An LA Lifetime on the 704

The things you have to take into consideration and scratch off your list when you move to a new place… a new city…  in a new country… with a new culture… especially one like that of Los Angeles… Is overwhelming. Not always and not constantly, but it’s a city that looks calm from the outside, but likes speed.  She welcomes you with open arms – to see if you’re one of those who hope for quick success, or if you have a longer breath to stick around for the good stuff.

View from the Santa Monica Pier
View from the Santa Monica Pier

Moving from Germany to the US was not easy, especially since this time, I was doing it solo. I had and still have the support of my family and close friends without whom I would not have lasted… You think you have gotten all your paperwork straight and on time, paid lots of money, gotten your first paycheck, found a place to live, figured out how to move around, and established a small social circle, and that’s it. It’s a lot of “it”, but guess what – that’s not it! It’s been a long, looooong, exciting, fun, stressful, adventurous, totally worth it trip this far, but don’t count on the list-of-things-to-check-off to end any time soon. It’s a good thing though! It means you’re far from done ;).

Today, for instance, I had an appointment with a bank to open a new account. My current one does not provide a chance for me to build credit, unfortunately, and America runs on credit, so you gotta start somewhere. At the time, I didn’t own a car, so I took the 704 Metro bus, which is always an adventure. And if it’s not, at least you can use the time to click through your playlist and contemplate on your life.

Always sunny in Santa Monica ;)

Which is exactly what I did.

All 32 and a half years. In an hour and twenty minutes.

The things you have to think about when you establish a new life somewhere… Well, here. In Los Angeles. After steps 1-10, you’re far from done. If you’re in it for the long haul, you have to plan for the long haul, and take according steps, accept little intermediate steps  and sometimes you do a little dance… back and forth, forth and back, left and right an tap, no, forth forth…

Going to the appointment, I doubted everything about myself – every step I had taken to get this far; if it’s all really worth it. I had done it before, not alone and I hadn’t gotten this far, but I had done it. So if I “fail”, which wouldn’t be considered failing because I tried and he or she who tries cannot fail, right?, it still would’ve all been worth it. But not for me – if I stop now, it would feel like I was giving up, throwing in the towel, not doing it any longer. I would never forgive myself.

I know that my family and friends would support me no matter where I go… I miss them every day, and being close to them or able to visit would help. But this is something that I (!) want to be able to do. And if it’s not possible at some point or another, it’s because I decided it be so. Not due to “circumstances”. My own decision. I was so confused, doubtful, sad, fearful, I walked around after getting off the bus, and couldn’t find the place I was supposed to go to. Walking through the rainbow-covered streets of West Hollywood, I even doubted my own sexuality for a second.

West Hollywood
West Hollywood

But then, something goes right, something works out, and as if by magic, you receive another piece to your life puzzle. I went to the appointment, received my first American credit card, and am able to build my very own, first, independent, good credit in the US.

Funny how a situation changes by 180 degrees “just” because you achieved something. Or someone cut you some slack, gave you a break… that you deserved.

The 704 back (with me on it, having become fully aware of my sexual orientation again), was a ride on an entirely different level. It was the silliest moment: It was dark outside, some lonely, carless, tired souls sat on the bus, and I was staring at the back of the head of one of my fellow commuters. There was a pleasant scent (which is rare for LA metro), something happened (even if it was just in my head), a situation transpired (sitting on a bus) and suddenly, I have this feeling of content – this general reassuring feeling that tells me I’m exactly where I’m supposed to and want to be.

I think that was the calmest bus ride I had ever taken.

I had dreamed of a seal the night prior – and since I had an hour on the bus, I looked up the dream symbol for seal, and found: “To dream of this animal suggests that the dreamer is one with the element in which he lives.”

For the first time today, I feel one with the city. It challenges me every day. But whenever I complete a challenge, no matter how difficult, I like to think that she’s happy for me and likes to see me succeed. And she shows it. I like that.

Reminder in West Hollywood, when I briefly lost my way...
Reminder in West Hollywood, when I briefly lost my way…

(#My500Words Day 9)


2 thoughts on “An LA Lifetime on the 704

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