Friday, August 8, 2014

LA - One Year Later

Edge of the world. Photography x Grant Legan

I'll never forget my first time driving along the Santa Monica-Malibu stretch of the PCH with my friends packed in the car as we headed to the beach. “Teenage Dream” came on the radio and I abruptly ended all conversation because a MOMENT was happening. It felt like we were in a music video, and I couldn't help but smile ear to ear in a way I hadn't for months.

----To give you some background, I was coming off a busy few months that I'll just call 'settling in'.-----

But anyway, going back to that November day on the PCH, it struck me that I wasn't smiling ear to ear because of this cliché moment or because I was going to the beach in yes, November, but because for the first time in what felt like a long time, everything suddenly felt easy.

I wasn't trying to live in California anymore - I was doing it.
I wasn't trying to be a digital marketer - I was one and then some.
And despite a less than seamless 'settling in' period - I was actually really happy.

And now, here I am, one year later, still living in LA - doing my best to thrive. I'm still in the same empty apartment but with a roommate I adore and as I sit here writing these words, looking back, it's clear this has been one of the craziest years of my life.  I can’t help but think how wrong those people were when they told me (many years ago) that college is the best four years of your life - instead, it really does just keep getting better. 

This year has been a true adventure from beginning to end and I wanted to use this anniversary as an opportunity to call out my top 10 LA moments (so far):

1. Arriving in LA at night without a working phone, and hopelessly trying to navigate the 405 for the very first time, alone and in TOTAL silence I might add
2. Camping in Joshua Tree with some really great people
3. Throwing an impromptu rain storm pool party in February
4. My first red carpet experience for Romeo + Juliet as I interviewed celebs next to E! and USA Today in the media pit
5. Roadtripping the Sierra Mountains to go snowboarding in the 20+ degree (Celsius) weather
6. Coachella Round II, because #yolo
7. Catalina Island with my main man
8. Tensnake South Central LA Warehouse Party (if you were there, you just know)
9.  THE infamous Bus Party
10. And when Pat surprised me for our anniversary by appearing at my apartment door. I will never forget that.
*11. Okay fine, one more: the Canadian Thanksgiving Champong tournament inspired by the Swiss Chalet Festive Special

So to LA, thank you for a crazy first year. From the traffic, to the abundance of green juice, to that part of DTLA that feels like Mexico City, to WeHo and the West Side, you're a weird place sometimes, but it turns out you were exactly what I needed. So really, thank you. 

For more pictures - check out my Instagram. Das it.