Wow, today marks the two year anniversary of me arriving in LA…as a 39 years and 363 days old and young person, who just left her job to come to this country on a three month tourist visa (or, ESTA, actually, I guess it’s technically not a Visa), without knowing basically anything of what to expect or even what to do or how to do it.
In love, that’s all. And not that that first year of (mostly distance-) relationship was all roses and fluffy hearts…it was hard, harder than hard, many times. We definitely struggled, a lot. And yet. We, neither of us, wanted to give up, leave this thing, whatever “this thing” was, to fade away. We knew it wasn’t possible, really, to sustain the relationship at a distance though, so one of us had to take a leap. And for many reasons, that one of us was me, this time.
The process of quitting my safe, good job, was of course not an easy one. It took the whole summer to process the decision, and then make it. I am lucky to have had super supportive colleagues and boss, who were all with me all through it – even cheering me along, saying all the “right stuff” to make me ready to actually do it. My boss and I had been working closely togehter for seven years or so at that time, and I think it was quite emotional for both of us…and yet, it was just needed to be done. Staying in an office “for safety”, just because you don’t know if it’s the right thing to do – when what you then are gambling with is love itself? No. We were all in agreement that that is not how we want to do things.
On September 22nd I worked my last day at the work I had been with for almost a decade. Left the office in a feeling of such strong…surrealism…went to a bar to meet a friend and then home. To prepare to leave. For how long I didn’t know, but for a while at least, I thought.
Two years later now, and I’m a married woman, here, still in LA. Anna is in Sweden, funnily enough (life…) and I have a chance to explore who I am in this city, alone, on my own. Without her. It’s hard. It’s a lot of practicalities. LA Public Transport…it takes time to get places – but it’s possible. Re-filling our water containers without the car, and walking back…is heavy. But it’s possible. My birthday is coming up in two days, and I’m here, alone. It becomes very clear that I haven’t really made any friends on my own here, in “all” this time. And it’s totally ok – it’s actually been one the things that I have cherished, these two years. The sort of re-setting. Having lots of time on my own. Without family and friends around, time shifts. They are the people I miss, and…somehow I have been content having them over there. And myself here, with no really close connections, except the very intimate family (as in, Anna, and her family).
Slowly, in these last weeks here now, I am realizing that I am maybe ready to expand a bit more though. I want to dance. I want to sing, together with other people. So, for this third year here about to start now, that is part of where my focus will be. It will also be in finding spaces to talk about the things that are heavily on my cheast (as I wrote about a few days ago). I’ve discovered the Hammer Museum – the art that touches me to the heart, and the evenings of lectures and talks that…I don’t know what yet, more than that it fills some part of me that was lacking, those two years (perfectly lacking, I would say. There is a time for everything).
The third year in LA starts with many things being unsure (more about that in a coming post), but with a few things being more clear than ever. Life without art…is empty. Life with art, music, conversations, is what this is all about. Am I right??