Deer Diary, I've Fallen In Love
Next week will be ten months in Los Angeles. I find myself emotional. Last week I had finally gotten all of the things done in preparation to go to the DMV to apply for my California driver's license and registration. I switched my auto insurance, got the smog check, gathered required materials, researched LA and surrounding areas' DMVs and time frames to go so as to not have a soul crushing experience. I went to the Santa Monica branch and two hours, $300, a passed written exam while sweating profusely, and another car inspection later I had Cali plates in my hand. I went straight to the Honda dealership to get them mounted. As I held my Indiana plate in my hands, tears began to well in my eyes as I whispered, "You've come a long way, lady." I recounted how miserable, how badly I had wanted to turn around and drive straight back into the arms of my family and friends who truly knew me, who felt real to my heart, but how I hadn't - how I'd chosen to stay, to try, to commit, and how happy I was now to be - here.
In the last few weeks I had finally settled into co-creating with the Universe, surrendering to its masterful plan for me rather than my own. Doors have begun to open. As soon as I set the intention, LA started dealing the cards. Under the pressure of hitting financial rock bottom, I got clear on what it was I came to do. After spending 24 hours breaking down, deep in despair of spending what I had worked so hard to save for so long, I picked myself up and made a plan. I spoke with the people I knew could guide me back to the light, ordered the books, and took control of the situation, and now feel confident that the reconstruction is firmly under way. After a barre class I taught, I let my class know of my You Tube channel launch / my efforts in expanding my online presence (something I don't often do) and after, a student approached me with an offering to help. We soon had a coffee, and last night I attended her IG growth party.
In the Uber on the way home from the party I realized something as we drove through downtown Los Angeles. I was finally beginning to fall in love. The veil was lifting. People here wanted to help. Around every turn someone was willing to connect me to something - a project, an event, another person, people in my industry, agencies, agents, other creatives. Often these people were women. Now, I love New York, always will, it's the greatest city in the world, and I miss it everyday, but this was not my experience there (of course there were exceptions). For the most part, women rarely extended a hand. Men did. Before you roll your eyes under your assumptions, it didn't take long for men to learn that I wasn't that kind of gal. As much as it makes me cringe to write this, I owe most of my existence in the city for ten years - to men, and their willingness to get me where I wanted to go - to put me in front of the people I wanted to meet. To them I am forever grateful. It was because of two men that I interviewed my way to the Penthouse floor of 1 Wall Street with the President of Cantor Fitzgerald. These men who became dear friends of mine chose to see me. They saw that I was a 24 year old, intelligent, fiercely independent woman who wanted to provide for herself while living in New York City. They wanted to do whatever they could to help me realize that dream. I didn't choose that path, but nonetheless that was the beginning of a long stretch of angel men in my New York life.
Women didn't want to help. I can still feel the icy vibes of other females at events I would attend, rooms I would enter, parties, dinners. Maybe it is because women have had to fight for their positions so much harder than men, especially in New York. They feel threatened and the need to protect their territory. Men haven't had to battle like women and so feel safer to step in and help. I get that. Even female friends that I'd known and loved for a long time resisted. I was never too proud to send emails out any time I wanted to change careers or move to a new state, asking for any kind of connections, only to receive radio silence. Except for Erica. Erica responded with a list of contacts in order of level of closeness. Erica was also the one who took me in in the middle of the night when I got kicked off the floor I was crashing on because the girl wanted her boyfriend to move in at 2am that night, despite our agreement. Maybe its changed. With the women helping women movement I'm sure it has. It's been two years since I lived there, so...
In LA, if you're attractive, people (now again, exceptions) don't want to keep you at arms length, they want to work with you. Women and men alike are here to create something, and they see the value in collaborating. It is easy to see that people have their own agendas, certainly in New York and Los Angeles. In NY life is hard. You have to fight like hell - for yourself - to survive. In LA the energy is different. People here are aware that by helping you they can help themselves. They look beyond competition into elevation.
All I know is that last week I had to drop my print agency due to irreconcilable differences. I immediately reached out to a woman I worked ONE job with and in minutes she replied with a list of agencies and emails. I reached out to a friend (one of whom I was hooked up with by one of those NY exceptions) from said ex agency and she also instantly replied with a list. I mentioned to a yoga student / friend of mine that I was job hunting and she immediately spoke to people she worked with ensuring me a position, as well as invited me to an upcoming photoshoot with other models and photographers so that we all can get content for ourselves. My Insta gal pal looked into my eyes last night and said the words, "You know you're beautiful right? You must use that to engage with your audience more, you must want to show yourself," with nothing but an honest intention of helping me grow.
This is the beauty of LA. The City of Angels is fitting. My experience has been that people here want to join forces, they want to tell stories and create and if you do too, then you are welcome to join the party.
I feel just like that 25 year old girl who landed in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn with $2K to her name. (Maybe a little too much so :D)
But my fire is lit.
And the Universe has my back.
Speaking of, read this book!
With love, light, abundance and guided support,
"Over time your visions will easily manifest into your reality and you'll truly know what it means to paint the portrait of your life."
- Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back