Sometimes living in a big city can be overwhelming. There are many advantages to living in a city like Los Angeles, New York City or Chicago. We get exposed to many different cultures, food, people, entertainment, product availability, more tolerance, etc but we also can easily get lost in the pace of things. Lives in big cities are fast paced and sometimes crazy. We don’t seem to have time to stop and smell the roses any more. We are so absorbed by our schedule, getting from point A to point B, making it to the office on time, taking the kids from school to their activities. Even weekends are full. Some of us work on weekends and don’t even have time to relax. Yes, living in a big city might indeed mean that we have to have 2 or 3 jobs. Living in Los Angeles or New York City can cost an arm and a leg. So why do we do it?
Well, apart from the things mentioned above, I think city living is just a dream for avant-garde people who just need to feel alive and need to be on the move all the time. It is also suitable for liberal people who might feel stuck wherever they were living before. They move to a big city because they might feel like they can blend in more easily and be more accepted. Some would never even consider living in Los Angeles because they are actually trying to avoid the melting pot. Some embrace diversity while some would rather stay in their comfortable environment. I do not see anything wrong with either people. I think that we have to be wherever we feel most comfortable. Traveling of course is a good thing to become more aware and accepting but finding a place that feels like home is a very important part of our Pursuit of Happiness. Home is not necessarily where you are born and raised. Home is wherever you feel happy and comfortable. Some people grow up in really small towns and cannot wait to leave. Others are content and would never entertain the idea of leaving. Small towns can be warm and safe. They can also be claustrophobic for those who cannot wait to get out. It all depends on your personality. You have to follow your instinct or gut and just go wherever you feel happiest.
For me, Los Angeles is great. It is full of people from all over the country and world. I like the mix. I like the diverse landscape. Everyday I feel extremely grateful to be able to witness nature’s beauty. Southern California has mountains, valleys, the oceans, desert, and well, a lot of freeways. That is probably what I resent the most about Los Angeles. Driving is a pain here. People do not drive very well here and it is the major cause of frustration here if I had to guess. Los Angeles is way too busy, too fast paced. As much as I love living in LA, I also have days where I really hate it. I am a pretty simple person. I do not care for all the fashion and materialistic things some people seek after. I like my quiet time., I don’t like going out to all the clubs LA has to offer. I don’t like crowds. I am a non conformist as you saw in my posts. I like doing my own thing. I love people and I like socializing but I don’t always do it in the most expected manners. I find it difficult to make true friends here. Too often, people say, “yeah let’s do something” “Let’s make it happen” and it never happens. I talk to many foreigners who come to Los Angeles and who tell me the exact same thing. They feel that people are fake here. I admit, I do understand them. I sometimes feel that way too. Coming from the Midwest where people are a lot more warm and fuzzy, LA can seem a little cold. Actually, not so cold, just fake. People who were born and raised in LA are not necessarily like that but those who come here with a special goal in mind sometimes are so focused on what they came here to do that they become very insensitive to everything else. Manners have been lost. The “I’ll do anything to get what I want” attitude is real here. Then there are all the people who get so absorbed by the L.A. lifestyle that they lose touch with their roots and what it means to be a good person. LA is superficial and it is a little easy to fall into the trap.
Many times, I want to get out of here. I suffocate and need to escape this crazy city. This week is one of those times. I need a vacation from Southern California. We could get out of LA and travel to Big Bear or Mammoth, etc but what would be the point since we would end up where all those Angelenos escape to in December. A trip to the Midwest or Anywhere but California would be nice. It won’t happen anytime soon unfortunately but it would be rejuvenating. I always say that California is like its own country. We feel so detached from the rest of the United States. That is of course mainly because of the time difference with the rest of the country. We get everything 3 hours later that most of the US. If you want to watch a show, you better stay away from Twitter or Facebook because most likely someone will spoil it for you before you get to turn on your TV. I really hate that. Also, people in Los Angeles have such a different lifestyle than the rest of the country that it feels like we are so separated from everyone else. We are a bit strange here. We are ahead for many things but that is not always a good thing. I think we do things that are not always seen as normal in other parts of the US. Los Angeles is very liberal. We eat tofu, we have froyo shops everywhere and finding an actual ice cream place is a challenge nowadays. We have vegan restaurants on every corner. People skateboard to work. We wear flip-flops all year round, even if it is 50 degrees outside. Women go to Dry Bars just to get their hair done (no cut!). They get their nails done once a week. We drink so much alcohol to survive our crazy stressed lives than we have liquor stores on every corner and 5 cents sales at BEVMO. Happy hour is the most popular word during the week at the office. We are obsessed with deals, like Living Social or Groupon. People go tanning all the time, even though we get sunshine almost 365 days a year. I’m an actor, director or producer are the most common responses if you ask someone what they do for a living. So, yes we are laid back here. If you drive around the coast, you will witness some pretty laid back attitude, the cool surfers, the stoners, etc but that’s not all LA. LA is also full of cliques. You have the extremely rich, the extremely poor, the homeless, and the ones stuck in the middle. You have the stress of everyday life. You have the superficial crap that no one really thinks about. If you are not born here, most likely, there is only a certain amount of LA you can tolerate. After a while, you will need to take a mini vacation from it. Most people do. People get out of the city or state ALL the time. I think it is a mandatory thing if you want to survive. I am an exception. I can’t really afford leaving LA so I am stuck here, for now.
In the meantime, I turn on my music, I try to block things that bother me. I try to talk to family and friends who are not from LA. I attempt to create my safe heaven. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about what people are doing in other states. What are people doing in small towns…? Thinking of simple things brings me back to center and peace. I try to just enjoy the most basic things. I also watch a lot of documentaries. A recent one if HAPPY. It is such a great documentary that reminds you about how we should all live. Happiness in usually never wrapped in a package. It is never visible. It is impossible physically hand in happiness. Happiness comes in the strangest ways…To find happiness again when we are too overwhelmed and stressed out, we often have to recharge….elsewhere.