Years ago, I was teaching a course on psychological assessment in a program on Addiction Counseling. The counseling professors had a term for people who moved to another city or state in an attempt to solve their substance abuse problems, “going geographic”.
The problem with that strategy, they said, is that wherever you go, there you are. You take your problems with you.
I was thinking of that this morning as I drove through downtown LA on my way to a board meeting. I’ve lived a lot of places in my life – four countries, six states, eleven cities. Yet, every time I fly into LAX and see our giant glow sticks , or drive through the city and see the downtown skyline, I think how much I love LA.
Yes, traffic is a mess, the cost of living is through the roof and we have our share of problems, but there is no place like LA.
I love it here so much because this is the place where I finally got my shit together. When I was young, well, things were not so good. I lived in Halifax for a while, with relatives, and I was still the original pain in the ass, but things got better. I lived in Tokyo for a year, made it through my junior year of college, and got my act together somewhat more. I lived in San Diego for a while, got a start as an engineer, divorced my first husband, had a baby (not in that order), won a world championships.
Skipping ahead … for the past 17 years, I’ve lived in the same house, raised four children, made wonderful friends, established two companies, been married to the same husband. Over the years, I’ve become more mature, things that used to bother me no longer do. To a much larger extent than when I was younger, I have figured life out.
Which is why, I realized this morning, I love LA so much. Because, wherever you go, there you are.