Thursday, January 7, 2016

Joy Of Missing Out

DTLA is cute even when it's grey
It's grey in LA and I'm holed up with one of my best and oldest friends listening to rainy day music and being creative. Prior to leaving New York a few weeks ago, I was experiencing terrible FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). New York doesn't care if you're there or not! New York is going to continue being a thrilling, interesting place. New York waits for no man. In all my lamenting about missing out, my friend Mary told me that I needed to have JOMO...the Joy Of Missing Out on winter in New York and everything unpleasant about being in the city that never stops yelling. After walking around LA in the sun without a jacket or boots, I'm happy to report that my FOMO has been replaced by JOMO. I love you, New York. See you in April!

Trans America
Returning to San Francisco was a strange experience. Several people warned me to expect the changes that have evolved the city so rapidly. SFO was my return ticket at the end of every trip for a long time, but it stopped feeling like home when I left in 2010. I could sense the turning tide. When I moved out, I was paying $825 for my studio. The rent then went up to $1200 and is now over $1700. It's a cool old building and a great apartment but it was then and remains a crack block in a spicy neighborhood. I had the sense that if I moved out I wouldn't be able to afford to return. I'm sad to be right, but the steep rent hikes are merely symptomatic of the larger cultural shifts that make San Francisco unappealing to me now. If I won the lottery I still wouldn't move back.

It's an odd sort of cognitive dissonance to know a place so intimately yet feel completely foreign there. When I emerge from the train station, my body knows exactly where to go. I can function entirely on autopilot. I walked through my old neighborhood the other day, the same years long well tread path, and it felt like deja vu, like a memory from a dream or another lifetime. Did this really happen?

In a way, it was another lifetime, though. Even being back in LA, which is a homey place for me, has me blinking with wonder at the woman I've become in the 18 months since I was last here. New York has been an intensely clarifying crucible that while harsh, has brought out the smartest, sharpest, savviest version of myself yet. It's taken a lot out of me and turned me into a coffee person, but in return it's trained up my hustle game to Olympic level excellence. I have surely set a world record for fastest reply to an email for a gig.

In a way I love the hustle. I've really enjoyed learning how capable I am at making money. If you have a strange or difficult relationship with money, move to New York. There are equally expensive cities, but it's also wildly competitive and will constantly demand, "How badly do you want to be here?" To survive in New York, you have to make friends with money, which means treating it with the same respect and care you would anything else that's dear to you. I track every outgoing dollar to make sure that its being thoughtfully spent. Money doesn't rule my life- I share generously and will turn down work in favor of fun- but I've made it a partner in doing cool and beautiful things in the world. We're as happy together as we've ever been.

That being said, I did decide to check out for four months. I'm experiencing great JOMO on refreshing my inbox every 30 seconds so I don't miss a good gig. I have enormous JOMO on the melting snowy sludge garbage piles of early spring, slipping on black ice or the feeling of thousands of tiny knives stabbing my exposed skin on particularly bitter days. There are nice things I miss, but I'm too drunk on sunshine and real Mexican food to be totally overtaken by this.

There's no way that we can be everywhere doing all the fun things all at once. By choosing one thing, this sometimes makes other choices unavailable for the moment or forever. We will always be missing out on something, but sometimes that something isn't what we would enjoy anyway. Put other times and places out of mind. I too often find myself lamenting what *isn't* rather than celebrating and appreciating what *is*. It's something I'm working on because gratitude feels better and makes every day so rich.

And let's be real: when you have the option to take a months long, exotic dream trip, gratitude is the only appropriate response. Please remind me of this if I complain at any point. Traveler's diarrhea and jet lag are a privilege.

(p.s. If you have intel on beautiful/delicious/fun/magical things and places in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Bali, I'm all ears. I'm usually a fastidious planner but this time am relying on whimsy and all your good ideas.)

xoxo

All in for the moment

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