April 9 makes two years for me in the City of Angels. I always say it feels like ten minutes and ten years at the same time.
I meet people who have been here 2, 3, 10 times that and still say they are “feeling their way.” While I do not (and will not) claim that for myself, I get it. Los Angeles is a massive city spread out over an immense land mass woven together by a gigantic system of roads, highways, trains, busses, and freeways. In other words, LA is big! And to top it off, LA is the “epicenter” of just about everything. If you wanna be or do something, come to LA to do it. Yet with all the roads and highways, it’s easy to lose your way in LA.
I came to LA to write and act and have since done that and, gratefully so, several other endeavors, including standup, runway, and public relations. But not everyone has the opportunity to flow fluidly through professions and crafts. I always say prayers for those who may have lost their way-- the man sitting aimlessly on the subway with all of his earthly possessions, the woman who is sitting at the bus stop constantly reapplying lipstick, yet never taking a bus. I always wonder if these persons came to Los Angeles with aspirations. Stars in their eyes, hopes, dreams, a few dollars and a passion for their craft. And with the mishandling of life (or life’s mishandling of you), sometimes there’s a breakdown or a lockout, and sometimes people just can’t deal.
Or another common way of being lost in LA is people can shift from creator mode to survival mode and can’t find their way back. Passing up auditions because we can’t get our shifts covered. Or grinding away at a 9-5, realizing you haven’t picked up your instrument or a pen in weeks. Finding your way is one thing; keeping on track is another.
All that to say, gratefully so, I have been abundantly supplied by my gifts. I’ve lost friends and loves and jobs and things, but I’ve also lost anxieties and worries and conceit. The balance has to start from within. The way is within.
I went from feeling empty in my three-bedroom house filled with fancy dishes and custom curtains to a studio apartment and a fulfillment I never knew. Funny how being in the smallest space I’ve ever lived houses more than I’ve ever needed.
But what’s greater is all the things I thought were “lost,” life has, is, and will restore. And I’ve seen it happen so many times before that I will not allow myself to doubt now. I’m excited for year three. Knowing that I’ve been guided and directed and protected and provided for for a reason—reasons greater than myself. Navigating life in this massive place called Los Angeles, I know the way is within. Happy anniversary.