It’s not our first rodeo here in Los Angeles. That’s right, we’ve relocated back to Tinseltown in hopes of continuing chasing the dream, and of course, getting our fair share of West Coast sunshine. Minus the fact that it’s been monsoon season for the last week, conveniently the same week we were moving in and had to drag suitcases through massive puddles that put New York City’s winter slush to shame.
So here I am, sitting at a desk that I bargained for, because there was a tiny scratch on the surface (always try to get a discount for a tiny defect, works every time), while smelling a delicious candle, with a green plant in my peripheral. It’s happened ladies and gentlemen, we are no longer living out of suitcases.
Why not just keep reusing the same pair of pants and three shirts, for the sake of travel?
Because sometimes you can have it all; travel, and some sort of comfort. Today is one of those days where all of the sacrifice and major under eye circles you put into achieving your dreams dissolve into a pool of sheer joy, because you accomplished another milestone – rare moments that should be appreciated. And to celebrate, I made a delicious home cooked meal, in a proper kitchen, and lit some candles while I dump my thoughts on what it’s been like to come to Los Angeles for a second go around.
Let’s be clear, last year, I borderline disliked LA very strongly. Of course, you would have no idea by looking at my cheesy grin in all of our YouTube videos, because creating videos genuinely made me happy. The minute filming was over though, I’d wallow in this funk of comparing LA to New York, and assuming that everyone I met would be a major fake, and have the personality equivalent to that of an unseasoned piece of tofu.
I got what I was asking for, bland tofu personalities, and fakes for days. If you haven’t read “The Secret,” that’s exactly what the book and theory is about; like attracts like, and thoughts attract whatever it is you’re thinking. Before I even realized what was happening and why, I was in a dark hole of no friends, or interesting people in my life for an entire year. The traveling kept me sane, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that Los Angeles might not be the place for me.
But deep down, somewhere underneath all the Veggie Grill consumed, was the gut feeling I had that I had to give LA another chance.
We arrived about ten days ago, and I’m a transformed woman. I’ve joined the gym of my dreams, lost five pounds, moved into an apartment that has already become my creative and mental sanctuary, and we’re planning all of these exciting trips. Beyond all of the amazing things happening that don’t involve people, the most exciting part is that I’m FINALLY, finally, meeting phenomenal and interesting people, every damn day. You’re probably like,” Jo, you always meet interesting people.” I promise you, I only made two friends during my entire last year living in LA. Now as I reflect, the reason was obvious: I was simply not open to the idea of making friends here.
After reading back on my journal entries from 2016, I noticed a trend, I was dimming my own light by denying myself the right to friendship by putting up this ridiculous mental block that I simply couldn’t find great people here. If you ask anyone who’s experienced LA, something will come up about the crappy people within the first ten minutes, it’s like LA’s city superlative. And I committed the #1 faux pas of Damon And Jo ideology, believing what everyone says and not investigating for myself.
I truly convinced myself that out of the 3.7 million people living their daily lives in this city, none of them were going to be genuine.
Taking steps back, it was so clear to me that I had fallen into the trap of listening to everyones’ opinions about the place, and claiming them as my own. By no means is it easy to self analyze,and step outside of yourself to pinpoint the exact root of your issue, which is why I journal, and re-read my ridiculous rants that I now see as absurd, but helpful in achieving my happiness in the long run.
Damon and I have come back with a closer bond than ever, more ambitious than when we started, and have been having all the random fun we used to have that involves nothing but a good sense of humor; like pushing a random grocery cart down a street and making a photo shoot out of it.
The point is, that you can’t expect to automatically be the happiest person on earth, even if everything is going in your favor. If you have a crappy attitude and perspective about your situation, that’s exactly what your situation will be, crappy.
And although we might not always get it right on the first try, all it takes is a second take.