If it's hard for you to believe, imagine how hard it is for me to fully embrace that I've been in LA nearly a year. This week (Friday, actually), is the first anniversary of my migration away from my beloved New York and to a new, distant shore. I came in search of change - of routine, climate, worklife, social community, spiritual observance, self - and found it in abundance. I found diversity, and fascinatingly, an entirely fresh perspective on just about everything.
For instance, take the weather from the last two days. It was grey, overcast, and when you looked away for an hour, the pavement looked like it had been rained on, even though you didn't hear thunder or see rain drops descend. It was a day for a long-sleeved shirt, the occasional chill in your spine, and seemed to require constant intake of coffee, tea and soup. It goes without saying that this isn't the weather I moved here from New York for. Still, even from under this cloud front, even with the threat of invisible raindrops perhaps poised and about to hurtle toward the earth, I'm smiling.
Firstly, when you live in LA, you know the rain is temporary. When the clouds came out and the sun went away in New York, you never knew if you'd see it again until spring. That, coupled with the plummeting temperatures and rain that sometimes becomes sleet and hail, made New York precipitation a very different beast than this barely there, hint of rain-that-once-was. In LA, this weather is a blip, albeit a blip that arouses a momentary panic over oils on the roadway and the annual search for the household umbrella. (Check your car trunk.)
Secondly, and I hope this doesn't sound condescending, because I think it's cute how Los Angeles residents - known for being alternately urban steely and karmically centered/laid-back - are so intimidated by rain. If Facebook updates are any reflection of reality (and really, they must be, mustn't they?), Angelenos' responses range from the confused to the depressed. Seasonal Affective Disorder hits on three or four days a year, and the people feel it. Except those of us who recently moved here - we know it won't last.
Thirdly, there's the silver lining in every cloud. For instance, for the last three days, I've been looking at my friend's car (which I'm borrowing while she's out of the country), and thinking, I should really get the car washed. But today's weather took care of it for me. Thank you, California!
This week I celebrate a year in California. And I'm going to try to devote a post a day to some of the experiences, communities, people and programs that have made this year so enlightening. I hope you'll stay tuned, to better understand what I've found here. Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive - personally and professionally - on this journey. I'm looking forward to sharing with you!