siren songs

by rantywoman

Two of the artists I’ve been enamored with this past year went to the same college as a friend of mine, and they often draw upon that college setting in their work. My friend actually knew one of them personally.

A few years ago, this friend would have been just as enamored with these artists and just as interested in their movies and books, and we would have conversed for hours about them. But she has a toddler and an infant now. She valiantly tries to touch base with me occasionally, but she has no time for books or TV shows or films, even when they are about subjects that once would have been dear to her heart.

I understand completely now why I was so drawn to L.A. As my interesting friends became consumed with their families and dropped out of my life, there was no longer any filter between me and my favorite writers, musicians, and filmmakers. These artists were no longer intriguing distractions that helped me to process the drama in my own life. Their work, which spoke to me figuratively and often literally, became the only thing speaking to me, and they moved from the background to the main event.

And just about every artist that captured my attention lived in Los Angeles.

Had I not tried living there and had remained single here, I think
I would have regretted it deeply. I would have imagined that I missed my chance to connect with the world of ideas in the absence of having a family.

Even now, knowing that the expense and logistics and stress of living in Los Angeles preclude much of anything else and that most of those artists have little time left for anything outside of their own families and struggle to “make it,” I am still occasionally pulled by the siren song of the place. Still pulled even though I know I would likely end up in the exact same situation as before if I returned.

That’s why I hope I don’t have to make any kind of decision about a job. If I only get one offer and thus have to go back or have to stay here, I will ascribe it to fate and make the best of either situation. But I don’t want to choose all over again.

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