by Lynn Kim Do

A Lesson In LA

I embraced every ounce of sun that grazed my face. Inked the palm trees into my mind so it can permanently live there. Sunk into the dirt to ground myself. Whispered prayers to the rocks that must have moved and sang in the hay-days. Sunrises made my knees weak. Sunsets made my limbs and eyes quiver. Hung on to every single word that dripped from my friends’ lips. Quenched it with more rosé when we were thirsty.

“Lynn, I had a crazy two months,” my friend said. “Yeah, me too," I admitted.

On two different coasts but problems aren’t biased to weather or landscape. He shared. I shared. He shared again. Then, I. The wine disappearing faster than our minds can think, our mouths can speak. We spilled every ounce of frustration, insecurities, hopes, and desires. I told him I wanted to act. He told me he had plans for TV. We talked blogging. Hated it. Admitted we couldn’t escape it. Gave advice. Or sat and just listened. Depression became a topic. Then our strong admiration for alcohol. Maybe too strong. We dismissed ‘having a problem’. But the most striking tone of our random all-over-the-place chat roulette is the honesty. No judgement. Advice and thoughts given whether asked for or not. And appreciated nonetheless. Not happy with something? We did something about it. Uprooted if we had to. I realized we never settled nor made a home out of our individual unhappiness. Fuck no. He uprooted from his new home to make a new home only to leave again to finally find it. While I left a partnership to pursue it solo and decided to embark a new road many drop off on the wayside. We are the champions of our lives. But it sure doesn’t feel that way, sometimes. “My life feels like a vicious cycle,” he concluded. “No, babe, it’s evolving,” I contracted. We laughed at our own sky high standards we clearly created to make ourselves miserable. And productive. It’s hard on our self-worth and makes us blind to our growth. “You are climbing up this beautiful ladder of life and you think it’s a circle of problem and change and problem and change but I see you climbing and yes, problems will arise but that’s because each step has it’s own set of problems. But these problems are easier. I see that even though it may feel hard for you in this very moment. You're a survivor. You've survived worse. I hope you see it, too.” I had to get him to see it, convinced that it’ll ease his mind. Strangely enough, it was easing mine as well. A conclusion I formed with my ears and heart wide open. A conclusion that helped me, too. And this was a conversation, our entire conversation, in fact. And our entire experience. My entire experience in Los Angeles. We don’t asked to be changed. We change in these subtle moments. In sharing a piece of yourself while receiving another.

Images by Dathias Godfrey & Kim Geronimo / Assisted by Alithea Castillo