On March 1, I officially met my one year anniversary of leaving Los Angeles. While I know I made the right decision, backed up by my success in my current occupation and the presence of my soul, I do miss certain parts of LA. Namely, my friends. But as people move and grow older, they drift apart. Friends I used to talk to on a daily basis while living in LA have now become facebook and bi-monthly conversation friends. Most have new jobs, and the 3 hour time difference, coupled with long hours in the film industry, means our schedules rarely align. Out of sight, out of mind.
The quote above is from Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero, a novel published in the mid-1980’s about youth culture in L.A. I arrived two decades later, and the book was still relevant to the lifestyle of the city. At eighteen, Ellis’s Angelinos have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too young an age, creating a generation of apathy. They’re judgmental, get what they want, and don’t care about consequences. They think they’re invincible, and laugh at death. The novel is haunting and incredibly sad, and the whole situation is devoid of any feeling or hope.
Along with the surprising realization that I wanted a “normal” life (something my high school self would have vehemently denied), this was the primary reason I left the city – this apathetic, hopeless aura that infects the citizens of Los Angeles. I could slowly feel my soul dying, and with it, all my passions, dreams, and optimism.
Not to mention, people ARE afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.