Well friends, it’s official. Love & Loathing Los Angeles is FIVE years old. I cant even type one freakin sentence without feeling a bit emotional.
I remember the day I called my mom, so excited to tell her I was going to write a book about life in Los Angeles. I was overjoyed that I’d finally figured out how to use my time wisely while I was in between jobs and trying to figure out who the hell I was and what the hell I wanted to do. I am indebted to my mom for suggesting the brilliant idea of working my ideas out by creating a blog first – that way I’d have everything I needed to write a book someday. (That book is still to come, do not worry.) I’ve always loved that my mom knew what a blog was before I did – she really is my hero.
When I first started, I had no idea what the heck I was doing. All I knew was that I needed a website, a name and a logo, some social media accounts for support, and that I just needed to start. I look back and think, “how in the hell did I do that?” especially in such a short amount of time. But the fact of the matter is, determination and desperation are powerful drivers. And every fiber in my being was focused on creating a community in Los Angeles, about Los Angeles, for Los Angeles.
I’ve always believed LA could be a picture perfect place, and I knew at the very least all it would take to see it would be open mindedness, the desire to discover, and appreciation for such incredible diversity – culturally and geographically – packed within 503 square miles. I wanted nothing more than to be even a small resource for anyone who shared even a fraction of my same beliefs. I wanted nothing more than to be that friend in LA to anyone who needed one.
I look back and crack up over how adorably “blissfully ignorant” I was stepping into this space. I always joke that I thought I was such a pioneer, that no one had thought about writing a blog about LA before me. Come to find out I am one of many, but I have found my own voice within the space, and I am honored to a part of such an incredible community of writers and bloggers. This city, these people, these platforms have inspired me, encouraged me, and have pushed me to keep going. It’s quite comforting knowing that I am not actually alone.
What I’ve learned over the past 5 years, what I still learn every single day, is that even as dedicated to this city as I am, I will never fully master Los Angeles. But boy do I love trying. And for that reason I will continue to embrace the challenge, keep learning, keep growing, keep exploring and more importantly keep sharing the beauty of journey, and thus hopefully inspire others to do the same.
A man I very much so looked up to and held the highest regard for passed away this year. He was one of my heroes, and if there were a perfect way to describe my sentiment towards the City of Angels, this would be it:
“If you live in Los Angeles you are used to having your city explained to you by people who come in for a couple of weeks, stay in a hotel in Beverly Hills, and take in what they can get to within 10 minutes in their rent-a-car. The thing that people find hard to understand is the magnitude of what’s here. The huge members of multiple cultures that live in the city that come together in this beautiful and haphazard fashion. And the fault lines between them are sometimes where you can find the most beautiful things.” – Jonathan Gold.
My heart is so incredibly full thinking about what Love & Loathing LA has become. And the truth of the matter is I wouldn’t be where I am without the unconditional support and love from every single one of you who take the time to read my posts, to visit my page, to watch my Instagram stories, send me emails, share your opinions, so on and so forth. From the bottom of my heart thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope Love & Loathing LA has made moments and memories for you that you’ll never forget, and that this space has given you more reasons to love LA than loathe it.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned in these past five years, years that have had their high highs and their low lows, is that success is arbitrary. But what’s undeniable is the measure of success is summed up by a person’s ability to persevere, to tough it out, and to never give up on what’s important to them. Success and failure are on the exact same road. Success is just further down that road. I have a lot of work left to do here with Love & Loathing LA and I hope you’ll stick with me to see it all through.