So, the new year is a time for introspection and reflection. And for me, I was thinking, I always get asked what someone like me is doing in LA. It's an interesting question, to which, since I've gotten it so many times over the years, I do know the answer. Many answers. But here's one reason.
Most people who meet me or know me see this girl who likes to pick flowers and dance beneath the moonlight and jump in rivers. Which is true, very true. So, it's understandable that a big city seems an incongruous place for me. But why I think I'm in LA is because there are things that attract me even more than just nature (which I do love, so much, but I still have it here, I promise). Here's what I love probably more. Human interaction and new experiences. And those, those I have gotten here over the years, amply, and it seems never-ending. And I love that.
I've always been that way. Wanting to do everything and try everything and have adventures of all sorts and make friends with everyone. God, the people I brought through my home back in Aspen! All of the good-hearted rascals you could conjure. Every post-collegiate ski bum that I managed to meet and drag home to the fireplace. Every single exchange student that came to those mountains or transplant or new student. All of the transients that I met playing hackie sack in the park downtown. My teachers. The older architect who always wanted my help with interior design. The winter waiters and summer bartenders that I invited to my old home, playing music by the creek. It's always been who I am.
I love experience. I love people.
And I don't care what age you are, what your job is, where you came from, how nuts you seem, what you look like, I welcome sincere people the most. Those who are a bit ragged and rough but real, slightly crazy but hanging in there, got life down enough that they're still forging on somehow, somehow with a smile on their face and able to laugh off the small stuff and able to enjoy the good times and appreciate the bad times and keep going and keep doing it and trudging forward and loving it.
That's what I seek in people. Taking it all in and loving it for some bizarre reason. But staying grounded too. Like really getting that we don't know what it's about and relishing it regardless. And just living, like really really living, unabashed, each and every second, each breath of wind, each crash of the wave, every turn of the trees and smile and kiss and brush of a hand across the shoulder. The feel of life. Because there is so much to feel. Every sense open at every moment. Just feeling it all.
Hearts laid bare, souls tried and tested. Wise from living.
And you know what? So many of the people I've welcomed into my life have shown the most touching gratitude for my friendship. The sweetest of things are returned when you embrace people for being exactly who they are. Just one example, because I know he wouldn't mind. My sweet street-performer friend that I met a few years ago on Hollywood Blvd sent a toast to me this New Year's Eve: "Thanks for being there with me through the tough times and there for the good. You mean more to me than the words I could ever formulate in this life."
Also, rifling through my old papers and things the other night, I came across a letter sent from this rather vagrant guy I met in Boulder who seemed so crazy, drove a painted little car and always wanted to record people saying "I'm a little bunny rabbit" into his recorder. But he had the best heart and I could see intelligence in him and I was always a friend to him, and his letter said: "You brought me out of the darkest times, and I thank you. I thank you for trusting in me and being my pal no matter if I wore the same thing every day or if my hair was dirty…I love you…Ya that's right, I love you and always will." And he's now successfully in real estate. I mean, I can be the only person who believes in someone and it really can be enough. Which brings a tear to my eye and is astounding all at once.
So there's a reason, for all you skeptics and naysayers who may have wondered, why I think LA is perfect for my personality. And those who really know me well, they know that I'll always find time to be a fairy child in the forest.
Happy New Year!