News Flash: I officially moved out of NYC.
After eight years of subjugating myself to: stare at men in Vineyard Vines with their hairy flip flopped-toes splishing and splashing in garbage juice; bear older shirtless gentlemen jiggling their sweat at me on humid summer afternoon subways; and patiently observe cockroaches dancing to Moana on my kitchen floor, I’ve decided that maybe –just maybe– it was finally time flee the Big Apple.
At the core of it, NYC has been a dream. It’s where my career started and where I met some of the best people in this industry. But I’d been overwhelmed for a long time and I found myself becoming that jaded New Yorker. Case in point: when a homeless man stripped himself naked on a subway platform one day and peed onto the tracks, I shrugged, went back to browsing Instagram while pondering over what I should order on Seamless, like it was just another day (because it was). Apparently, this is not normal behavior, according to my friends in LA. At least men in California wear underwear while pissing in public, they tell me.
And so, like every fed up New Yorker, I posed this existential question to myself: Was it time to finally move to LA? To answer this, I took a one-way flight to Los Angeles to see if I’d find inner peace. “You need a self-care day, it’ll help,” one of my friends told me. Would nothingness find me closer to finding fulfillment? This is what happened when I went off the grid and decided to take a “Me Day” for an entire day.
Apparently, no one in Los Angeles walks. Even if your local Trade Joe’s is around the corner, you absolutely always take an Uber. Not wanting to depend on Tom the average Los Angeles actor who moonlights as an Uber driver, I rented a damn car. And if I wanted to completely immerse myself in California life, much like Tom does in his Method Acting classes, I decided to get something LA AF: An electric car.
In my case, it was a burnt orange vehicle called the Chevrolet Bolt. It’s absolutely LA in all of the ways possible: It refuses to pollute (it’s all electric), boasts itself as being green (like my LA friends who insist on afternoon green kale juice lattes), and likes to be completely silent, as if in a constant state of meditation. Apparently, this car was named 2017’s Car of the Year by Motor Trend. Could I live and breathe like this car does in its quiet state of constant Nirvana?
Driving my Bolt down the 10 freeway, my friends Liz and Alex and I decided on the most chillax location ever: Venice Beach, home of talking parrot tarot card readers, hilarious healing crystal dealers, and international Instagram celebrities who flock to the beach to take a photo with its famously rainbow-painted lifeguard deck. The two get turnt to Cheat Codes’ “No Promises,” in the backseat. Suddenly, I feel like Tom the actor/Uber driver.
Not one warned that there would be traffic at this time in the morning. A 15-minute ride turns into a 45-minute one and I instantly feel a pang of stress. My yoga guru friend Alex takes me aside and forces me to meditate under a palm tree. Apparently, Angelenos really have time for things like this on a daily basis. I close my eyes. I breathe. I say an intention. I’m bored.
Alex and Liz tell me that if I want to be LA AF I have to pose in front of something that will make others feel as if you’re having a better time than you really are. “It’s called inducing FOMO,” one of them tells me. Making others feel worse so that you can feel better about yourself? I guess that really is the most LA thing, ever.
After posing in front of something so Insta-famous, my two friends tell me I have to pose in front of something pink. “It’s just SO LA,” they tell me. “Pink also lifts your emotions.” It’s true, in my time in LA I’ve realized there’s so much pink around the city. There are pink walls EVERYWHERE. I can’t help but think about what my life has become.
Alex, a certified yogi, tells me that yoga on the beach is just seriously so LA. Not being one to disagree, I hop into a tree pose followed by a prayer pose. Alex is limber and flexible. Me? Not as flexible. I decide to take it easy and stick to this pose for all of 15 minutes.
That really did feel better, I tell Alex. Fifteen minutes of taking time out to stretch wasn’t so bad after all. But under the hot LA sun, I started to break a sweat. The smog was also making my pores feel clogged and I reached into my bag for a coconut gel face mask. We mosey on over to get a cup of watermelon juice and just chill as passersby stop and stare.
Liz is feeling tired and we decide our trip is almost over. Alex and I pose together in front of a dingy plastic elephant. I’ve never been so bored. As we hop back into our zesty Bolt, some ex-member of One Direction singing through our speakers, I realize that this day, though uneventful, has been so good for my mental health. I realized, as we weaved in and out of traffic, that sometimes boredom allows you to press a hard reset button. Boredom makes your brain take a break from reality, transcends you from your anxiety, and forces you to remain, doing nothing. After we got back to Liz’s apartment, my face glowing from my gel mask, I concluded something very real: Maybe I was ready to be bored for more than just a day.