Sunday, May 23, 2010

Los Angeles

Something in me shifted this weekend. I actually, um, like Los Angeles. Wait. That is too strong of a statement. Okay, clarification: I like some aspects of Los Angeles. I like driving down sun-dappled side streets and zipping down a bright, bright highway. I like spending only $9 on a car wash. I like eating pistachio macarons and almond macarons and vanilla macarons and any macarons. I like beating the morning crowds and stuffing my face with flakey croissants from Amandine. I like having my pick of interesting.

So why did/do I automatically despise everything LA? For me, Los Angeles conjures up images of milky death, hungry starlets, my grandfather laying in a hospital bed and smelling bad, everything fake plastic shiny and barely concealing sadness and anger and loneliness. It reminds me of limp summers and waiting, always too much waiting, and the feeling of being caught in limbo like a hapless, ensnared insect.

Ok, drama queen. But! Who is to say that Boston or San Francisco or any other city would hold the answers, the weather, the croissants (actually, yes to the croissants, but I digress)? It's the perennial dilemma of the grass being greener on the other side, the buildings over there being more imposing, the people on that side being more well-read. Why do I believe that moving to another city or another country would make me a better, happier, tougher, faster, nicer, cooler person? If I am unhappy here (which I am not), I would find some way to be equally unhappy somewhere else. If I am restless here (which I am), I would find some way to be equally dissatisfied somewhere else.

Conversations with Pauline and Evelyn made me realize that no matter where I go, there is beauty and culture and the interesting things happening everywhere. I have to learn to stop labeling cities and people. I just have to snap open these sleepy lids and pry open my heart and let go.

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