Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I Owe LA An Apology

From commercials, to television shows and movies...lately, I am constantly being reminded of Los Angeles. What has come as a HUGE surprise to me is that these reminders have been leaving me feeling quite melancholy and, something that I hate to ever feel, regretful.

If you were to ask most of my close friends and family, they would tell you that I hated Los Angeles. And, they have perfectly good reason to say that because that's exactly what I told them...every chance that I could get. I told them how miserable I was...how much I wanted to leave...how stupid I was for moving there. But as time drew closer for me to head back East, I began to realize that it wasn't really Los Angeles that I hated...it was the life that I had there that was the problem.

I had forgotten that I had this revelation until a couple days ago when it dawned on me that: I...miss...Los Angeles!

I spent four years in the City of Angels after moving there to be with my soon-to-be-ex-husband under the condition, and agreement, that we wouldn't be there for more than two years. Therein lies the problem! I moved there already ready to leave, so I never really gave it the chance that it deserved. And once my relationship/marriage started to go south, FUGETTABOUTIT! You couldn't have paid me a million bucks to say anything nice about that place. BUT, if I am honest, the truth of the matter was (and is) there were many wonderful things that I experienced in Los Angeles:

Sunny and mild weather almost every day of the year. Having a tan all year round. Driving down Pacific Coast Highway (PCH to the natives) with the wind whipping through my hair and not a care in the world other than chosing which restaurant at which to have brunch. Window shopping on Rodeo Drive. Watching the sunset from the Hollywood Hills. Chicken & waffles at Roscoes on Pico (cause the one in Hollywood is no bigger than my closet). Early afternoon beers & burgers on outdoor patios at the Hermosa Beach pier. Shopping at the Beverly Center or the Grove and running into people that you see each week on TV. Farmers markets...oh how I love them! Falling in love with watching baseball live at Dodgers Stadium (I'm all about the Dodger Dogs). Authentic Mexican food and "scratch" margaritas. Outdoor concert venues (for fans, imagine seeing Brian McKnight in concert under a star filled sky). "Girl's Night In" with cases of "Two Buck Chuck" ($1.99 Charles Shaw wine sold at Trader Joe's...don't knock it 'til you try it!). Being within short driving distance of the most magical place on earth...Disneyland. Burke Williams spas...even the water is yummy! People watching (or rather, "weirdo" watching) on Venice Beach. Weekend trips to Santa Barbara and San Diego. Martini's and tapas overlooking the Santa Monica pier. The Third Street Promenade...one the the biggest outdoor "shopping malls." The pulse of our communities...Inglewood, So. Central, Compton (they're not AS scary as some make them out to be...atleast not during the daytime...lol). The spirit of entertaining...everybody throws soirees, has get togethers and cookouts...life is one big party! The easy, laid back vibe of the entire city...where ponytails, sunglasses, tanks, capris and flip flops were acceptable attire for almost any occasion (aside from anything "industry" related).

I made a lot of great friends in LA. Growing up, many of my friends happened to be white...so I was used to hanging with people who didn't look like me. However, I never would have thought that I would ever chill as hard as I did with people from as many different cultures as I did when I was in LA...Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, Filipino, Guatemalan. I learned so much from each and every one of them. Unfortunately the reality is that some of them I will never see again, however a good number of them will be friends of mine for life.

I let so much of this "goodness" go on around me without taking the time to appreciate it all. I was so caught up in my personal nightmare that I sleepwalked my way through the whole experience of living in Los Angeles and gave it reviews that would make even Ebert & Roper wince!

What saddens me more is that even with all of the great things that I can now admit to, there were still things that I didn't experience during my four years on "the Left." I didn't go to the wine country. I never drove down to Mexico. I never went skiing in Big Bear (or tried skiing). I never went to a taping of any of my favorite TV shows...and I'm sure there's more, but if I force myself to think about them all it will make me even more depressed than I already am.

