Monday, February 10, 2014

monday musing: growing up in los angeles

One common question out-of-towners always ask me is, "What's it like growing up in LA?" I can't say that I ever really have an answer. I can't really define what it's been like, considering it's all I've ever known. People come to Los Angeles to chase their dreams, yet I've been living in this city of angels- city of dreams- for my entire existence. That must have affected me in some way, right? Growing up in any big city has it's pros and cons. I think I've really learned how to be independent, self reliant, and navigate through the world as a small fish in a big pond; but maybe I've lacked some quintessential life experience of being a big fish in a small pond. Here in Los Angeles, everybody is somebody, and it's hard not to get lost in that sea of somebodies. I think one of the greatest successes anyone could have in this city is self-expression. Finding a way to be yourself without getting trapped among the money-hungry wannabe's is a great accomplishment. I think that's my greatest quality that can be attributed to growing up here. I've learned, more than anything else, how to be myself. I have grown up tough enough to resist the magnetic pull of making yourself into a Californian clone. The problem with LA is everyone comes here to attain the same dream, and what's more important is figuring out how to attain your own dream. In a city filled with so much excess, the most important thing to do is dig down, find the roots- the heart and soul of the city, and build yourself up from there. Make the city your own, and find your own way. A geographic location can't change or shape you, but the way of life about it can. The most important thing I've learned from Los Angeles is not to pine over conforming to some idyllic lifestyle, but to create my own way of life using all of the wonderful things this wonderful city has to offer. Coming to LA for the romanticized Hollywood image leaves most people hopeless, but coming to LA and creating a unique image is how one can find happiness in the La La Land.

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