Today marks my official 5-year anniversary of living in Los Angeles. Hollywood. La la land. The city of broken dreams.
Five years ago (August 6, 2010), I moved out to LA from France not only without a car, but without a driver’s license. Or friends. After all, I’m a foreigner!
The first six months without a car were not great. And not just because “it’s LA” or because I didn’t know anyone.
Like many people, my first apartment–or sublet in this case–was horrid.
It was supposed to be furnished. When I got the place, I finally realized that, yes, there was a bed, a fridge, a stove…but that was it.
No sheets. No pillows. No utensils. No nothing.
Within the first 48 hours, I had to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy a ton of basic stuff I probably didn’t need, and then lugged it all the way back to to my place across town. In a bus. It was ridiculous.
As it turned out, the previous tenant also forgot to mention she had a certain moth infestation going in her closets.
Most of the clothes I had brought with me were destroyed within the first three months. Lovely.
Why am I telling this story now?
Well, for one thing– Holy shit! 2010 was FIVE YEARS AGO!
More importantly, I wrote about it during my very first update on my life in LA. Thinking about it again today made me ponder about how fleeting things are. More specifically, the famous adage that “life is what happens while we’re making other plans.” The good, and certainly the bad.
I didn’t expect the crap that I got. No one was there to drive me around and do my bidding (still no words on that last one). But I survived. I made it through. (Sort of.)
You can make due with what you have right now, but you still need to keep pushing forward.
Five years on, I’m still trudging my way through this town and the beast that is the entertainment industry. Cracking doors, knocking pavements, or something else that sounds like doing work.
Let me ask you something trite: where do you see yourself in five years?
Or how about: Where DID you see yourself in five years?
Nina Bargiel recently wrote a Medium article that caught my attention.
What hit home for me was this little bit:
There is an arbitrary line in the sand that we give ourselves:
By [age] I will have figured out [giant, important thing.
By 26 I will have figured out my career.
By 32 I will have figured out my love life.
By 41 I will have figured out my health.
This is a mathematical equation that is near-impossible to solve. Because all of the big stuff: work, love, health, involves hard work, yes, but it also needs a little bit of luck to make it through.
That impossible mathematical equation on life is something I’m still struggling with.
However many years later, I’m still getting used to the fact that, no, life isn’t a checklist with expiration dates attached to it.
We drive ourselves insane by setting arbitrary goals in the hopes of getting a packaged, predetermined life.
Yes, it’s nice to have aspirations and targets, but part of the journey (at least mine) is realizing not everything can be “controlled”, “scheduled”, “figured out”, or, you guessed it, “planned out”.
Life isn’t a biopic, or an autobiography, or a three-act structure, or a climactic hero’s journey.
As Opus once said: Life is life.
Five years strong. Let’s keep it going.
Here’s the next half-decade, and many more to come!