Life Stories Motivation

Los Angeles, Take 2

hollywood take 2 los angeles

hollywood take 2 los angeles

It’s not our first rodeo here in Los Angeles. That’s right, we’ve relocated back to Tinseltown in hopes of continuing chasing the dream, and of course, getting our fair share of West Coast sunshine. Minus the fact that it’s been monsoon season for the last week, conveniently the same week we were moving in and had to drag suitcases through massive puddles that put New York City’s winter slush to shame.

So here I am, sitting at a desk that I bargained for, because there was a tiny scratch on the surface (always try to get a discount for a tiny defect, works every time), while smelling a delicious candle, with a green plant in my peripheral. It’s happened ladies and gentlemen, we are no longer living out of suitcases.

Why not just keep reusing the same pair of pants and three shirts, for the sake of travel?

Because sometimes you can have it all; travel, and some sort of comfort. Today is one of those days where all of the sacrifice and major under eye circles you put into achieving your dreams dissolve into a pool of sheer joy, because you accomplished another milestone – rare moments that should be appreciated.  And to celebrate, I made a delicious home cooked meal, in a proper kitchen, and lit some candles while I dump my thoughts on what it’s been like to come to Los Angeles for a second go around.

hollywood take 2 los angeles

Let’s be clear, last year, I borderline disliked LA very strongly. Of course, you would have no idea by looking at my cheesy grin in all of our YouTube videos, because creating videos genuinely made me happy. The minute filming was over though, I’d wallow in this funk of comparing LA to New York, and assuming that everyone I met would be a major fake, and have the personality equivalent to that of an unseasoned piece of tofu.

I got what I was asking for, bland tofu personalities, and fakes for days. If you haven’t read “The Secret,” that’s exactly what the book and theory is about; like attracts like, and thoughts attract whatever it is you’re thinking. Before I even realized what was happening and why, I was in a dark hole of no friends, or interesting people in my life for an entire year. The traveling kept me sane, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that Los Angeles might not be the place for me.

But deep down, somewhere underneath all the Veggie Grill consumed, was the gut feeling I had that I had to give LA another chance.

hollywood take 2 los angeles

We arrived about ten days ago, and I’m a transformed woman. I’ve joined the gym of my dreams, lost five pounds, moved into an apartment that has already become my creative and mental sanctuary, and we’re planning all of these exciting trips. Beyond all of the amazing things happening that don’t involve people, the most exciting part is that I’m FINALLY, finally, meeting phenomenal and interesting people, every damn day. You’re probably like,” Jo, you always meet interesting people.” I promise you, I only made two friends during my entire last year living in LA. Now as I reflect, the reason was obvious: I was simply not open to the idea of making friends here.

After reading back on my journal entries from 2016, I noticed a trend, I was dimming my own light by denying myself the right to friendship by putting up this ridiculous mental block that I simply couldn’t find great people here. If you ask anyone who’s experienced LA, something will come up about the crappy people within the first ten minutes, it’s like LA’s city superlative. And I committed the #1 faux pas of Damon And Jo ideology, believing what everyone says and not investigating for myself.

I truly convinced myself that out of the 3.7 million people living their daily lives in this city, none of them were going to be genuine.

Taking steps back, it was so clear to me that I had fallen into the trap of listening to everyones’ opinions about the place, and claiming them as my own. By no means is it easy to self analyze,and step outside of yourself to pinpoint the exact root of your issue, which is why I journal, and re-read my ridiculous rants that I now see as absurd, but helpful in achieving my happiness in the long run.

Damon and I have come back with a closer bond than ever, more ambitious than when we started, and have been having all the random fun we used to have that involves nothing but a good sense of humor; like pushing a random grocery cart down a street and making a photo shoot out of it.

hollywood take 2 los angeles

hollywood take 2 los angeles

The point is, that you can’t expect to automatically be the happiest person on earth, even if everything is going in your favor. If you have a crappy attitude and perspective about your situation, that’s exactly what your situation will be, crappy.

And although we might not always get it right on the first try, all it takes is a second take.

hollywood take 2 los angelessignature

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  • Guinevere Wightman

    I feel this blog COMPLETELY. I’m in my second year of college in Los Angeles, having moved from another state, and my first year was for sure lonely af. This year I’ve made more friends, and–like you–I think my problem was a mental block. Love you guys!! Off to buy that book.

    • Guinevere – we see you everywhere! Thanks for all the support girlfriend.

      • Guinevere Wightman

        Omg this made my day! Love you guys!!! (How many times have I said that? 😂 But it’s true!)

  • yesss!! so good to give places a second chance. I’m glad you’re enjoying LA much more this time around! I definitely relate to this article but more in terms of my college. My first year was amazing, but I felt like I didn’t make enough friends, didn’t meet enough people, and didn’t get involved enough, hence why I kept wallowing in my self-pity of choosing this school other than my dream school (NYU). However, this year I was determined to change that and began to get more involved, and really put myself out there!! I’m not head over heels in love with my school now, but at least I don’t hate it!! LOVE YOU TWO

    xx shirley
    http://www.classifiedcloset.com/

    • Katlego

      Yup!!! Totally agree. After an exhausting and depressing first semester in my graduate degree, I had to learn to design my happiness in the second semester. It was so empowering: I researched course curriculum to make sure I did classes that I loved; I took extra-curriculum activities that I loved; I sought out friendships and created a community of people who were supportive. It’s an empowering lesson to learn.

  • Ariana

    I think that that theory is true. I feel like I’m in a funk, at college, where I can’t find my “tribe” or any genuine friends and I catch myself being most of the problem MOST of the time! It’s ridiculous!

  • “the personality equivalent to that of an unseasoned piece of tofu” Hope you don’t mind that I’ll be using that phrase from now on, thanks XD

  • So true! My mom always says to look out for a selffulfullig prophecy. It’s a bit the same I think, like if you think you can’t do it, your mind is already set on the ‘I suck’ thinking and it will influence the outcome. Happy to hear you gave LA a second chance! (sorry for my horrible English)

  • Katlego

    Why did I love reading this so much? I love your personal reflections.

    A question (and direct me to blog post if you’ve written on this): do you ever feel like you’re travelling because you’re running away from your everyday responsibilities / commitments / stuff you don’t want to deal with? Travel allows you to experience things so removed from your everyday, that I wonder if in one’s travel, part of the allure is escapism? This post made me think of that.

    I took a Euro-trip recently (Bonn-Paris-Munich), and what I noticed on my return was that, for the first time, I didn’t have that sinking sad feeling that I was back home, because I felt truly content with my life (it’s not perfect, but I am happy with its progress). So I wonder if my excitement to travel is to explore a new city, or to escape my home-life.

  • I was wondering where you guys would be next !!!! Back to the ol LA. I need to take up journaling too girl, it really is a good way to reflect.

  • Trell West

    I just moved here from Kansas and I’ve been here since September and haven’t made any friends. I can relate, it’s hard out here! I wouldnt even know where to meet a friend but hey, i’m commenting here in the hopes that would change. @Trellwest_

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