When I hopped in my car and started my drive back to the East Coast, I thought I would never look back. Never again look over my shoulder and see the Hollywood sign. Now, just shy of a year later, I can't wait to get back. Not to live...I don't know if I'm ready to do that again just yet...but to visit. Visit with a new outlook and appreciation. With a new spirit and a happier heart. To view the city with an unbiased eye.

Los Angeles didn't do anything wrong to me...someone IN Los Angeles did. Los Angeles was very good to me...gave me love...welcomed me with open arms and sent me back home with a lot of great memories. So, I must apologize.

I am sorry that I never gave it the fair chance that it deserved. I am sorry that I left without experiencing all it has to offer. I am sorry that I spent the majority of my time there too angry to stop and recognize its beauty.

I just hope that I can be forgiven and that I am still welcome...because I would love to give it another chance!

14 Comments:

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous MzNewAgenda said...

Hey Darbs! I felt that way about 3 places Jackson, MS, Alameda, CA and Ft. Washington, MD. Jackson because that was the first place in the United States I lived after being overseas my elementary school years. Alameda because I had a lot of good friends out there when I was in the Navy. Ft. Washington, because I went to high school there. I thought I would never look back. But I miss my friends. :(

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger LUVIN ME said...

We normally don't miss things until we no longer have them in our lives...

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger Darbs said...

@ Mznewagenda: Wow...three places? That must be tough. Are you ever able to visit?

@ Luvin: Very true...but I NEVER thought I would feel this way about LA, so this is all so weird for me.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Soulfull said...

Oh goodness, this post is making me wanna switch zip codes. LOL! I know how you feel though about missing a place that you can no longer be - I felt the same way about my hometown Petersburg, VA. I'd give anything to be back there with all my family...

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger Will said...

Wow. You're making me miss LA, too. I lived there for four years and while I'm not regretful, I do miss it. And your post helped me appreciate it even more.

Very nice. And as laid back as the city is, you're sure to be forgiven and welcomed back with open arms. Matter of fact, ummmmm ... tell me when you plan on going back. I'm kinda overdue my damn self. :)

 
At 10:12 PM, Blogger Darbs said...

@ Soufull: Thanks for stopping by...small world...I know someone from Petersburg, VA.

@ Will: We really have a lot in common...when did you say you were going to be back in DC? LOL. I was supposed to be going back to LA next month, but I doubt that's gonna happen. My goal is to get back before this year comes to a close. I'll keep you posted ;o).

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Mznewagenda said...

I haven't visited in awhile...but yeah 3 places....I miss the DC area the most!

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Darbs said...

@ Mznewagenda: I can understand why...I love it here too!

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger TTD said...

you make me wanna move out there! lol.. im sure ur forgiven... and you should go back out there to visit!

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Actor Smurf said...

WOW...and LA is the next place after NYC...My friends seem to think I"m more of a city boy, but the LA tempature is more me..I love the heat not the cold..I'm definitly going to keep up with your blog now..you are enjoyable to read! Have a great Easter weekend!

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Darbs said...

@ Actor: Glad you stopped by! And...LA really is a great place...it's city without being "city"...ya know what I mean? If I can answer any questions/give advice about your move, please let me know.

So happy that you enjoy my blog...and have a great Easter weekend as well!

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Michel said...

Sorry..but I still hate the place. I went to UCLA and found it a nightmare to get around in. Moved to Seal Beach during my senior year and it was a bit nicer until I had to get to school. I travel up to San Francisco one weekend and thats where I settled...when I'm not traveling on assignment or living abroad. Never have second-guessed that decision. I di, however love the wonderful beaches in the area, but the rest you can have.

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger Darbs said...

@ Michel: Thanks for stopping by...and I can totally understand where you are coming from in regards to traffic and the drama of getting from point A to point B...not fun at all...although I did, surprisingly, get used to it.

 
At 1:19 AM, Blogger Joyces-Iom said...

You got good rankings for conference call words. I found your site searching for conference calls. Check out my site that is kind of new.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home