20 March, 2012

So Move Your Feet From Hot Pavement And Into The Grass

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I have a theory that I was willing to prove right now, but I think I found a simpler, less complex answer to my nowhere-aforementioned proposal.

What I was going to suggest was that people from the East Coast (of the US) always want to go to the West Coast, and people from the West Coast always want to go to the East Coast. In my case, I’m from California, and all my life I thought I wanted to live in New York. It fit well, you know? Aspiring author, living in the streets of classy, busy, pretentious New York. Where magazines are written, where authors currently live with their families and two cats, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. New York, you know?

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And well, since all my life I knew that I was going to live in New York one day, I wondered if any one else had any sort of obsession with New York, as well.  In retrospect, I think I asked the wrong people—two musical-obsessed friends of mine went into a frenzy when I brought up New York, saying they were one day going to for sure live in New York and attend Julliard and “be in every Broadway show there ever was and win an Oscar every year for the rest of their lives”, and then they suggested we all get an apartment together.

However, this was confirmation, in my mind, that people in California like New York as much as I do, and most Californians want to be in New York, as well.  In my head I also formed a new hypothesis, which was—Well!  What if people in New York want to be in California just like we, from California, want to be in New York?  And in my head this made complete sense, and I was willing to let that sit in my mind for as long as I lived to fully convince myself that New York was part of my Californian destiny, and I was just going to sit back and let my life drive its own butt to New York.

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A few days ago, though, I came across an image by an artist called Taylor-Ruth, where it explained that some girls are thin and others are big, but that doesn’t mean that because they’re on ~opposite ends (for lack of a better term), that they’re unhappy.  “There are big girls who hate their bodies, there are big girls who like their bodies.  There are thin girls who hate their bodies, there are thin girls who like their bodies.”  I feel really strange comparing body image with the ultimate debate of California vs. New York, but it made sense to connect them, because it sort of answered what I needed answered.

Since I was ten (most likely around the time The Devil Wears Prada came out), I decided that, since I’m a WRITER, and all writers come from NEW YORK and magazines come from NEW YORK and I live in CALIFORNIA, then surely I wasn’t complete.  The full circle met at New York, and I would be ONE with the WORLD once I moved to New York after my high school graduation.

But since I came to the realization a few days ago that there are people that don’t want to come to California as much as I previously liked to think so, and there aren’t people who frantically wish to walk in Times Square like I used to, I feel like…  I don’t need to move to New York.

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To some, this may seem like the most pointless point they have ever witnessed, almost like watching that kid in class try to ask the teacher a question without saying “Uhmm” or “Like” or “Wait, what?”, but I’m trying to formulate as much as I can without offending you with the obviously spelled-out truth.

This is sort of just a sort of…  confirmation to myself.  All my life I felt obligated to move to New York, to attend Columbia or Brown University, to wake up every morning in an all-white apartment and walk across my wooden floor to snatch an apple on my way out the door to walk to Starbucks amongst all my fellow New Yorkers.

But, I’m accepting this, right now, that this is, in fact, something that is not vital to who I want to be.  Do I need to move to New York to become a successful author?  Some may agree, some may argue the contrary, but I feel that no, I do not.  At least, not as urgently as I used to.  Do I need to live in an all-white apartment with wooden floors and a nice fluffy cat to add to the aesthetic?  Now, that’s something I’m not willing to argue with yet.  But you understand my point.

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It comes with walking in the suburbs, I guess.

I took a walk around my neighborhood for the first time in my life by myself (that last picture, I dragged my sister out to take a picture of me in that pathway, can you tell I’m not a dork?) and I realized how much I love the neighborhood I live in.  When I come home from school, I’m always greeted with the kids on my street who are let out from school earlier, riding out in their bikes.  Sometimes, when I’m doing homework in my desk, I can hear some Kidz Bop! CD playing, and I lean out my window to notice the kids from the house in front of mine with their garage door open, dancing and playing with chalk.  These kids are always outside, and it’s such a nice contrast to me, always locked up in my room, silently hating myself for not being outside enough.

