Sunday, February 19, 2012
Top 5 Reasons I Love Southern California
Sun! I know it seems so trivial, something like weather. But weather is in fact the most discussed phenomenon there is. Think about it. What do people always find a way to mention? Weather. More discussed than politics or current events. And here in Southern California the weather is perfect. This effects my mood, my attitude and my enjoyment of life. It's true. Not too hot. Definitely not too cold. And no snow. Now I don't hate the snow but battling it in NYC to get here and there is stressful. And I'm all about eliminating the stress in my life. So the weather here has helped with that tremendously.
2. Laid-Back Vibe
Things are a little slower here. There is a slight joie de vivre attitude that doesn't exist in NYC. Here people seem to have just a little more time to stop and smell the roses. The sense of the rat race is not as extreme here in my little So-Cal city. People take the afternoon to go surfing. People stroll a little slower and seem content with just being. People study on the beach, jog along the marina and hike on the weekends. While I have extremely ambitious goals for my life, it's important for me to remember that living is just as important. I don't want my life to be a mission towards a goal, in fact I want to it to be a life with challenges and goals but I don't want to be concerned with the destination or arriving.
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu
3. Change is Good
Just leaving your hometown is a great experience. I'm lucky because my boyfriend and I moved together and the experience of starting a new life in a new place is exciting. If I hadn't grown up in NYC I'm sure I would want to be there right now. There's no place like it, but it's my hometown so I needed something new. I've traveled the world but actually living and setting up a life somewhere is different. Most people like to stick to what they know. And I can totally be that way myself. Moving across country was scary and a little sad. However, I've grown so much since moving here, it's amazing. I remember packing my Brooklyn apartment into boxes while listening to Bill Withers' City of Angels and crying. All the memories, the family, the friends, facing the unknown and not knowing what to expect made me very emotional. It's risky. Risks, however, are good. They challenge us and challenges teach us more about ourselves. I love my new city and can envision myself staying here forever...if that's they way it ends up.
Life in NYC is not easy. That's why they say if you can make it here, you'll make it anywhere. It's a struggle, it's a tough place to survive. And I was born of that. That tough hustle mentality is in my blood, it's all I really know. You have to fight for a parking space (sometimes literally), fight to not get hustled or conned, fight to carry your groceries home on the subway, fight to get into your front door, fight to get a taxi, fight to walk down the sidewalk even. In my new city, there are parking lots and plenty of parking. You can bring the shopping carts to your car. There is no lack of personal space. There are plenty of crazies but they're not up in my face. The lines aren't as long and the crowds aren't a big. I know, I know I sound like an old lady. Or even worse, an NYC hater. Never that. I love NYC!! But I also love having low blood-pressure.
I went to boarding school in Massachusetts. University in Connecticut. I am an east coaster. The east coast is very old and puritan in attitude and energy. I appreciate this for what it is. Old buildings, old money, old ideas. Everything is very established and life is about finding your niche in that already established set of symbols and meanings. The west coast, however, is very new. There is still the sense of pioneering. There is still the sense of coming west to discover something of your own as opposed to going east to discover what is already there.
Now I know people will read this and disagree or maybe even relate. So please respond if you're out there and have something to share. I'd love to hear from you.