I signed a lease on Saturday. This apartment is perfect. The landlady is originally from Chicago (well, 16 miles out, on the Indiana side) and moved out here when she was 16. Her dad bought this building when it was brand new in the 50s and she grew up in one of the second floor apartments. Now she lives about an hour north of LA but the building is still hers. I like this story because it reminds me of the apartment building that used to belong to my family in Oak Park. And I can’t help but think how awesome it would be if that building was still in the Johnson name. How many of us would have cycled through there? How many of us would have lived there with fiances, then husbands, then kids before growing out of it and passing it along to the next in line? A lot of us, I think.

 

The apartment I am renting is in fantastic condition because, as the woman explained to me, this is still a home to her and she wants everyone who lives there to love it as much as she did/does. It has real hard wood floors and large open windows. The walls are white (thank god) and clean. The kitchen is funky with yellow tile and dark wood cabinets. I love it. I can’t wait to live in it and make it my own. Well, make it mine and T.Sean’s.

I’m excited to start settling in. I don’t move in until the last week of August which is fine since i am actually housesitting for most of August and it would be stupid to be paying rent for two apartments but living in neither. But I am beginning to gather things, handmade mugs and bowls from the goodwill, jars to store rice and oatmeal. Also I’m on the look out for good deals on bigger things like, well, basically every piece of furniture you can think of (mattresses, a little kitchen table, a bookshelf, a couch). It doesn’t have to come all at once and I’m not going to rush and buy something that I hate or that is plastic and gross. Instead I prowl Goodwills and garage sales and when I see it (it being the right table or the right chairs) I will buy it.

T.Sean is coming. I cannot wait until T.Sean gets here.

 

 

In more frustrating news I just tried to post photos but am apparently out of space. UGH.

highs/lows

This week has been ridiculous. On Monday I called my family in full on breakdown mode. Today, I’m happy as a clam, happier even.

This whole low-man on the totem pole gig, while beyond rewarding, has its share of awful moments. I would get into these awful moments if the very thought of thinking of them didn’t flat out exhaust me. So I will paraphrase. Somedays (most) I spend 12 hours at the office, then four more in the car, I eat crap and don’t sleep and still fuck up in the intern department. That said I find it weirdly reassuring that my fuck ups are usually related to the secretarial bits of the job and not the creative bits. Still, a fuck up is a fuck up.

When my days are like this and when they suck I find myself ready to bail. I kind of wandered my way into this whole gig and, as such, it is sometimes hard to amp myself up to this whole “workworkworkwork” thing. I value other things like exercise, sleep, crafting, reading, watching tv, quality time just spent doing nada etc. This job leaves very little time for any of those things and sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it. But then things straighten out and I will have another great day and suddenly can see myself in this business for the rest of forever. And on those days I feel so grateful that I just stumbled into this thing. I’m so grateful that I got this chance without going out of my way for it.

 

My solution to all this up and down, all this drama? Deep breaths basically. I do a lot of self talk these days. I remind myself on the bad days that if I wanted to leave I absolutely could. On the good days I remind myself that I wouldn’t have had such a good day if I had left. I miss my family like crazy but I also know that I would miss this if I were to come back now. It would be too soon. I would have unfinished business that would haunt me the rest of my life with “what ifs” and “I wonder.”

So I’m staying. I’m staying and T.Sean is coming. I found us a lovely apartment in a quaint little block of Los Feliz. The apartment has hardwood floors and lots of windows and big closets. It is light and bright and I cannot wait to start molding an LA life out here with that kid. I think we will have fun. I know the tough days will be better if I can go home to a house with T.Sean in it.

 

I’m also going to be better about self-care in these upcoming weeks. I will get enough sleep and eat well and exercise. I will take the time to do the things I love like paint my nails or glue sequins onto photographs. I will breath in and out and wake up and go to sleep and live. I will live here for awhile. Then I will live somewhere else.

 

You know, I always always always wanted to be the sort of person that lived other places and did exciting things and pushed themselves. And I’m doing it now. I’m living the life I thought I would. It is harder than I thought it would be but also better than I could have imagined. That is such a cliche. But it is true.

 

And seriously can I give a shout out to my dear, sweet family at home. Those people have been there for me this week. I called home sobbing and they were all awesome and cool about. They talked to me and helped me sort out my feelings. My mom bought me a massage and started snapchatting tons of pictures of MJ (which makes me happy).

How do you repay all this kindness? I’m serious. I think everyday about how I will one day pay them back. But for today I will focus on gratitude.

 

UGH this post got cheesy. Can you tell I’m sleep deprived?

Kaili was here.