After that walk, the thought of living in a full, overflowing city with rude people who won’t look back and apologize once they’ve bumped into you is a sad one.

I like not feeling the New York Urgency anymore.


  1. This is a beautiful space. Serene. Thanks for posting the photos and feel free to drop by me too when you have time.

  2. Awh, i love this post and i love it when questions of my mind get answered. Have a lovely day in lovely California :)

    ♥mollie from musicandmollie

  3. i hate nyc. i've been multiple times to visit family that lives there. she is in advertising and a musician. so totally 'the scene'. i can't stand it and always buy a different plane ticket to head home sooner than everyone else.

  4. What a sweet post. Although I must say that I'm a Californian that has never wanted to be in New York. However, I similarly wished to live in another country since I was 12. I had photos of Norway, England, etc, plastered on my wall. I thought "the best life" would be there haga. I'm older now so I don't feel the need to live there, but it's still fun to plan visits. In the end it's about making the most of what you've got, no matter where you live and it sounds like you are! xx

  5. I think as a Southerner, I was sort of the same way - I always expected that I would move to either California or Boston, and now that I ended up in DC, I miss Texas in a lot of ways. Did I *need* to move to DC to become a successful photographer? Absolutely not - a lot of people would have advised me to move to Portland if anywhere. But I did and now I don't get why I felt the urgency in the first place.

  6. I have to say, I am so, SO jealous that you live in California. Just looking at those photos make me want to cry, rainy England is so awful. But I get what you mean, about realisations, when you think you're meant to do something, but maybe you're not.
    And omg I totally went through a Devil-Wears-Prada-must-drink-New-York-Starbucks-coffee phase too!
    Ps. I love your blog (can't say it enough!) x

  7. I've been wanting to visit America for years, and I've always preferred the idea of California to New York! x

  8. WOW! what a beautiful suburb you live in! I agree, that in many cases we don't appreciate what we have... I know I sure don't. not all the time. if you want to be a writer, you'll be a writer. and you'll do it with your own personality, in your own way, on your own terms. I think that's what it means to be successful.

  9. Well wherever you end up, where you are now is INCREDIBLY beautiful! I'm kind of in the middle in that I'd love to live somewhere rural but I also love the convenience and the vibeyness of living in the city...my current plan is to live in London for a few years after I graduate, mostly for career reasons but also because of my enduring love affair with the tube and its glorious efficiency. As long as I'm young, free, single and flexible living in the city will be fine...then after I earn enough money and want to settle down I'll head somewhere more rural. Possibly abroad because fuck it, you only live once! Anyway, I plan to have the best of both worlds!

  10. I kind of get what you mean. I'm from Sydney and I basically want to be... anywhere else, haha. But after travelling last month I started appreciating the good things about my hometown. I still feel a "London urgency" though, haha.

    Where you live seems lovely, actually!

  11. Supongo que es normal sentirse disconforme con el lugar donde uno vive, y aunque la tuya es/era una razón con cierto sentido, siendo que siempre asociaste NY con la escritura, hay razones de menos peso como por ejemplo Yo que detesto donde vio y pienso que cualquier lugar es mejor, pero también es porque no siento arraigo a este lugar, ya que no soy de aquí.
    Igualmente, aunque NY me parezca una ciudad fantastica, no se si me gustaría vivir allí, creo que preferiría mil veces California, auqnue no puedo hablar con fundamento, ya que solo he visitado Florida en lo que a USA respecta.

    Girls that glitter love the dark

  12. Beautiful photos! And what a fitting article, too, since I might be moving to New York this year. I've always wanted to leave California. I do love certain things about it [the food and beach, namely], but I've lived here long enough.

  13. I have to say that New York isn't all that rude. I'm not saying it as someone who was born there, but as someone who moved away when she was two and is enchanted every time she goes back. Seriously, there may be a few bumps in Manhattan, but people will always help you if you ask and you cannot beat that city with any other city in the world.


Thank you, pal.