I never wanted this blog to be a public diary, but I haven’t really been making much use of it for anything else. So fair warning: feelings and shit ahead.
It’s been pretty hard being back in the US. Harder than I thought it would be. I’ve done my fair share of moving cross-country, cross-continent, and cross-globe before, so I’m no stranger to starting over. But still, it’s been hard slotting back into life. It always is.
I’ve spent a lot of the last couple of months focusing on what I left behind in New Zealand. A relationship. Family. Amazing friends. A beautiful country, and a good job. I’ve also spent a lot of time focusing on what I’m not, or not-yet at least. A full time writer. Solvent. Successful. Prolific. Confident. Skinny.
“You are successful, Lynda. If you’d been born wealthy, you’d be Sophia Coppola” – Things my mother says to cheer me up but actually make me cry
None of this has been good for my soul, or my mental health. I’ve been dealing with depression and a lot of anxiety, and things have felt pretty bleak.
Despite all of this, I’ve been getting to know LA again, and rediscovering how much I love this city. Los Angeles is going through a renaissance, and it’s a really exciting time to live here. Public transport is improving, bicycle culture is slowly changing car culture, the street food scene has taken off, and the music, art and entrepreneurial scenes are inspiring.
I’ve decided to start focusing on the things that make me happy to be alive and happy to be here, in Los Angeles, at this moment in time. Maybe if I can start focusing on the things that make my heart well with happiness instead of sadness, I can start falling in love with life again.
Here’s the thing reminding me to love life today:
Mother-daughter selfies at the Hollywood Bowl
I love everything about this photo (which is unusual for a photo containing me). When mum visited, I taught her the term and the essence of selfies, and she then demanded we do one in every place we went. This one makes me laugh for the lady dead centre behind us, her unintended photo bomb, and the bemused sort of look on her face.
I also love it for the memories. I don’t get to see Mum much. It’s been two years since the last time, and she’s currently out of internet contact somewhere in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan or Krygystan. She’s the most intrepid adventurer I’ve ever known and I hope one day to be as intrepid and brave as she is. Or to visit even half the places she’s been.
The Hollywood Bowl is one of my favourite places in LA. It’s a huge outdoor theatre in a natural (I’m guessing) amphitheatre with views of the Hollywood sign.
Not only that, but it’s the only venue I’ve ever been where taking your own food and booze is allowed. Mum and I made our own sandwiches with crunchy fresh bread and brie that was perfectly gooey from the heat. We drank cheap wine from plastic cups. It was perfect.
The LA Phil performed that night, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth, and a world famous violinist performed a Sibelius violin concerto. Little did I know Mum’s actually a classical music fan. “Oh, it’s Sibelius,” she said when we read the programme. “I love Sibelius”. Serendipity, then. I should have told her I knew that and planned it all along.