Episode 20- A Hippie’s Holidaze

Its Holiday season! Bring out the hoodies, shorts and jean jackets, I might have to dare I say wear socks with my shoes now. The holidays in L.A., pretty non-existent to say the least. The rain replaces snow, its 65+ degrees, Its way too hot for one of those Ugly Sweater parties.

Yet,  holiday season brings me joy. Like, Thanksgiving what a fucked up holiday to celebrate but having three plates of food with no care in the world. Sorry Indians! (not sorry) This year I celebrated what most transplanted, stranded, Los Angeles residents celebrate. “Friendsgiving” Well in our case “Danksgiving” (Yes it’s exactly what you think it is) with my closest homies.  I thought my friendships were deteriorating after we didn’t get the dream house I wanted. At the end of the night… I love these Negros, regardless if we agree or not, these people I met almost a decade ago are still here, supporting and uplifting my crazy dreams. Plus as cool as it would’ve been to live with my Frat brothers. They fart a lot more often than the average male. Sports, there’s just so much sport watching…I can’t deal…But dammit I would be trifalin’ af if I wasn’t grateful. They let me stay with them these last couple months. I wear wigs, I get a period, I’m going through a break up and these guys were so nice and tolerant of all that.  Why do they like me?

So let’s revisit that last blog post. Was that Emo or what? I went pretty dark. I was saying stuff like…

I feel so stuck,  everything is falling a part. My friendships, my relationship. The thought of writing something creative makes me cringe now. How do I get back?”

It was pinned up inside me and I had to type it out. I won’t apologize for my vulnerability either.

I’ve been internally kicking and screaming because I’m trying to find some sort of break or easy way out of what ultimately are Karmic reactions to a continuous cycle I’ve subjected myself to. Basically. I’m tired of feeling bad for myself, making up excuses, It’s time to embark on this L.A. journey I was eagerly ready for when I first moved here. With opportunities and blessings literally smacking me in the face, I must keep pushing forward.

A new job, moving in to an amazing home with my closest friend, teaching more Yoga classes, embarking on my first 200 hour Teacher Training, starting my Podcast back up and recording music, I’m diving in to all my side passions until I can get rid of this *whispers* writers block.. I still feel like something is missing.  Why do I always think I need more? How am I not content yet? Then it hit me. Why I feel this emptiness within me. I must deal with this, I must face the truth that I might not ever meet Childish Gambino, let alone watch him  perform live ever again. I know I missed an amazing last concert.  I know now what it feels like to live life with regret.

Still, though. I’m in a much better place than the last couple months. This New Year will be interesting. I’m ready for it all.

 

Stay Tuned and Happy Holidays!

 

 

Advertisements

Episode 8: Magical Mystery Ride.

  Exactly one year ago,  I took an uncomfortable Frontier flight to Los Angeles, California for a beyond overdue vacation. 

During that time, I was living in Brooklyn, NY dressed head to toe in the finest winter wear, walking to work in four ft of snow,  living in an apartment where my bedroom felt more like a walk-in closet. Let’s just say it was time for a break.  Not only was it my first vacation solo dolo,  I needed confirmation that Los Angeles- the city I’ve been wanting to live in for years was for me.

Fast forward through  a shitty break-up, mucho insecurities, fears and anxiety, my first web series going to shit, unintentionally living with an untidy IG model, getting fired..(Twice) and no money I can finally say 365 days later. I live in Los Angeles  and…

It. Is. Magic.

All the shit that happened in the past year was worth it. I’m currently sitting at my desk typing this blog post, with a view of LA from the 17th floor that will  make New York City’s skyline look like pooh. Don’t worry NY Tribe, I still find ways to mention Brooklyn every day, I make sure everyone knows where I’m from and I totally use phrases like, “Deadass” and “Yo, B”. I Milly Rock when a YG song plays at a party and I miss the culture of New York, but I must say it again…LA is magic.

