Los Angeles is a polarizing city.
When I tell people I’m from LA, they either already love it or hate it, regardless of whether or not they’ve been there before. I once met a guy from New York City, who immediately proclaimed that he didn’t like the superficiality of Los Angeles, which is weird because not only had he never been, but we were also 17, and I now know that 17 year olds are hardly the best judges on the profundity of anything.
So while I will always throw down the gantlet to defend my city, I have to admit to having a love-hate relationship with this damn town.
When I was back home visiting in February, my friend Nicole and I agreed that Los Angeles is a great place to love to hate. When we live there, we hate it. We’re frustrated by how difficult everything is–the cost of living, the traffic, the smog, the slow destruction of the places we loved growing up. When we leave and come back, we remember everything we loved. All the great taco trucks and Korean BBQ and beautiful weather and places to explore call to us and make us re-think why we were so angry in the first place.
Right now I can’t say I’ve found a balance. I moved away again after a year, and I just signed up to stay another year in Poland. I have no plans to return (gotta do that live-on-every-continent thing I mentioned in my bio first) (although don’t tell my mom that). It breaks my heart in some ways, but I just can’t see any type of future for myself in Los Angeles, even though I could be back with my old friends, family, people I’ve known my whole life.
But I know no matter how wrong I’ve been, LA will always let me back in.