California Dreaming

I know, so cliché.

And I’m totally aware that I need to write all about my trip to L.A. It was a trip filled with incredible memories. But since this visit is linked to many things I still can’t talk about, I want to share what I’ve learned instead. Here’s the first thing. NO MATTER what happens from this day forward, this has been a journey of a lifetime.

I mean, I was in Hollywood.

Two days before my trip, I made a conscious effort to take the time and ground myself, focus on the reasons for this visit. The day before I left, I repacked my suitcase just like I repacked my frame of mind. I was going to be me. I was going to wear what I normally wore, present myself as the person that I am – A mother, a writer, an advocate of strong, independent women, a humble author (who hasn’t made any lists), trustworthy friend.

TRIPLE SHOCKER: I only brought ONE purse for the entire trip, didn’t change it for dinner, brought only ONE pair of sunglasses (ask those who know me), walked around Rodeo drive in a T-shirt (okay, I lie a little bit. A nice t-shirt).

And despite finding my ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE store from Paris right on Melrose Avenue and going a little crazy – the trip to L.A. was a deeply personal learning experience for me.

And then I ran a simple little test. As part of keeping up with social media, I had to post stuff about my trip. I waited. And waited. And waited. For “friends” to text me, send me a message. I’ve been waiting for months.

Oh yes, back to the lesson.

What I learned is that people can be genuine and kind without expecting anything in return. For the first time in my life, the tables were turned, and I didn’t know how to deal with it, really. When you’re constantly making an effort to fit into a world that is totally out of your element, it gets so exhausting. I’ve always been on the giving end, investing end, working end, keeping up end. And then, without anything at all, there were people that weekend who were sharing opportunities, new friends who were looking out for me, involving me, trusting me. And I didn’t have to try too hard, didn’t have to constantly keep up.

It’s different at work, you know. You do your job, you do it ten steps ahead of everyone else, and you get recognized. Rewarded. Respected. As a person, it does nothing to your self-worth. Your success is never really indicative of who you are as a person.

But your friends, those in your inner circle, they kind of do.

And that’s what life has taught me through this “back door” experience. That friendships and connections are born, not made, not forced. That you should gravitate towards those that enrich your life. It may be one single person. It may be five, or ten. It will never be a thousand. And that to me, after this trip, is super-duper okay.

And so to that person, to these people, to L.A. and the places we visited, the really cool experiences, I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. The doors you’ve opened up will never be taken for granted. And I will never forget.

MORE TO COME in October and November! Stay tuned because I pray that L.A. stays in my life for a little while longer.