Thursday, 14 March 2013

Los Angeles, I'm Yours

When I moved here, I didn't have a clue what to expect.

I uprooted myself and moved 5000 miles to a city (and a state, and a time zone) that I'd never even visited.

And to be frank, I don't think it's a move I would have ever considered if a specific job opportunity hadn't arisen. If you'd ask me where in America I'd like to live, I would definitely have picked New York. Maybe Portland. Or San Francisco. Chicago, at a push. Never the land of 'resting' actors, fake boobs, shallowness, smog and traffic.

And it definitely hasn't been easy to adjust to living here. Los Angeles can be insular. Working from home, living alone, and working odd, anti-social hours can make establishing a routine or a social life super tricky.

I got so homesick at times. I missed so many huge events in my friends' lives. I missed English humour, and English seasons.

And wow, there really are no shortage of fake-boobed, fake-smiling, yappy-dog owning girls in this city unable to talk about anything except their next audition, their BMI or how to hook a rich dude.

But the thing is, I've fallen absurdly, overwhelmingly in love with Los Angeles.

When people ask me why that is, I can give them a partial explanation. I can try and tell them about the quality of the light in the hour before sunset. Or the neon signs advertising weird retro motels. I can describe how, 15 minutes after I leave my house, I can be hiking up canyons, surrounded by birds and skunks and signs bearing warnings about mountain lions.

I could attempt to explain how incredible it feels to have the ocean in one direction and the mountains in another. To be able to head to Palm Springs for a weekend, or to hang out in Santa Barbara for the day. And I could tell them about the amazing group of friends I've gradually gotten to know, and how lucky I feel to have made those connections.

But that's the thing about love - however much you try and explain it, the whole is so much more than the constituent parts.

My time here has been perfect in so many ways. But I want to keep it that way. I want LA to be like that perfect, unforgettable summer romance.* I don't want to overstay my welcome. And right now, to stay here would involve making sacrifices in terms of my career that I'm not ready to make.

So next month I'll be heading back to London. And I'm really hoping I can rekindle the love affair I used to have with my historic, diverse, familiar old stomping ground.

But man, I'm going to miss this place.

*Feel free to start singing Summer Lovin' here. Like, really, feel free.


A said...

Beautifully written.

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