Going Home

Although I’ve been home a couple times since moving out to Los Angeles, it hasn’t really hit me until this time how much has actually changed, despite everything staying the same. Here’s what I mean…

I don’t know if it was just my state of mind or generally positive mood the week prior to coming home, but this time around it wasn’t that I didn’t want to come home or was not ready to come home, I just didn’t NEED to come home. I could have stayed in LA for the holiday, and I would have had people to spend it with, and it would have been different, but fine. But two months ago when I planned this trip I was unsure of how I would be feeling at this point in time, and figured a trip home would do me good either way. In previous trips home I had just come off a tough few weeks – professional or personal setbacks had me itching for a vacation. This time around I was good, no need of a vacation, no itching desire to get the hell out of LA. Just going home because it was Thanksgiving and it would be a nice week to see friends and family.

I get to my house and everything is pretty  much the same, my mom has plenty of food waiting for me, my dad has taped some shows on the DVR, they’re both in bed before midnight, I stay downstairs and watch late night shows. Throughout the day, I notice subtle changes to the house that have occurred while I was gone and without my knowledge (things the parents deemed unimportant to bring up in our phone calls or email conversations). The bathroom is painted differently. So is the front door and entryway of the house. There is new furniture in the basement. Things that would have been bigger deals to me when I was still living here, now just signify how much more removed I am from this environment.

Even my friends, who I have yet to see this week, are the same but different. Many have moved out of Needham and into Boston (Cambridge/Brookline, etc.) That’s exciting to me, because if I didn’t choose to move across the country, that’s what I would’ve wanted to do (I was used to it after living 3 years in Boston for school.) They still have the same conversations, the same hang out spots and activities, but most are now working real jobs and are busy most of the day. As I was thinking of my Needham friends in Boston, I realized that my Boston friends were no longer in Boston, or at least most of them are not. More of my home friends now live there than my school friends do.

I keep coming across blogs and comments about people our age and how they deal with the huge life changes that hit them (quarter-life crisis). For the most part its common – a sense of bewilderment and uncertainty about the real world and our futures. I’m now realizing that as excited I am to be back in Boston, where I’ll always be from and always have an emotional connection to, I am glad that I moved to LA and am pursuing my dreams of being an entertainer. I hate using clichés to close out blog posts, but it really does feel like a new chapter in my life, and for the first time I’m really excited and eager to see what the cliffhanger ending is that keeps me reading into the next chapter.

It was 4 years ago when college started?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the past 4 years recently, and it’s amazing how fast my college years went by. You hear people say that going in, but you always thing “nah, they’re just exaggerating.” Nope. Sometimes people actually know what they’re talking about.

Freshman year was such a great year in just the fact that it was so much different from anything high school had to offer. I was living in the biggest dorm in school, with 30 of my peers, none of us knowing exactly what to expect. Now looking back 4 years later, I don’t remember every single detail, but the stuff I do remember I loved. Sure, there were things I would have done differently, things I regret, but things happen the way they do and you can’t change the past. Fact is, I made a great group of core friends that lasted me throughout school, and even into this weird, post-grad fuzziness that still doesn’t feel like real life.

I consider myself grateful that I kept in touch with so many great people from school, and even more grateful that many of them decided to make the cross-country jump that I did in moving to LA. Some for very different reasons, but all the same we’re here. It’s great when you lose touch with someone you were close with, and when you get back in touch, it’s almost as if you didn’t miss a beat.

I guess the biggest difference with our current life state, is that whereas at the beginning of college, we were all in the same boat, and essentially had the same bumpy ride toward a similar goal, now we’re all captains of our own small boats, some are going faster and steadier than others, and almost none are going to the same island. And in a sense that’s scary, but very exciting. Even my friends that aren’t in Los Angeles, but living in other parts of the country…their paths are totally different than mine, but I’m still interested and supportive of what they’re doing. Plus having a friend in Chicago or San Francisco or Seattle are great excuses to visit those cities (and see baseball games in those cities, that’s another life goal).

I’ve used enough cliches in this post so far, but one more for kicks – none of us know what the future holds, but some have a better idea than others. I’m in the first category, I’m not sure where I’ll be working next week if at all for example. But it’s a decision I made to be here in Los Angeles, searching for work in this environment. 4 years ago I had no idea this is what I would be doing with my post-graduate life. 4 years ago I had no idea what After Effects is. Or what Broomball is. Or how to navigate through the streets of Boston. I had no idea 4 years later I’d be living on my own, across the country from my home, a handful of friends around me, setting my eyes on a career in entertainment, witnessing and experiencing first-hand the many stories I’ve heard in the past – horror stories, celebrity citing stories, big break moment stories. I’m still waiting for my version of the latter. I know it will come. It’s a cliche piece of advice I keep hearing, and if I’ve learned anything in the past 4 years, it’s that cliche pieces of advice are cliche because they’re true.