Bright lights, shooting stars and all that.
I can’t even remember what the grand appeal was to live in LA. Maybe it was the sense that it was far enough from home without leaving the state. It was a large enough city to get completely lost in while a 6 hour car ride back to reality. A majority of my childhood was spent dreaming of LA. While there were endless trips to the Bay Area, it was LA that was always the most glamorous city. Needless to say every dream I ever had was to pack all of my belongings and make it big under the big marquees and the shiny lights of Hollywood. When you’re a dreamer, you spend your nights just waiting for that chance to pick up everything and walk out with nothing. That’s exactly what I did.
Its weird how vividly I remember that move. The sights, the sounds, and most of all just finally packing everything to let my life go. For so long I believed that what I was doing was making a new start. I was picking up the broken pieces and finding a new place to put them back together. Up until the day that I moved I was constantly going back and forth telling myself that this was the right choice. I had been heartbroken for so long and it was time to finally be happy. There’s always that part inside of me that thinks maybe all of this is a bad idea. Regardless of doubts and negative influences, I left. Maybe I could finally let go of everything I was feeling and maybe for once I would finally feel better. It had been a year since I was dumped, a year since I had started my stage of never ending self destruction and here I was opening the doors to a new beginning. I needed this, I wanted this change. More importantly I needed this to work. My first weeks in LA were complete blur. A majority of them just adjusting to a new lifestyle, a new life, and moving in with someone other than my parents. Sure I had lived with a roommate before but this was different. I was finally at an age that I could be a REAL adult. However, being a REAL adult meant a majority of different factors I never really grasped the concept of. Sure I paid every one of my bills on time, but I hadn’t lived on my own in a long time. Not to mention the money I had saved for the move was slowly becoming non-existent with in the first weeks of moving in.
Was I being financially irresponsible? Of course I was.
Life moves rather fast in a bigger city. LA was no exception. Instead of being responsible for my lack of income I had coming in, I spent it. ALL OF IT. This is where I could blame a lot of factors. I will still hooking up with a guy that was in a relationship (the same guy that dumped me), I was still going back to my old destructive ways and more importantly I just felt really alone. When I moved, I didn’t tell anybody. In the span of a year after my break-up, I told 5 people I was moving. I was exceptionally dramatic, I just wanted to disappear and see how many people would actually notice. I said my final goodbyes and packed up all my belongings and left. Not before hooking up with the person who dumped me out of revenge for the whole situation. At that point, I just didn’t care. I was leaving and everyone else was staying behind while I was moving forward.
Under the Urban Lights. One of the few things I miss about my time in LA
When you move you always have to factor in these different scenarios:
Will I find work right away?
Do I have a place to stay?
How much money, do I need to support myself?
Can I honestly afford to move out?
That right there. The above. “Can I honestly afford to move out?”. That should have been the question I asked myself over and over, instead I took my last check of work and never looked back.
It didn’t take too long to adjust to the LA lifestyle. The moving, the shaking and the great deal of partying. I was partying for a life I couldn’t afford before I even had a job. In some ways I was partying all of my feelings, my doubts, and even all of my own personal demons all for the sake of a good time. I knew the party couldn’t last forever and within weeks the party stopped. My roommate always told me she would be a huge advocate of helping me find a good job. A good paying job, like the one she was accustom to having. While I am not one to wait for everything, I started job hunting and found a job working as a receptionist in a Lending Company. It wasn’t ideal. I wasn’t making much money but at least it was a steady income to get my life on track. Within weeks of working and trying to adjust to life, the guy I was hooking up with dumped me for second time. If it wasn’t bad the first time, it was ten times worst the second. I just couldn’t catch a break. Right around the time I was adjusting to my new life, my brother moved in. After that it became a never ending cycle of bullshit. Everyone knows I don’t get a long with my sibling. To even saying his name makes me boil with anger. I was never like that before. Sure he annoyed me as all siblings do, but the day that he moved in to the apartment on the pretense of moving in with his friends changed everything. Right around the time that I was given the boot from my “relationship”, my brother was heartbroken about a relationship of his own. Where I saw an out with my roommate, my brother saw an out with me. While he swore he was only going to stay for a handful of weeks until his friends moved to LA, I believed him. It wasn’t that I was being selfish but I had my own life to lead. I had my own life, struggles and demons to conquer, moving to LA was my dream and here I was playing babysitter to someone else’s. Things changed rather quickly once my brother moved in. I couldn’t necessarily talk freely about any of my problems, I couldn’t even bring my problems up. I was hiding every ounce of emotion I felt and that ended up being my downfall amongst other things.