In six months I completely started a new life.  New life swag includes schmoozing at Art Shows in DTLA, completely being myself at “Industry” events, jogging through USC’s campus,  rockin’ out at Lady Gaga  concerts with my roommate, Warehouse parties, midnight trips to Runyon Canon, strolling through Leimert Park to hear underground hip hop or the illest drum circle get down, thrifting on Melrose. The marijuana out here is beyond extraordinary. I’ve met some incredible, creative, like minded people thus far, from different backgrounds, different races and managed not to say anything to offend them. Hashtag growth!

I performed my stand-up routine  for the first time. Fellow comics all signing up for their five minutes of open mic fame. I was nervous up until I touched the mic. I had laughs… real…genuine laughs. Laughs that came from the diaphragm.  I dated stand-up comedians before. They never told me I was going to have that feeling. It was comfortable, therapeutic and happened in what seemed like all of 2.5 seconds.

Now, I’ll admit I didn’t allow myself to give LA a chance. I’m a stubborn one, prideful as well, as free as I proclaim to live I get very antsy, I feel unsure sometimes. I couldn’t see the light beyond all the bullshit that kept happening to me. Don’t get it twisted, my life is not all palm trees and Childish Gambino’s. I’m workin’ my ass off out here. Hustlin’ and grndin’ to make sure these dreams come true.

I found my center.

My focus is clear.

My energy has been given to God.

My heart is completely open to new people who want to connect on a creative level.  I’m finally doing whatever the hell I want to do. I wore pigtails in my hair the other day, I ate Oreo’s for dinner  for a week straight and I was super ecstatic about it.  My mind is free, my body is free and I’m a fuckin’ Goddess out here. Feels good to say that. Feels even better to feel that. All I had to do was jump. Now I’m here.   Despite all the craziness and unfairness in the world such as Childish Gambino having a baby by another woman. I’m in a mysterious place where magic is happening and I’m along for the ride.

 

Just jump.

 

Stay Tuned.

Episode 5: Ms. Solo Dolo.

   Just when you thought you had it all figured out, life takes you on a Magical Mystery ride you can’t ignore.

          It was only six days ago the man who I believed I was destined to live with for a year in this eccentric city called Los Angeles, looked me in the eye and said,

“I want to live by myself.”

The words struck me like the out of tune chords he plays on his acoustic guitar. What do you mean you want to live by yourself?

We just found a place… it has a pool.. I just posted a blog about you!

“It’s not you its me” he said.

A line I use multiple times to get out of relationships but I didn’t know Karma would come back in this form.

My male roommate wanted to find his own way and go down his own path. Could I really be upset at that? I wanted to, but I didn’t have time.

My new main objective was finding a place to live in less than a week! 

It had only been seven weeks since my move to No Rain, LA and I experienced more curve balls than the three years I lived in Brooklyn.

With a lot of Craigslist filtering, searching, walking, sweating and praying, I finally landed a cozy residential spot with a nook and great natural light for writing. Its a blessing I found this apartment and it’s exactly where I need to be at the moment.

I admit, there was a brief, more like 12-15 hours where I didn’t think…Well, like I said in the previous blog, I’m the person who has to control everything. I want to know what’s going on, what’s next and how I’m getting there.  That’s never going to happen. I have to just trust that every setback, failure and low balance, is all temporary, all to make me a stronger, better, wiser human being.

I had an Epiphany, as I looked out my new rear window,  I didn’t just move to LA to be a comedy writer, or the tacos, weather and weed  I always joke about.  I moved here to start a life that I was afraid to live before. I moved here to prove to myself I can do things that seemed impossible to me before. California is where I want to evolve into who I’m meant to be. When I look up at the palm trees, or when I watch the sunset behind the mountains I feel that.

Some days are frustrating, most days I’m working so long and hard I forget the day of the week. I never however, forget why I live here.  I’ll never stop striving for the better me and I’ll never stop writing.

Now that I’m settled in my peaceful sublet, I wonder what new adventures are in store for me.  Conquering LA on my own won’t be easy, but I have no plans on giving up so I better enjoy the ride and all the twists and turns I will surely experience. Meanwhile,  I still haven’t seen Childish Gambino. I live in LA, he lives in LA I just don’t understand what’s happening at this point.

