Five weeks ago today, I hopped on a plane in JFK and landed in LAX. My goal was to fulfill a life long dream of living in Los Angeles. It was something to cross off my bucket list – a new adventure and a test in making it on my own (without family or a car) once again.
I’ve learned so much about Los Angeles while being a temporary Angelino. First off, not everyone in Los Angeles is an actor or works in Hollywood. There are many, yes, but I was fortunate to engage with those who are just like the rest of the us. They work traditional jobs, just like many of you. They don’t go clubbing every weeknight, much like many thirty-somethings nationwide. They are indifferent toward Gucci or Prada or even if you know Scorcece, just like me.
I also learned that Los Angeles is a suburban city with pockets of different vibes and cultures. Much like New York City, every neighborhood has a feel. I lived in Mid City West near The Grove and by West Hollywood. It was pretty and quiet albeit touristy. There wasn’t much brown around but I needed a break from my people, if only for a few weeks.
However, what made my journey worthwhile was the personal growth that I experienced. I’ve learned to relax a little more. I’ve become even more independent than I was before. I conquered a fear of bugs and killed moths with a can a Raid like a soldier (I had a serious moth infestation in the kitchen of my subleased apartment). I opened up to someone (a man!), expressing that I care even though it terrified me. I realized that I have trouble expressing my emotions in an emotional way and resort to logic because it is safer. I realized that I still have work to do to conquer my abandonment/rejection issues. I know now that I can do anything and survive on my own, anywhere. I missed my family and friends back home yet it didn’t break me. I rode the 316, 16, 720, 8 (and so many other bus routes), got lost, and found my way back. I ventured to Koreatown and confirmed that I cannot read Korean.
But most of all, this trip was a testament of how courageous I am and all the amazing things I have accomplished thus far.
And so, I bid Los Angeles adieu. In 48 hours, I will hop on a plane in BUB and land in EWR. I don’t know what is next. I don’t know when I will see Los Angeles again. But I do know that I will work through it, pace myself and embrace the unknown.