I realized yesterday that this week marked five years since I arrived in Los Angeles. That fact alone was not as daunting as was the attempt to draw a line between who I was when I got here and who I am now. Not to suggest that I wouldn’t even recognize myself; but there is certainly no way for me connect with where I was at that time anymore.
Life happens whether we want it to or not. There was a three month period when I first arrived in L.A. where I was not allowing myself to really dive into the extraordinary experience on which I was embarking: being in a terrifying and completely uncomfortable environment. An experience like that is a gift. The reality is that life happened and I got sucked into it. I could not sit back and be afraid forever. Now, I look back at five years gone by and then I look at myself today and I am happy to report that, though I didn’t plan any part of the journey that I have gone on, I am grateful for all of it.
I moved to Los Angeles from New York City in January 2008. I was going to come out here and shift my acting career into the fast lane. I was leaving behind a city that I loved, friends who had become my family, my actual family (who is in Pennsylvania), and a relationship that was still finding it’s identity. A recent theory that I have come to think on a lot lately, and which applies to people in almost every scenario, is that no person can predict how they will be effected by or react to a situation until they are staring it in the face. To make a parallel line to the acting world; a reaction cannot be both planned and authentic. If something truly elicits an organic response in you, then there is no way to orchestrate how that will go without compromising truth.
I don’t know about others, but I am not interested in trading in the real moments in my life (past, present and future) so that I can react the way I decide I’d like to react. I believe that over the past five years, a lot of things have happened to me based on decisions that I have made that I never would have planned on making. My life may not be now where I imagined it would be five years after I arrived in L.A., but I am thankful for the past five years. How cool is it to have had so many experiences, relationships, joys, challenges and heartaches? I have made decisions that have lead to all these happenings in my life but I never could have or would have predicted or planned any of the choices that I have made.
When I arrived in Los Angeles, I thought I had a lot of answers and I really had no idea what was ahead of me. Writing this now, I still don’t know what is ahead me in the five years to come. I could pretend as though I have learned enough in these past five years to know which way I will sway in every argument and which road I will choose in the face of many uncertainties, but the only thing that I know is that I change everyday. I can only do what is true for me each day and each moment and, from where I sit now, I trust that. I like knowing that I am smarter now and different now and that I have grown. It has been a good five years.