Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Simple Life

Life in Los Angeles can be explosively beautiful or a train wreck waiting to happen. I've moved around quite a bit growing up... my Step Father was a Rabbi. His job transferred and he accepted shorter contracts and what not. So he, my mom, my older brother, and I would move around. I lived all over Illinois (on and off), Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and here... Los Angeles. Of all the places I've lived, Los Angeles is the most beautiful. The way I see it, people in Chicago are more on the real side and are predominantly happier with "the simple life."

From my experience, New York is similar to Chicago in that way, but people seem to have a more "in your face" type of approach (which can seem a little over the top to some). So at times, even if you don't want them to be real with you, you might have it coming to you anyway. They just say "how it is" with more edge and attitude. I don't think it's necessarily a bad attitude. I just think they're comfortable saying their feelings and don't care what people think.

The other places I won't go into as I was much too young or it's irrelevant for where I'm going with this. Los Angeles I love as my home. I love to travel to other places, but to live... I'd pick Los Angeles. True, I may be biased towards L.A. being that this is where my main family is (my kids). But the weather is beautiful and if I want snow or to feel a chill, I can travel a near or far and enjoy that as well. I've lived in L.A. stably since 1998 and with content more than any other city or state. 

Los Angeles has the best of everything. It's so different on so many levels than anywhere I've lived. As soon as you step off of a plane into L.A. from anywhere else, it's kind of miraculous... It's breathtaking and beautiful! The palm trees give you a sense of Hawaii and the people (on the most part) seem to take such good care of themselves which isn't that common in other places. They work out, they care about their health, they do Yoga and it's all about the green juice... It doesn't just look pretty cool, it is pretty cool.

Now, there will be different opinions on what I'm about to say, but here's mine. The people in Los Angeles tend to be a little less "real" which isn't my personal preference. I'd rather people be honest, direct, real, no games, not wanting something from you type, and sweet at the same time. There are some very down to earth people here in L.A., they're just harder to find. Some people in Los Angeles are truly very sweet (except on the road), but they just don't seem as real or genuine as they are in Illinois or New York.

In Los Angeles I've seen many that "white lie" often and put on a "Polly Anna" type of front and smile as if "life is beautiful." Don't get me wrong, life is indeed beautiful and the glass is half full is a great mentality to have, but I highly doubt that I'm the only one who's had to experience ups and downs in L.A. The downs have been intense and a bit much to take even, but I'm stronger now for having experienced them. As well, the ups have been pretty fabulous on a level that I can't imagine I'd have experienced in any other state. The friends that I end up loving so much and getting so close with become wishy washy and disappear for no real reason other than "life."

We get opportunities to meet some of the most amazing people ever in L.A. However, it seems there's a big "grass is greener effect" and there's always someone prettier, younger, richer, or "can do more for you", type or something... I don't know. It's kind of sad really. In a spouse, in a friend, and even in a neighbour, I like stability and knowing it's real and it won't end when you get a little busy or if you don't agree on everything. I've met many people that have felt totally different and some that have felt the same way. It's like a "Lost" Angeles type of feeling I get from people at times. 

I genuinely love all people (unless they're mean). I like all my neighbours and people on the street that I don't even know... I like them and wish them well. I don't feel many people in L.A. feel that same way about people they don't know. Homeless people for example... True, it's hard to tell in L.A. which ones are real and which ones are making a living asking for handouts, and then hopping into their Mercedes. 

It seems that some people would generally prefer to give to "the needy" when it's through a foundation or something of the sort because of that. I've met a few angelic types of people that were completely selfless, genuine and wanted nothing in return for their good deeds or "mitzvot." I can honestly say, those people will be in my personal prayers for always. Having said that, I do find it rare to find such specks of gold and genuineness in Los Angeles.

I've been literally laughed at for not knowing brand names and I must say, that definitely doesn't happen in every state... maybe New York, and some foreign countries. I'd love to know all the name brands, I just haven't made it a priority and maybe I've seen too much to think it's all that important. True, it's impressive when people know how to dress in style, but taking good care of yourself is just as good to me as wearing the top brands. 

If you can get your nails done often, buy a new dress, and some sunglasses, that's awesome. But, when someone doesn't have the luxury to do that in "L.A." or doesn't really know the label you're wearing or what "LV" stands for until they're over 33 years old etc., it shouldn't really matter. People have asked me what rock I've been hiding under... Again, It's cool to know things like that. All knowledge is good. But, if a man I marry or if a friend I have doesn't know a brand name, I don't really care.

Some people in Los Angeles have told me that they'd actually prefer to have people white lie or pretend to be happy all the time. They don't want to feel any discomfort in their daily lives, but I beg to differ. I love nice things and can truly appreciate them... jewelry, cars, having my hair and nails done, etc... I just don't NEED those things. I think it's good to have them like icing on a cake. People that work harder can indulge more and have that luxury to do more in that way, and the more power to them. I think that's great! 

For the rest of the world that cannot afford those things or don't feel the desire to have those things, "It's all good!" Los Angeles just seems to be more "secretly judgmental" than other places, at least in my experience. I'd personally rather be with a guy that's intellectual, driven, grounded, humble, and balanced as opposed to a stud muffin in a Ferrari wearing some (insert brand name here) suit. But, that's just me. I want a simple life. Now, will I be able to attain that in Los Angeles.... I sure hope so.

Anne-Cohen
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