When I first moved to L.A., I pretty much hated it.
The traffic, the smog, the high rent, the aggressive drivers, the 18 million people, the industry, everything.
But after scrooging it up for two years, I knew something had to change.
In the summer of 2014, I woke up in the middle of the night and jotted down three very specific things in my journal. Three things that I knew had to change in my life if I was going to stay in this town. I won’t bore you with the first and the third orders of business, but the second was to be content where I was.
This was scary to me because that meant I had to embrace Los Angeles as Home.
I was not ready to embrace Los Angeles as home.
A this point, I was working in marketing, hiding from what I really wanted to do – write for film and TV. Yeah, yeah I know, like every other goofball in this town, right? We all want something. We all moved here to pursue acting, directing, writing or producing those stories made for the big screen. In fact, we’ve moved here from all over the country.
Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Charlottesville, Tulsa, New Orleans, Dallas, Portland,
Seattle, San Diego. We all come from somewhere, and it’s typically not here.
I was never like, over-the- moon in love with Dallas for some reason. Oh yeah…now I remember. It’s HOT.
In fact, If I could imagine what hell would be like, Dallas probably has it beat, temperature wise. Why anyone ever attends a Rangers game in July, I’ll never understand. Did I ever even make it to a single 9th inning?
There came a point in high school when I was forced to wear that god-awful marching band uniform in August, and I knew I had to leave. I had to get out and explore other places. There were other reasons, but that’s the gist.
SO I went to Nashville for a while.
I checked out Scotland (a.k.a the love of my life forevermore)
Somehow I ended up in Los Angeles.
After getting here, I also wasn’t a huge fan of this city. Within the first year, I had four internships that were unpaid (read: broke) and my car was towed, stolen (okay, not really, but 22-yr-old me really thought it was) AND totaled.
I wasn’t too sure about the community by which I was surrounded. I’m pretty sure my neighbor was bipolar and abused her dog. I was working retail and my self confidence was at an all time low. I was struggling to make ends meet but even worse, I was NOT sold on this city I was half-way trying to accept.
But then something happened.
I found Community with a capital “C”.
I found Community in my roommate who stuck by my side and wouldn’t let me give up on a dream. I found Community in another friend who encouraged me to finish a novel. I found Community in a group of people at church who are pursuing the same type of life. They know, better than anyone what it means to struggle – to do the “L.A. shuffle” as someone labeled it the other day. I found Community in a co-working space (holla, Epiphany) that embraced me and called me family. They accepted me without hesitation. They prayed with and for me.
I found Community in a group of people who exist solely to support the artistic community in LA and, like me, tend to be conflicted when it comes to pursuing their dreams and need the
encouragement of others to do so. (What up, Greenhouse?)
This Community has changed me.
So I made some permanent changes. I decided to pursue the impossible. I decided to shoot for the stars – pun intended, duh – and stay.
A year later after some major community shifts in my life, I’m happy to call LA home.
There are days where I’m not sure where the next paycheck is coming from, but that’s pretty much every serious artist in this town, and knowing we’re all going though it together somehow gives me strength.
They don’t call it “starving artist” for nothing.
I have been provided for by a big God since day one. I look back at that all time low two years ago, and I realize how far I’ve come.
LA, you’ve done it. You’ve become Home. But not just your smog-covered mountains and tourist infested beaches. Not just the city buzz – that adrenaline rush that hits like a wave. That only comes with living in a county of 18 million people that rarely sleeps. It’s not just your landscape and Hollywood history and Chinese Theater and the Boulevard that makes it home. In fact, those are the things that have isolated me.
It’s this Community of incredible, driven and talented people who care. A Community of people who refuse to give up on their dreams, and still make time to invest in me and my own dreams.
That’s what makes it home.