Stay tuned…

 

Episode 4: THE LENNY’s

Do you believe in Destiny?

I do. Only because I make many attempts to have complete control over my life and I always fail miserably. A higher source of power is undoubtedly calling the shots around here. Once you believe in it and walk through the path you were meant to be on, everything falls into place.

But first, let’s recap:

        *Los Angeles has been crazy. Seriously, I’ve been landing gigs that have taken me to parts of LA I don’t even think locals have experienced.

*Still no Childish Gambino sighting.

* Too much taco consumption will add to your weight.

*They charge extra for shopping/grocery bags.

*It really doesn’t rain in Southern California, the grass here looks gross.

*I will never ride the Metro Red Line past 10pm….Again.

I ended a relationship that wasn’t healthy, or fun anymore. Let’s keep it real.  If someone does not want you, seriously take that as they don’t want you and move the hell on. Moving to this city (and yea I know it’s only been 6 weeks) but I’ve had a few lessons and one of those lessons taught me to let go of people who had no interest in what I’m trying to do out here. It’s rough, it sucks  but if you not here to support me, if you don’t believe in me or my vision…I believe the lyrics from the 2000 smash hit Bye Bye Bye by the classic boy band Nsync said it best:

I loved you endlessly,
When you weren’t there for me.
So now it’s time to leave
And make it alone.

Don’t wanna be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me, but it ain’t no lie,
Baby, bye, bye, bye…

Now, let’s get to the story…

One of my prayers before moving to Los Angeles was to surround myself with individuals that have a passion and likeness for the arts. Because, sitting behind a desk for 40 hours a week and hanging out with a clique of teachers wasn’t really giving me the writing vibe I needed. Basically, I didn’t really have someone  who I could bounce ideas off of, or who wanted to write ten minutes of jokes , or shoot a scene for a web series.

In LA,  you’re either an Uber/Lyft driver, homeless or  you get paid for your art. (It is possible to be all three.)  I believe I mentioned in my previous blog,  LA is an  expensive  city especially on a freelance writer salary.  Cost of housing is ridiculous, having a roommate out here is the norm.

With hopes and the mere belief I would find someone I could share ideas with or create with, I was more  focused on moving  across the country into an apartment with a complete stranger.

Then, Destiny and all its power showed itself in the shape of a 6’3, slim man with semi blond locke’s and a peace chain around his neck.

Once I peeped the chain, heard him strum  my favorite Lauryn Hill song on his acoustic guitar, spotted his “Hakuna Matata” tattoo and watched him pearl the perfect blunt, I knew right there and then Destiny brought us together. A young black man with vision and ambition. These days, especially after recent events, its comforting to have that energy around me and it actually gives me hope for this Country.

I don’t have my girlfriends I can just hit up for drinks yet. I can’t just hop on the China Bus and head to DC or NC to see my friends or my mom.   I do however, live with this  man from the Carolina’s (Destiny)  who is kind, thoughtful and ready and willing to show the world his art. He’s young and vibrant and there’s good vibes flowing all up and through our Koreatown sublet.   Now, I’m not completely naive to the fact that yes, we are  attractive young black people who share the same interests. We drink wine together, we complain about our jobs to each other, we go to California Donuts in the middle of night and it’s awesome. We binge watch Seinfeld together and have writing sessions. We share ideas, he makes the best mashed potatoes and he loves my cheese filled burgers.

Despite the stigma I do believe a man and woman can live under the same roof and be strictly platonic.

     *Insert side eye emoji*

In a few weeks my roommate and I will be moving into our very own place. An entire year together to make some of our dreams come true, create content and get acquainted with the new taco trucks in our new neighborhood  I won’t let him quit and he keeps me positive, mix that in with a little Destiny and we might have something.

Stay Tuned.

Blog Post 4.2 roomie

Lenny and I on our ritual taco run.