All my friends are moving away. That is an exaggeration, but it’s starting to feel like that. One of my very best friends just told me she’s leaving LA, probably by May, and my workout partner and her family are relocating by the end of June. Other good friends of ours peaced out last year - sold their house in Mount Washington and now live in their RV while they contemplate their next chapter.
I know this is the way of big cities; people leave after a while, but we’ve had a good run. I’ve been here 15 years and almost everyone in my life has stayed during that time - until now. The tides seem to be turning. People are wanting more out of life. Maybe it’s our age. Families. Lack of a need to go out and do all the things that the big city has to offer. Less tolerance for all the consistent annoyances - no parking, hellish traffic, ridiculous expense, the overall hassle and exhaustion of the unavoidable hustle.
We feel the pull, too. Joe and I have thought many times about leaving, but we won’t go unless the right opportunity arises. That includes a great job for Joe; a situation better than what we currently have going on. I can do my job from anywhere these days.
That’s not to say we’re unhappy here. It’s a great life. We have good friends and a beautiful home. And, like anyone still duking it out in LaLa, we’re only one step away from being huge! (Ha). (But, really!). I also suspect we’re rather spoiled. Having lived in NYC & LA my entire adult life, in some ways I think - Go anywhere else, and you might be in for a rude awakening, Sister. But I’d be willing to bet the positives would outweigh the negatives.
I long for more of a community. A smaller pond where we can go and - I know it sounds cliché - people will know our names. Or at least smile and chat with us when they recognize our faces. At stores. At brunch. Would we start going to brunch again? How about a farmers’ market where you can actually park? Our needs are different these days. We want good schools. We want clean parks and nice people. Manageability. Do I sound old?
I dream about a walkable city with a cool, small town vibe and a good arts scene. A unique, friendly place where there’s not seventy five things to do on any given weekend - maybe just one or two - but they’re good things that people look forward to and talk about and show up to. And these events become shared experiences and history.
Sometimes we toss around the idea of moving back East, but that conversation is always rather short lived. The town where I’m from in upstate NY is pretty sweet, and there’s so many people there I love, but the winters are evil and I honestly don’t think we’re up for it. Despite our roots, we’re Californians now. This February was the coldest month in LA history: “It never hit 70!” people have been lamenting, detectable horror in their voices. We felt it. Everyone’s been sick for the last bunch of weeks. And this rain? We know it’s good for our farmers and our lawns, but please, Lord, send us back our sun!
We actually have an idea of where our (next) utopia is, but nothing is solid just yet. For the past three years we were tied here as we fostered to adopt our baby girl. Not anymore. We are free to move about the country.
It feels like a window moment is imminent. There are windows in life. They open for a short amount of time. Nothing has presented itself yet, so for now we sit faithfully. We wait and we watch. We put it out there.
Magic happens when you take chances. When you get quiet and listen to your intuition. Then, when the timing’s right, you move the needle by stepping out and trusting that the net will appear.
I was just reminiscing about coming to LA all those years ago. Building this big, joyful life out here one courageous step into the unknown at a time. I have the feeling it’s almost time again, to trust the inner compass and heed the call. Seems like lots of people are taking the plunge.