No matter how many hours I’ve worked, how many times I thought I was making it. I wasn’t doing shit. The true honest factor where I thought I was finally coming together with something, something else would fall apart. I couldn’t afford rent. I couldn’t afford to live in LA. My new life was slowly becoming a harsh reality. I wasn’t paying rent because I wasn’t making any sort of money and therefore my roommate took the blunt end of the spectrum. I should have been more financially responsible but the truth was something inside of me snapped. Of course I want to blame every factor of my feelings but reality was I wasn’t being much of an adult. Instead of calling home and asking for money, I continued to spend whatever money I had. Every week I had 100 dollars to my name and every weekend I spent everything. How my roommate didn’t kick me out within the first few weeks, I’ll never understand. Instead she was too busy being the adult. Helping my brother get work (the same work she promised she would help me find), helping out with the finances, and importantly being the sister to my brother that I couldn’t be. Did that bother me? Absolutely. When I absolutely lost it was around the time I tried to be civil with my brother. He had lived in the apartment well over his few weeks mark and still wasn’t saying much to me. He would bicker about everything, argue about bullshit and more importantly just be so ungrateful about everything. I GET IT, he was having a hard time. WHAT ABOUT ME? Wasn’t I not dumped a few weeks prior? Did I know nothing about heartbreak? If my roommate invited him out, he would go. If I invited him out, he was busy or tired. I didn’t think it was fair. Here I was doing him a favor and he wouldn’t speak to me. It wasn’t until he told me that my roommate just understood him. “She’s going through a lot of heartbreak, she understands where I am coming from?”.
I begin to wonder what was I actually doing in LA anymore. I couldn’t afford to live there. I couldn’t even pay rent. More importantly I wasn’t communicating with anyone. What in the fuck was I doing?
Once again the cycle of destruction started all over again. When you harbor all of that negativity inside, its so easy to attract the darkness. Week after week it was another thing. First it was breaking my hand after being dumped (one $150 visit to Urgent care, then to County ER $75 a visit later), then needing an emergency root canal ($1500 plus procedure). It was one thing after another. I missed work because of these problems and lost money because I was missing work.
What did I do? I drank, smoked and shopped.
How did I feel? Absolutely miserable.
It was just one unlucky break after another. I was miserable and most of all I was extremely lonely. I couldn’t talk to anyone. I always confided in my roommate with my problems but she was too busy confiding in my brother. Every one else lived too far and any one that lived close didn’t understand. I felt alone because I was alone, I started doing everything to make the sadness disappear but it only made things worse.
The Rent breakdown
$1050 /a month for Rent (RENT $2100)
$450 /a month for utilities (mind you this is roughly an estimate)
$300 /a month for extra expenses
TOTAL: $1800 a month.
$1170 /a month ($12 an hour, paid weekly)
$100 / a week groceries
$65 / a month (phone bill)
$75 / a month credit card bill Wells Fargo
$75 /a month credit card bill B of A
$75/ medical expense
$129/ dental expense
$40 / GAS
$411 / a month on bullshit (drinking, dining, shopping, etc)
I absolutely just couldn’t catch a break. More importantly this new beginning was an absolute nightmare. I fought all the time with my roommate. I hated the cards that were dealt before me. Once again I continued to get the shit end of the stick and everyone was okay with that. When you’re broken you will do anything to continue to be in the darkness. I did just that. However on the other side my brother was doing great. He was making good money, he was excelling at work, and while he was still heartbroken, his life was coming together. Of course I was jealous of that. That was suppose to be me. That was suppose to be my life. I was the one that was suppose to be going somewhere. Instead I was stuck. He was being praised left and right and I was just a silly sob story. My parents constantly told me that if it wasn’t for me, he wouldn’t be excelling. All I could think about was, why hadn’t anyone else done the same for me? Why didn’t anyone ask me how the fuck I was doing? Once again I was the savior in someone else’s life, but they only used me as a tiny blurb in their story.
