Several months ago, I was having late night drinks with a friend from the Bay Area.
San Francisco was always one of Mama Jolie’s favorite cities; we lived in Menlo Park briefly when I was younger; and I currently have tons of friends in the area. At times, it seems to me much more cultured and “grown-up” than LA.
Long story short: I decided that, come March, I would move to San Francisco.
I told a few friends and colleagues about the move, which seemed perfect because I’d just turned 30, wanted a change of pace and scenery–the Hollywood thing isn’t 100% cutting it anymore, you know?–and am lucky to have a job that I can do from anywhere with an internet connection.
But I’m glad that I waited a bit before making an official announcement because–surprise!–I’ve decided to stay in LA after all! Instead of hoofing it all the way to the Bay, I’m just moving slightly west: to Santa Monica in February.
Fracturing my elbow in November slowed me down tremendously and forced me to think–since that’s basically the only thing I could do, what with typing and driving out the window. The friends who knew about the move asked me if I was still planning to go in March and I said no, since my hurt elbow meant things would be inevitably delayed.
“Maybe June,” I said. “Except, LA is gorgeous in June, so not then…August is out, since that’s my birthday month and I want to spend it with my close friends. I’ll be gone in September for fashion week…and October is sure to be busy playing work catch-up, plus Halloween in LA is really fun…”
As luck would have it, an old high-school friend had a room in her gorgeous Santa Monica apartment opening up in February–and, just like that, I realized my LA story wasn’t complete. (Wasn’t nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete…)
When the going gets boring, Jolie gets moving: I’ve lived as an adult in New York, Paris, London, West Sussex, Palm Beach and LA. After the San Francisco plan was hatched, I even briefly fantasized about putting my things in storage and heading further west: Hawaii, Australia, Hong Kong, Bali, South Africa…the world!
But wherever you go, there you are, blah, blah, blah. The nesting desire has been growing stronger this year (I wrote about it after visiting friends in England in June), and while I’m not ready to become a full-fledged, suburban-dwelling, kid-toting, Christmas-card-sending adult, the idea of having a home is enormously appealing.
So when I realized that I already had a home–and one that I actually wanted to stay in!–well, it kinda rocked my world. Los Angeles gets a bum rap sometimes, but like so many places and situations, it’s what you make of it. I’ve managed to build up an incredible life with amazing friends these past 3 years, and when I think of all that LA has to offer (Hermosa beach, Big Bear, the LA Philharmonic, Roger Room, Chateau Marmont, the Arclight, hiking in Runyon Canyon, driving up the PCH, 70 degree weather year ’round, and, yes, even Hollywood…), I feel an enormous burst of affection for the city of angels. I’m officially in love with you again, LA!
This Christmas with my family in Dallas has been the best in about a decade. I’ll be gutted to leave my dad and brother–but am really jazzed to return home and see what the next chapter holds.
Merry Christmas, hope you’re all having a wonderful time with your family and friends (or wherever you are!) and lots of love.