Sunday, September 14, 2008

Are You There Internet? It's Me Erika.

This picture was taken at my mom's house last summer. I did not want said picture to be taken. Note the extreme casual wear I'm rocking. That t-shirt belongs to my mother. It somehow has holes in it in very odd places. That was back when my bangs grew free and happily and people mistook me for a 15/16 yr old alot. But I do look skinny in this picture. Ohai, and this is my bf sitting next to me. So I guess you finally get to see him. His name is Sam. He's 23 and he always buys the beer. He used to have very cute short, curly hair, but he shaved it off and now he thinks he looks like a chick magnet. Dudes are crazy sometimes.

I am not one for admitting defeat or incorrectness. In fact I rarely ever do it. If someone is right and I'm wrong and it's obvious, then I have no choice but to say, "Oh I'm wrong," or "Oh I fucked up. Sorry." But those times are few and far between.

Back in Atlanta, I was so unhappy. My close friends didn't get me, the dudes I did like to hang out with always had previous engagements, my bf spent a lot of time working, my mom couldn't identify, and even my dog was slowly starting to hate me. Well, maybe. She started ignoring me alot more and in turn I stopped feeding her. Just kidding.

LA was my ticket to happiness. The cure for my sorrows, my hopelessness, this feeling of being completely lost in my own life. I kept telling people I was leaving the South and never EVER coming back. Most people just went "ohhhh" and remarked how lucky I was. I got cold feet a few times but the reassurance of the people around me that I would be fine kept me going.

I spent my first evening in LA by myself, eating El Pollo Loco, listening to my Niko LP, and sitting on my bed with the window open, a warm breeze carrying in the sounds of far off conversations and outside noise. I texted my bf: You know what Sam? Sitting here on my bed, looking out at the blue sky ad palms and golden buildings and listening to Niko and eating chicken out of a Styrofoam container...I'm truly happy.

Fast forward a month and a half later. I'm on speaking terms with only two of my roommates. I have three friends, V notwithstanding, and they're kind of cool. All I do is go to school and then come home, day in and day out. I filter through so many emotions daily. I haven't been laid for almost three months now. I pretty much take care of this apartment on my own. I'm hopeful, but at the same time discouraged.

But every time I go to Hollywood I'm reminded of why I love LA so much. The constant excitement, perpetual ADD stimulation, the opportunities and the people and, most recently, the strip clubs, make it an amazing place to live. It's truly like no other place on earth. Plus I'm an LA kid at hometown is Inglewood (holla!) and a ton of the pictures of me smiling and happy as a kid were taken when we lived in Los Angeles.

What gets me is that I don't live in LA (the city). Of course I live in LA (the county), but I really live in the Valley. It's ironic actually, because when my mom and I came here awhile back, I thought to myself, "This must be where people come to die." But then I think to myself, well, when I graduate I can live in LA. I can live in the heart of W Hollywood, which has been a longtime dream of mine. I can get my magazine ambitions underway. I can head out to strip clubs every night.

So I thought to myself, why should I stay in the Valley if it makes me unhappy to do so? Longer story shorter, I've made the decision to go back to Atlanta, transfer to the state college, and finish my education there. Then, when I'm ready, I can come back to LA. I love it too much to stay away forever.

I guess a part of me wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. That I could handle being 2000 miles away from my fam and friends and still make it. I think that every time I don't call someone I know and I rely on myself to just "figure it out," as my bf likes to say, I am proving myself. Every time I use my map of LA instead of calling my mom, I'm doing it. Every time I meet someone new because I made the first move to talk to them I'm doing it. And I feel good enough with this month and a half, so I know I'll be even prouder of myself nine months from now when the school year's over. And that quote JEWELS said only made things better.

But a part of me feels like this is admitting defeat, saying that I can't stick with anything without eventually just returning to what's easy and comfortable. Because I'd almost rather be minorly unhappy and take the easy way out than be majorly unhappy but know I'm doing what's right.

In any case, this time next year I'll be blogging to you good people from the dirty, smelly city of Atlanta. It's not a place I'm fond of, but the gang from Tilly and the Wall really love it, so I guess there's my consolation prize.



lolitahazed said...

I can really relate to this. My town is so small and I want to get out so badly, and I am pretty much banking my happiness on that.
You've gone a long, long way. Who says it has to be about taking the hard way? Like you said, you can figure it out. You're only 18, and living on your own is tough, TOUGH-- and you took it an extra mile by getting an apartment, a seriously brave choice. I mean, come on, you're paying your own rent. I think that you've worked much harder than you thought, and if you're not happy, why push it? It's your life. It's totally okay if you're not ready for LA at this moment-- you will be in time, I'm positive. Who knows? Maybe in this school year, you'll feel totally different.

You'll get it down eventually.

Erika said...

Thanks so much Sarah! I think once I get back to where I'm comfortable, it'll be one less stressor and I'll be able to focus on school, do well, get out, and then come back to LA when I'm completely independent and can really start taking the opportunities given to me.