A year ago, I accidentally moved to LA. I had been living in Edinburgh, Scotland for four and a half years, and frankly I thought I would spend the rest of my life there. There was a strange turn of events, and I found myself here. It was a huge culture shock! Where in Scotland charity and politeness are EVERYTHING, here in LA, “you do you” is the general expectation. In a multitude of areas besides that one difference, it has taken a long time to settle, but I’ve been told time and time again I’m not alone in that.
It is a hard city to move to, especially if you have come to pursue a career in entertainment. However, it can also be a place packed full of excitement and opportunity. It depends on where you are coming from in your personal journey. I had felt like my beautiful life had been ripped from me! My friends, my band, my inspiration, my job, and the only “home” I’d ever felt in a place, let alone a place so beautiful and full of creativity, were gone. Months went by, and it still didn’t get any easier to have parted with that life. Over time, I learned all the ways that LA can be inspirational.
This is acity full of creative-minded business folk, dreamers, persevering strong souls who have or are pushing through the relentless questioning of one’s identity and worth. You aren’t required to look out for the driver in the next lane, begging with every blinking signal to enter yours, you believe that they will get to their destination if they just keep driving and do what they have to do to get there. Yeah, it’s kinda messed up, but I’ve learned to find it encouraging. No one will tell you, “You can’t.” They might tell you, “You aren’t what we are looking for” or ,“Prove you are worth it” or, “You never know who’s in your vicinity, so perform for them” (everywhere, all the time), but underneath it all the intention is to help each other up the ladder of success as much as possible. Just the simple reality that there in an excess of people going for the same thing and some have more drive and/or talent makes it impossible to help everyone. The intent to help, encourage, and point in the right direction the “transplants” fresh off the boat or the mighty persevering masses can then start to weigh in on the helper’s hustle and time. So people naturally have questions they use to filter through the masses. Generally, there is a belief that if you work for it, stay strong and persistent, you can do whatever it is you put your mind to! Positive thinking and speaking is everyone’s obsession. I can’t deny it can create an uplifting environment, even though it can occasionally feel like a crazy rat race of a city.
Underneath this white noise of ‘hustle’, there are many pockets where people are creating fun and pursuing a wholesome life: corners of art, community, culture, means of relaxation ( which in a big city becomes a commodity fought to be found), means of inspiration. The struggle to find the real amongst the performance, the relationships free of networking/users/business, the beautiful hiding behind the haze and pollution… that is L.A. After a full year of becoming acquainted with this unique city, I’m finding it, and I’m bringing it to you.
I recently returned to Edinburgh after this unexpected year-long distance, and I will be sharing a bit about it with you from my personal perspectives, giving you insight into why you should pay it a visit, and sharing a few of it’s little local secrets. 😉