The past few weeks I’ve been excited about a novel, a documentary, and a collection of poetry. All three creators of these works live here, in Los Angeles, as do most of my favorite writers, filmmakers, and comics. All that gives me pause once again about leaving.
At one time I had friends who were passionate about books and films and ideas, but they became distracted by raising children. They still read and see shows, of course, just not with the same zeal. It seems more like an afterthought, and they tend to consume stuff that’s popular and in the news now because they don’t have time to ferret out the other stuff.
I suppose that is what I meant a few posts back about feeling lonely– since I no longer have friends who are as passionate about culture, I feel more engaged with the actual producers of culture themselves, but I’m not actually friends with them. Even when I manage to get myself to an event and meet them, I can’t seem to bridge the gap. The fact that so many of them live here, though, does make me second guess my plans to move.
My job, however, continues to drive me mad. I talked to a woman this week who said that, when she was an executive director of a nonprofit, she used to attend a support group of women in the same position once a month so they could vent. Burn-out factor was extremely high. She’s now an academic and enjoying the far more reasonable pace of her job.
I don’t have that option however, so I’m stuck with my dilemma of whether to stay here, in the land of the creatives, where life is stressful and difficult and people are doing amazing things all around me but connection and participation feels just out of reach, or leave for a slower-paced, easier life, where I would have time and things would be more accessible but there would simply be less to do.
It seems the answer is to find the thought that hasn’t come to you yet.
Why isn’t it an option to change jobs and remain where you are? Do you need to think about housing arrangements in a new way, so you can work a less lucrative job but have more time? Or, reconsider something else that has previously felt like a ‘non-negotiable’.
Your other post today was exciting. You identified yourself as someone who needs passion, needs to have alternative avenues to explore even if finding relationships is challenging. When you write about your previous city, you don’t seem to feel that.
In the end, people on a path of evolving consciousness eventually reach this question: How much of our lives can we tolerate being dictated to us by fear?
Great points, all. I do live in about the cheapest single-person apartment here at about $1250 a month; it’s just a very pricey city without a partner (even with a roommate I wasn’t spending much less). I’ve been afraid to start over in a new job and make that kind-of multi-year commitment, but it’s something for me to think about.
You hit the nail on the head with “needs to have alternative avenues to explore even if finding relationships is challenging.”