I recently took a solo trip to LA. This was born out of a desire to live there, my dad joking that I was going home to spawn, having been born in Huntinging Hospital. I won’t lie, living in California has intrigued me for quite some time. I’ve read the books, seen the movies, listen to the music, was hook, line, and sinker.
Subconsciously I figured this romantic view of California was the key to solving all my problems. Yes I know; there’s the idea of LA and then there’s the actual pounding of the pavement. That’s why I went on this trip, I finally wanted to physically see all the rough and neat parts stitched together, making a unique pattern. I wanted to find what was sold to me.
The whole trip felt a little bit like a dream. The city itself is shiny and bright but muted, so much so it’s sometimes hard to believe it’s captured the hearts of so many people. But there’s an ebb and flow, a rhythm to the city that makes my heart ache in a way I’ve never felt before. I feel like New York sings a different tune for everyone that wanders its streets. LA doesn’t give a shit what you want to hear, but if you like the sound, you’re welcome to stay and chill bit.
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a bar in DTLA, and I wonder if my life would actually change If I leave NY and live somewhere else. Would being 3000 miles away from where I am now mean I will finally get my shit together? Will I actually finish something for once? Will I be disciplined and not get so distracted?
I don’t know. I’ve said those words more times than I can count in the last couple days. I don’t know. Sure it would be nice to have some sort of idea. But I’m starting to think my problems began and end with me.
Is there a way to make myself different that doesn’t include reinventing the wheel? If so, I don’t know the formula. I feel so vague sometimes about what I want and what my goals are that parts of this weekend fell short. How can something or someplace be everything that I need if I don’t know what I want or need in the first place?
At this point I’m reminded of a quote from Khaled Hosseini. It goes, “I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.” I’ve been feeling this way a lot lately. Sure I’m moving forward but to what end? What’s the purpose? What’s the point?
I of course don’t mean that in a “nothing matters” kind of way. I’m just having an issue deciphering what matters most to me. I sometimes wonder what I would do if I knew the date of my death. Would that give my arc more sense, more structure? Would a solid timeline make this seem less like an amorphous blob and more a structural unit of time? Is that even what I want or need?
What I want is to be sure. To be so sure of something that any questions or contrary statements become moot before they even reach my ears. But I don’t think that ever really happens to anyone. There are too many choices, too many different paths to take. I have a wealth of options. And I know, it’s a good problem to have.
As I am sitting in this bar alone I look around at everyone who has made this place their home. Perhaps the difference between them and me is not that they are sure, but that they are committed. Maybe they didn’t know what they wanted, but they found something and they stuck with it. I don’t know if that’s the solution. But it would make the day to day a little easier.
I think I’ll have another beer though. That’s pretty much the only thing I’m sure about. That and it smells like weed in this bar. Oh California. Stay cool and never change.