Ode To SoCal

by justine

 

When I first moved to LA, things were cool. Newly graduated and living 3,000 miles from my family and boyfriend, I basically was freaking out. But the city was huge and I did what I could to explore, meet people, find a job.

Once the job was secured, life calmed down a bit. Kind of. The sublet I lived in was perfect, romantic even, and I started running to fill my free time. But as is habit, I put way too much pressure on myself. I had yet to learn the SoCal way of living – which is, just live.

A job and apartment change found me working and living alone. This could’ve been the perfect time to dig down into what I really wanted to do, to lounge and relax and pursue personal goals of anything I wanted. But I was paralyzed. I didn’t allow myself to do much of anything.

Then H moved to LA, we moved in together, and things moved along. I decided to get a therapist and focus on myself. This was an immense move, one that I thank my past self for. I wouldn’t be where I am today if she hadn’t hung onto that idea with both fists.

Soon after, we moved to a different part of the city, one where it was was cooler, our apartment was nicer and I could ride a bike to the beach. I tried giving myself some space, and a break. We adopted Carter. I took up photography for the first time in years. I started this blog. Somehow, all of this personal work influenced my professional career and I was promoted into a brand-new position created for me. Then, Henry proposed and we were on to that whirlwind.

And all the while, Los Angeles in all it’s entertainment industry, hippy-beach-culture, sunny days and warm nights was growing on me.

When we were on our honeymoon, and people asked where we were from, I wanted to say Los Angeles like I’d grown up here. It felt like home. So much of the east coast work-is-your-worth-must-not-stop culture was fading into the background.

Now I know much of this has to do with me growing up, taking responsibility for my life, and the beautiful leveling out of things that happens as one nears their late twenties… but I think I would be ignoring a major factor if I didn’t point to Los Angeles as a supporting character in all of this.

And now that my sister lives here, I can see that change happening for her too. She’s brighter, happier, more active. That’s us in the photo above, on a hike, right near her apartment. She’s got the mountains, I have the ocean.

Something about this city allows us to be ourselves and enjoy life deeply. And I am so grateful for that.

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