Again the cycle continued. The drinking, the partying, the spending, the fighting, until one day it all stopped.
My roommate just about couldn’t take it anymore. Honestly I don’t blame her. I was a horrible person. Where I was once so hopeful for a new life, I became vile, vindictive and down right rotten. The only person I had to blame was myself. Honestly would you want to live with a person like that? There are so many things that went on in that apartment, all of which I don’t care to discuss anymore. When my roommate asked me to leave, I lost it. Not because I failed but because I was exactly how I felt. I was a loser. I was doing no better than if I stayed in my hometown. She had every right to ask me to leave. I see that now, however at the time I was so angry and heartbroken I blamed her for everything. More importantly where I thought I had an ally in my brother, he took my roommate’s side in everything. After all she got him the job in his new life, she allowed him to continue living with her. And while I left with my usual dramatics, my brother took my place. To this day I have never forgiven my brother for that. Even though I can say I am over it, I am not. He took a life that wasn’t his to begin with. Where I continued to struggle in all aspects of my life, once again he had a hand out to make his life better. Every day I asked myself why. Why it was so easy for people like him that everyone made things happen for? I wish I had the answer for everything.
I moved back home heartbroken, defeated and worst of all more broken the first time I left. I failed and instead of picking up the pieces, I left them piling up on the floor. I was angry and worst of all I was angry that my brother continued to live in MY apartment and taking over MY life. My brother and I don’t speak anymore. It took a year after I left for me to get the courage to even be civil to him. I was so angry with everything that went on in that apartment that I was still blaming him for everything. It’s been years since I’ve spoken to my roommate. It’s been years since a lot of things. I put all my eggs in the basket of living in LA, that I never once wondered the consequences. LA was suppose to be my new everything. What I failed to see was that LA was my complete downfall. I bit off more than I could chew and I was choking to death. Moving to LA just opened a new wave of bullshit. Instead of seeing my problems for what they were, I was running away from them. When you run away from your problems, they eventually catch up to you when you least expect them to. That’s exactly what happened with me. Maybe it was my Karma back for everything in my past. The lying, the secrecy, the dramatics, everything came back to haunt me. I was driving myself absolutely insane with my internal problems that I refused to see what I was doing to myself. I wasn’t myself when I was in LA, I was just another empty hollow shell. I drank too much, I threw up all my food, I took too many pills, I smoked too much, and every day it was the same thing. It didn’t matter what I did to hide my problems, they were always there staring back at me. I was no different than an addict, I was no different than a junkie, I was just better at hiding everything I felt. The only people I should be ashamed of is myself. I should have asked for help instead of crying for it but I didn’t. Instead I blamed everyone for all of my misfortunes.
This photo pretty much portrays my time in LA. Completely empty and hollow.
It’s been 6 years since I’ve lived in LA. Every year I unravel a new revelation about that time period. I knew better. I wasn’t ready to move without fully being okay with my own personal demons. Never should I have left without being financially responsible for myself. I should have never offered a hand to help when I needed help to begin with. I also should never have moved into an apartment that was way beyond my means. So on, so forth. The point of growing up is finally coming to terms with the past. My life in LA was never going to work out, I know that now. While the appeal and allure of the shiny façade of LA will always intrigue me, it was never for me. I can play a million “what if” scenarios but the truth of the matter was, I wasn’t cut out for that life. A lot can happen in a year or two but after 6 years of analyzing I realized I have to stop looking back. Everything had a reason for happening and everything had to fall apart in order to find a place in my life. I didn’t understand it then but as the years progress, I start to understand it a little more. I am still not on speaking terms with my brother and who knows if I ever will be. Until I can fully put that whole time period behind me, only then I can truly heal that relationship. If there is anyone that I have to truly apologize for being so horrible is to my roommate because honestly she didn’t deserve any of that. While I may not have agreed with the tactics that happened after I left the apartment, I was never ungrateful for anything she did for me. At the end of the day she made life possible for my brother in ways I couldn’t. While she may have considered me a lost cause because of all of my problems at least she could help someone else. In a way she wasn’t the enemy, I just wished things had worked out different. Maybe in another life. Who knows.
I know things are not where I want them to be now, but one day everything will change for the better. It has to right?
Everything in it’s right place.