Happen to Life - How Moving Into the Chaotic Core of the City Made My Life Less Chaotic...Or At Least Feel That Way
A few months ago, I finally made the move into the heart of the city. Being from the beachside suburbs of LA, whenever I was living in LA, I never wanted to live outside of it, because I spent so much time in the midst of the chaos that is the hustle and bustle of the city, that despite traffic, I enjoyed being able to go home to a place that was a bit calmer. Plus, I was spoiled by the beach. People say, yeah but there’s Santa Monica and Venice; but with that you also get a heap of tourists and stoned hippies in your backyard. More importantly, I felt central to all the places I needed to be and cared to be in "LA proper," and Disneyland. If you live in Southern California, it's important to be close to Disneyland, or close enough anyways, otherwise go hug trees in Nor Cal.
When my man and I started looking for apartments, we looked in the South Bay, but also the West Side, because if the right opportunity and apartment turned up, it would make sense to be closer to work. After a month of searching we decided it was time to expand our search east of the 405…but not too far! Really, it was me being the picky one, because my man is foreign to LA, so he could only really go where I was willing to go—a pretty good situation I must say though ;).
We looked at a number of apartments before we stumbled upon our now cozy little abode. The price was good, especially for the area, but looking at the pictures I thought—eh, looks old. However, as soon as we walked into this place, his eyes lit up with the joy of a child. And still, I was like, eh. How could I say no to that face though? It’s true, it’s much more spacious than the others we’ve looked at, including the one I had fallen somewhat in love with. Some of the places we looked at were even studios for the same price, or more! So glad we didn’t go the studio route—the romanticism of us being poor together as we make our way up in the world would not have lasted! Who am I kidding though, no one is poor when they are rich with love!
In any case, looking at his beaming face, I knew we had found our new home. It was that undeniable face, plus the fact that he said, “This place is perfect. And if something happens, Cedar Sinai is just across the street—it’s one of the best hospitals in the world!” That is very true, and oddly (or maybe not), knowing that did actually give me great comfort.
I was still a little nervous about it, only because we are literally in the middle of EVERYTHING. There is so much going on in this area. However, that is what I have come to love most about our neighbourhood. Despite the apartment being a bit old, and surely in need of some updates, I couldn’t think of a better place for us to live at this point in our lives. The perk of being able to walk everywhere is unbeatable, especially when you’re literally in the midst of some of the best eats and shopping LA has to offer. On top of that, being able to walk to the grocery store is one of the most awesome perks—I don’t know why, but I love it. I should also add, that surprisingly, despite how vibrant our neighbourhood is, there's also a part of our neighbourhood that makes you forget how chaotic the rest of the neighbourhood is, and it's quite enjoyable for taking a quiet stroll or run.
Another perk, and a very valuable one at that. Is that we’re just under 4 miles from the office, which is great in the morning. It should be a 10 minute commute, but of course traffic is unavoidable, so it takes about double that time in the morning—which is still a fantastic commute compared to the hour, hour and ten I used to have to do from the South Bay. It's also great in the evening, because now I can stay late at the office and still have time to relax before hitting the hay. Before moving here, even if I got home at 7 or 8, I was too pooped for much by the time I got home, I'd prepare for the next day and go to bed. The problem with that was that I felt like I never had time to be alone in my head, except when I was at the gym and in my zone, but it's still go, go, go. Being able to go home and chill for even just fifteen minutes makes all the difference. Otherwise, you feel like you're always on the go, and you never stop going. Sleeping becomes just a part of the going and ensures that you can indeed keep going.
I really didn’t realize how much shortening my daily commute would change my life. I have so much more time in my day that can be effectively utilized, which as a whole has relieved much stress out of my everyday. Some days, I have time to workout AND catchup on TV. It's amazing. When you’re able to utilize your time better and cut out certain stresses from your everyday, I can only imagine that you’re in turn adding days to your life—more time to love, more time to live.
We’re not as close to the beach anymore, but we visit my parents enough that that’s not an issue. We’re also closer to many of LA’s greatest hikes, which is nice, because it’s easier to change up the hikes so that it’s not the same trail every weekend, and then it’s also not a whole day’s adventure.
It’s funny, I’ve never considered myself one who was afraid of change. In fact, I always imagined I would eventually settle outside California, in at least another state, but more likely out of the country. However, while I was living in Tennessee, I finally appreciated how blessedly spoiled I was being 1) from LA, and 2) even more blessedly spoiled being from the South Bay. So when I moved back, I clung to it like a baby to her blanket. I was so worried that if I moved into the chaos, then my life would feel more chaotic; but, I think it's done just the opposite.
I’m sure I’ve said this several times in other posts, but I am a strong believer in “everything happens for a reason,” and when we trust in that and try to move with what life brings us, then we allow ourselves to happen to life, instead of letting life happen to us—and that’s a beautiful thing.
BIG LOVE & HUGS