned into one of those things that people who have been on one Contiki, once and think they are super traveled and cultured, get tattooed on them.  However, the actual definition “a strong desire to travel” is exactly how I feel. That actually down plays it a little- its not just a strong desire; its a yearning, its deep inside of me and it makes me depressed when it can’t happen.

Waking up today (I cant say this morning because I woke up at about 11am,
I have been doing that a lot lately, its not helping my mental health) all could think of was Los Angeles, that crazy city has a piece of my heart that I am happy for it to keep. LA is not typically the city in America that steals peoples hearts, most would feel this way about New York and it is understandable why. While I loved New York, it just felt like somewhere I was visiting, LA feels like home. I would give anything to be navigating my way through the crazies on Hollywood Boulevard with the hot sun shining on me while a cool breeze blows. I will never forget how that breeze feels  while sitting drinking a cider, watching the world go by.

My first time in LA was in 2013 and it was on the fateful trip that was essentially the catalyst to big changes in my life- came home, ended my six year relationship, moved cities and spent the next two years alone and focusing on myself. What I didn’t realise at the time that I was in a really bad place mentally, I knew I didn’t like my life but I wasn’t completely sure why or what to do about it. Looking back, I realise I was unhappy in my relationship and hated my job and I was so sick of living a life to please every body else at the detriment of my happiness. I didn’t want to be a home own living in the small town I grew up in and have babies in the near future. I wanted more, I wanted to see more of the world and just do things my way. I wanted to actually work in a career I liked and not want to cry every morning.

The first time I went to LA I was only there for one night before making our way to Las Vegas. That night we met a  couple of really great guys who we had an accidental huge night with and talking to them was so interesting. The thing that struck me about people in LA is that no one has a proper job or if they do, they are working towards something else. Everyone says they are “something but they work at somewhere” like “I am an actress  but I work in a coffee shop at the moment.” One of the guys we met was a fashion designer who said he had been to Katy Perry’s birthday party and had a beef with Kid Cuddi. I was talking with him, explaining what I did for a job and that working nine to five is pretty standard in Australia was pretty standard and he said “I just don’ know how people go to jobs everyday that they hate.” That will always stay with me because at that time I so desperately desired to do something meaningful that I loved. At the time, I was lead to believe that doing that was not viable, that I would not succeed and it would be a waste of time.

I went back to LA in 2015 after all of the big life changes had happened and I genuinely thought I was better mentally, I thought I was happier but that trip was the two months in America during which I was very anxious and homesick. This time I was in LA for four days and then another five after Coachella and getting to see more of the city just cemented that I could live there. There are just so many things to be seen and so many opportunities to delve right into whichever scene it is you’re into. LA is often called fake and plastic because of the celebrities that call it home but on the ground level, the regular people you meet are the furtherest from fake. They are 100 hundred percent themselves, sometimes to the slight detriment of their sanity. Hollywood isn’t called Hollyweird for nothing. My first night in LA, at a bar on H’wood Blvd (look how local I am being) I saw at least three girls with live snakes in their hair and watched my friend be lifted like a barbell by a strange man who called himself “Mr Muscles.” While it did eventually get to me that I couldn’t walk down the street without being spoken to or yelled at by someone (not the best of someone with anxiety who isn’t great with strangers) one of my friends hit it on the head today when she said that maybe we like it so much because we are weird too. I feel like LA is full of my people.

I have so many stories I could tell about LA and the people and sites I witnessed- like the poor homeless man on the bus from Santa Monica back to Hollywood who was wanting to be dropped off in Beverly Hills but struggled to stay awake and was sleeping in the most body contorting positions, or the man who got on the same bus and loudly asked the man next to him if he would be interested in doing some weed testing for money. Or when my travel partner and I naively spent a few hours in a Walmart shopping for Coachella supplies until I realised there were some young guys who may have been gang members watching us and upon googling later, we realised we were in Torrence which is apparently a very rough area. Or when we took a Hollywood bus tour where our tour guide was a really bad Jackie Chan impersonator until the bus broke down and people yelled at Jackie demanding money back. Or when we went to an open mic night and I made a cute musician take me home but that is absolutely enough of that story. However, this post is already pretty long and I think I could tell those stories separately when I eventually feel like it.

On my last night in LA, I geared myself up to get a tattoo but by the time I made it down there the shops were all closed. I was going to get a tattoo of a palm tree- I know, cliche right? Right now, if I didn’t have about $100 to my name, I would make a booking and go get that palm tree done.I know LA has been orchestral in the changes I have made in life, the want to do something I love and follow my dreams and here I am working in social media, studying and trying to get into writing for a job. So while life is definitely on the track to how I want it, today I am definitely California Dreaming (good one right?)

I’d be safe and warm, if I was in LA