It’s been almost 3 years since I moved to LA. And almost 6 months since I left LA for Seattle.
When I got the idea for Pumps & Plaid (almost 8 months ago), I was sitting in my probably scorching hot apartment in West Hollywood; about to quit my job in TV post production, and I had no intention of leaving LA anytime soon.
I was actually thinking of moving from WeHo to downtown, and my best LA friend said, “Great, you’re gonna move downtown, and then you’re gonna move away. Everyone who moves downtown leaves after that.” I told her to stop being ridiculous.
Fast forward two short months, and I was calling her telling her I was moving back to Seattle. And I hadn’t even moved downtown yet.
In a very small nutshell: I moved to LA to become a film editor. I got a job at a post production company two months into living there, worked in the vault for a year (essentially as a tape librarian) and then got promoted to the TV department where I worked as an assistant for a few months before I was then given my own show to “run”. (I facilitated the post-production needs for that show, getting it ready for air). Somewhere in there I had decided that editing wasn’t the life for me, and producing was the way to go, but we’ll talk jobs later.
Really, I moved there for a purpose completely unrelated to my career (unbeknownst to me at the time). I moved there to prove to myself that I could do it alone.
I’d like to say the decision to leave LA was drawn out and difficult, but truth be told, it was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. There are some things in life that you just know in your core without a shadow of a doubt, and in the moment I decided to start looking for Seattle apartments, I had almost known nothing else quite as surely.
Having said that, my time in LA was very precious, and absolutely essential in my journey. I wouldn’t take back a single second of it, and the part that was extremely difficult, was leaving the people I came to know as family, in the life I created from scratch.
So, before I dive into posts about the best coffee in Seattle that isn’t Starbucks, and the best place to buy an umbrella, I think it’s not only appropriate, but also necessary to pay homage to the City of Angels, and the girl who did exactly what she came to do.
Dear Brittany driving all the way down the west coast with a full car and a full heart,
Remember that time you were sitting at dinner with your mom and sister in LA, less than a year ago, visiting the city for the first time, and you said, “I want to be lonely and terrified, and I want to turn that into something beautiful. Something that’s just my own, that I created myself,”?
Well, get ready. It’s going to be all those things. It’s going to be lonely, and terrifying, and beautiful, and all your own.
When you get to your one bedroom apartment, no one will be there to greet you with a hug and a margarita. It will be pouring rain, and you will have been stuck in traffic, and you will lay on your air mattress with a sweatshirt for a pillow and cry for about three days. You’ll wonder what the hell you were thinking. When you remind yourself that this is what you wanted, it will make it worse.
You’ll slowly get up, buy a proper bed, a TV so you can watch Friends, and you’ll start to explore your new city. You’ll quickly fall in love with the history. Hollywood is a contrived monstrosity, but in the dark corners you’ll find ghosts that are comforting and that make you want to be a part of it.
It won’t take you very long to find a job, actually headed in the direction you want to go. You’ll meet friends who you won’t keep forever, but you’ll love them for what they will bring to your life in that short time and for what they will teach you about yourself. You’ll meet one in particular who will be a sister for you while you are away from yours. You’ll even get to stand up next to her as she marries the love of her life. You’ll meet a few others who will shape your journey as well, who you won’t want to give up for the world. Keep them in your life.
You’ll spend a lot of time in your car, but you actually won’t hate the traffic. Just like Dad taught you, you’ll find all the back roads. And just like they say, everything in LA, no matter how “close” is at least a 20-minute drive. You won’t go to the beach as often as you’d like, but who does. You’ll get to go to restaurant openings, and fancy Hollywood parties, help out with productions, and spin at Soul Cycle with celebrities on a regular basis. It will be pretty great. And it will be everything you wanted.
And then, after many late nights with friends, and early mornings alone, you’ll be done. You won’t see it coming, but if you are going to learn anything about yourself, it will be that your heart has all the answers, and your heart will say its time. You came here to create a life from nothing, and you will do just that, and then you will go home.
Thank you, LA, for being good to me. And for teaching me how to be good to myself.
A few snapshots, but nowhere near all the highlights: