(and the major lesson I learned at a Westfield food court)
I recently relocated. Back to a place I never thought I would return to.
Never say never, right?
When I left Los Angeles 8 years ago, I had no intention of returning.
I was moving on. Moving up. Leaving my old life behind to start anew.
I would have laughed in your face if you told me I’d ever make the decision to move back.
My relationship with L.A. is complicated.
I love the sun.
I love the proximity to the beach.
I love the boutiques and the good food.
I love the air of possibility. The creative energy. The big dreamers.
But there is so much that I don’t love. So much that pushes every single one of my buttons (and then some).
The (over) emphasis on physical appearance.
The traffic. (those who have endured it, understand why i put it on here twice)
The lack of a true sense of community.
And if I’m going to be 100% honest + transparent. . . a lot of the people.
I’ve been doubting my decision to relocate here. I’ve been doubting whether this is really the place I need to be.
I’ve been feeling lonely and unsure and totally out of my element.
Not to mention it’s been 100 degrees more often than not since we got here.
My sensitive Bay Area blood has been boiling.
Why do I bring all of this up?
Well, because I learned a very important lesson a few days ago at the Westfield food court of all places.
I was sipping creme soda and eating a curried rice bowl and was struck by the sea of judgmental faces.
I watched several women. Quietly critiquing other women based on what appeared to be their hair, their clothing or their weight. I watched men, sizing up other men.
I saw looks of insecurity. And looks of pure self-righteousness.
Honestly, I left L.A. because of this. Because of the perpetual sense of being judged. Of not being pretty enough, cool enough, smart enough. . .
And then it hit me! Like those neon bolts of wisdom typically do. Out of nowhere.
Right now. Right here.
I am the prodigal daughter.
Returning “home”. To a city that challenges me to the core.
But I’m returning as a new girl (the girl who knows).
Solid. Grounded. Strong. And on my best days, filled with love.
I’m here again but I’m different.
“Being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind.”
~Richard Wiseman, PhD
It’s all about being in the right state of mind. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again and expecting a different result.
If this is true, then in order to have a different relationship with L.A. ~ I need to do something different. I need to change my attitude.
So today, I’m shaking things up. The first thing I’m doing is changing my perspective.
I’m appreciating and accepting where I am.
Trusting that I’m right where I need to be.
It might not be perfect. It might not be easy.
But it’s where I am.
And life is beautiful.
And I am beyond lucky.
I’m also going to add a consistent practice of gratitude into my life.
Everyday I’ll jot down 10 things that I’m grateful for. Nothing like gratitude to help you stay in the moment. And in a place of love + kindness.
I’m also going to smile at people more. I find that as I see others judging, I’m judging them (for judging others). It’s a vicious circle.
So instead of fighting fire with fire, I’m going to shake it off and smile.
At least, that’s the plan.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Have you ever had a hard time after relocating to a new place? What helped you get through the transition? Any tips?
I’d love to know ~ leave me a comment below!
I’ll see you next week with an insanely cool new segment of GET TO KNOW (hint :: it involves playing with fire)!
Until next time. . .