I cannot even begin to say how awesome it has been to have her here with me in LA. Kaili and I are the same age (well, usually, but not over the summer. Over the summer I am a leetle bit older) and basically grew up together. I mean I grew up with all my cousins but with Kaili, being my age-buddy and all, this seems especially true.

On the one hand I think we are SO similar. We are both mega-emotional and have been know to spontaneously burst in to tears if the moment is too sweet or too sad and we are also both, perhaps a result of being the oldest kids in our respective families,  bossy in possession of strong leadership qualities. On the other hand we aren’t so similar that we can’t get along which I find to occasionally be the case with the people I am most like. However, Kaili is much sportier than I am which she proved by basically heading off on a camping trip the minute she got back to Illinois. We read different books, like different music. And our respective career paths are pretty far apart as well. She’s a teacher and I’m, well, I don’t really know actually.

All that is just to say I like her a lot and boy was this weekend fun. Like, I regularly lost my breath due to laughing.

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At the Getty Center

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Just nature knowing what rainbows are apparently

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Oh man, this is a story for another post but basically Kaili and I went to a weird/hilarious/but mostly weird rooftop party in Beverly HIlls.

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Watching crepes being made at the farmers market. We had so much good food.

I’m really sad she is gone and really happy she came. When I flew back home a couple weeks ago it actually really helped me warm up to the idea of being here. I realized home would always be there doing its thing and that I had/have time to explore and be in different places. But having someone here with me in LA kind of did the opposite. It was so nice to have the company of family in this new place that it made me realize how much I miss having all you fools around me. I’m not done with LA, I’m not coming home (not yet, anyway) but I am missing you all fiercely. I cannot wait till T.Sean moves here. CANNOT WAIT.

General updates:

-bought a groupon for a three month gym membership that has basically improved my quality of life tenfold. Now instead of sitting in traffic I work out. Then by the time I am driving home the roads are a dream. Oh yeah and I WORKED OUT.

-Kind of going off of the above point I have slowly, oh so slowly, found my way into a routine that involves getting enough sleep at night.

-The other night as I was driving home I noticed a single huge fluffy cloud in the sky. This is no big thing in the midwest but they just don’t have clouds like that out here. Not often anyway. I literally saw a man with a family take a picture of it with his phone. We may not have mountains or oceans or any of these flowering plants in the midwest but we have that endless, open space and a sky that turns all shades and puffs with clouds and rain. I miss that sky. I miss that space.

Happy Hump Day.  I need to buy groceries.

busy/lucky/free

I am busy. Hecka busy. And I love it. I remember thinking when I briefly had a 9-5 job last summer that it was the worst thing in the world. Time moved forever slowly and I was not doing anything that required an ounce of creativity. These days time flies. I only have to stay at work until 3 but most days I stick around until six just because I am so invested in whatever project I am working on that I cannot bear to leave it.

And yet my life seems balanced. Like, I still have time to have watched 4 different first seasons of tv shows on Netflix. Did you hear that? That is A LOT of TV. I’ve already talked about The Fall and Top of the Lake. More recently I’ve been watching House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. I’m obsessed with both of them.

This past weekend I went to Seal Beach with Anna and Collin. Of all the CA beaches I’ve been to so far it is my favorite. Mostly because it is teeny.

 

 

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My cousin Kaili gets into town tonight. I am beyond excited.

Things at work have been hella exciting these past few days. I LOVE THIS JOB. I started the ‘ol apartment search for this September and I am just excited (and ready!) to be living in LA proper for the next chunk of my life. SoCal is weird, I’ve established that, but here are reasons it is also awesome:

-People are legitimately nice here. They don’t look necessarily look nice (especially if you are sort of an asshole like me and maybe assume pretty people are mean people) but I have had some of the best interactions ever in my life these past few weeks.

-The food is really good. The farmers markets are awesome and the restaurants are awesome. I eat seafood almost every time I go out to eat because the ocean is RIGHT HERE and it is the good stuff.

-Thrifting is excellent in LA. Better than Chicago. There are Goodwill’s in every neighborhood and boutiques of various price ranges everywhere. Also, the woman I work for just told me about this secret sample sale thing that takes place twice a month where literally designers dump leftover samples on sheets on the sidewalk and everything is like six bucks. You bring your own bag and pay cash. It sounds awesome. I am going to track it down.

-I love, love the 1920s architecture. I love the big windows that open vertically and the flowering plants everywhere. I love that Los Feliz has white lights on its trees. I love Griffith Park and how it overlooks the neighborhood.

 

It has been cloudy and rainy these past few days. No one in my office is from LA (is anyone in LA from LA?) and we have all been giddy about the cloud cover since it reminds us of our various places of origin.