Recently I've been thinking about people who move to other places with an elitist mentality that they are somehow above the people they left behind (aka myself). I moved to Indianapolis from Los Angeles awhile back and I've been realizing a lot about myself and my move to Los Angeles. My biggest take away is that people make a place and also that you cannot lump an entire group of people together based on the place they live. I've been avoiding the Midwest like the plague for the past couple years and while yes, it isn't my favorite place in the world, it deserves much more respect than I have given it. I do believe that we always have to chase opportunities wherever they are, so if there's an opportunity to improve your life somewhere take it. Some people just want a change of scenery, nothing wrong with that. I guess i had typecast people in the Midwest as small minded and short sighted but since I've been back I've seen so much art and heard so many dreams and so many stories that have really inspired me to realize that I'm dead wrong, as I am quite often. I thought if i got to LA people would see me differently and I'd be somehow cooler. I could paint a social media picture that would impress others, at family functions they would talk about me as if I were a myth. Through depression,poverty and unrest I continued to fake it for Instagram, desperately trying to convince people that my pilgrimage to the land of the misunderstood was fruitful but it was not. Honesty isn't coveted, results are. Living selfishly and distancing yourself from others to get them to envy you isn't cool, it's sad.
LA killed lots of bad parts of me and for that I am very thankful. No longer do i desperately try to publicize my identity as an artist, it's something I know and feel deeply and I no longer need to convince others of it. It's so off putting to look around at everyone trying so hard to convince each other that they are this or that, its fucking exhausting. Social media has created this awful pressure on all of us that we aren't living the lives we should be and I fell victim very hard. LA gets a bad rep though, I do have a special love for that city. Honestly, my favorite people I met were locals, the cancer on that place was all of us transplants with our hands out. Wanting the city to validate us and give us our identities, wanting everything and not offering much in return. Reinventing ourselves into how we want to be seen instead of seeing what we actually are inside.
Everyone has a different journey and I would never want to discourage anyone from moving to a new place but more so just questioning the reasons behind it. The question I keep getting is "why would you ever move back from Los Angeles to indiana?" Besides the obvious financial reasons, this will sound weird but I missed the bleakness. There is something profound about silence on a cold, grey day, it's like a warm blanket for me. I think by nature I am just a melancholy person, so endless smiles and sunshine wore on my soul. I yearned for the richness and depth of dreariness. LA was sort of one dimensional for me, I don't want just sunshine and happiness, I want the whole spectrum. With large cities though, you'll never have two stories that are the same, so it's really hard to take anyone's word for it, you just have to roll the dice for yourself. I want to also touch back on that fact that people make a place. In my mind, Pretty much if you put all the people you love in one place it doesn't really even matter where that is.
There was such an tremendous pressure to feel happy in LA that you almost felt guilty on days you just weren't feeling it. Which leads to lots people just faking it or else you get pegged as negative or just not good enough to be there. We live in a time where we are spoon fed FOMO and it honestly just takes confidence to know who you are and where you want to be. This took lots of time and traveling for me. I never know where I'll end up from year to year but I do know this motivated, amazing people are everywhere not just on the coasts, not just in the places you've heard of. They are in small towns, they are hidden in big cities, the world around us is what we make of it. To me, the true heroes are the people putting effort into their hometowns, asking what they can do to improve it, instead of just abandoning it. It's not as flashy, it takes more time but it's so incredibly important. So wherever I end up from year to year I want to ask myself, How can I give to that place instead of just expecting things out of it. I will be posting more often and apologize for the long gaps between posts. I'm traveling through Europe next month and will most definitely be writing reflections on that!