I always loved going to LA. Ever since I was a kid who practiced her “Hi my name’s Indy and you’re watching Disney Channel” in the mirror every night before bed. I grew up idolizing Mary Kate and Ashley and performing self taught monologues to my stuffed animal audience. Hollywood was my first WORD.
I finally convinced my parents to take me there on one of our designated “beach days” during our Disneyland trip. I was absolutely giddy and wide eyed the entire drive up. Never mind the graffiti, or homeless men trying to get in our cars or the fact that there was not a single Jonas Brother in sight. I was on the walk of fame! Posing with Michael Jacksons star! IT WAS MAGIC BABY!
In the years to come, I still loved LA. There was always that innocent excited feeling I got every time I drove into the city. And I remember as I got older, thinking I was supposed to hate it. In the same way that all New York snobs hate Times Square (which I also love lol) I was supposed to hate LA. You never met a hipster from Southern California who didn’t gag at the mention of it. And I probably pretended to hate it too. But deep down I just couldn’t play. I couldn’t lie to myself. My pop culture loving heart just ached to be there.
I remember on one specific time after I had graduated high school, I was ubering into town from LAX and I had a really life changing conversation. I had this fantastic Uber driver who was this 69 year old British man named Peter. His quick wit and hilarious one liners were enough for me to pull out my phone and start writing down everything he was saying. To this day I refer back to the page in my journal titled “Wise words from Peter the Uber driver.” (One day I’ll write a book of all the life advice I’ve gathered from various rides around the world.)
I asked him why he came to America and this is what he told me,
“I came to America to fall in love. And I did. Not with a person mind you, but a place. Los Angeles. 40 years ago it was so… romantic even. So untouched. It’s the greatest city in the world.”
And the way he said it, completely enchanted me. I was sold.
I’ve lived in Utah my entire life and it’s home for me. The mountains welcome me with arms wide open, and part of me never thought I would leave. I loved my life here. I loved my friends, and my family and the close knit community. But for the last couple of years, even though I had been traveling the world and accomplishing so many “dreams”… there was a part of me that refused to acknowledge another dream of mine.
Moving out of state to California always seemed like a good idea, but the idea itself also terrified me. I’m not an actress or a model and I don’t even have a podcast. HOW would I ever fit in?!! In Utah I was comfortable. I was established. I ran my own show. I was the big fish in a little, conservative, “no bikinis allowed” pond. I convinced myself that life as the big fish was better than life could ever be as the little one.
The rest of the ride into the city, Peter told me that he had dreams of having his own youtube channel. He told me he felt silly telling me this, as he hadn’t told anyone before. But he wanted to start an online series from the point of view of an Uber driver in Los Angeles, interviewing all of the interesting people he met. It made my heart swell! This is what I loved about this city. Everyone here is making things happen. Even at age 65, my boy Peter had a dream. He had a reason. Everyone in Los Angeles has their reason.
And thats exactly what was stopping me.
I didn’t have my “reason.”
I didn’t have a goal in mind. I wasn’t set out on this journey to “become” someone. (Except I’ll cant act like I’m not going to camp outside of Nobu to get a glimpse of a Kardashian) Moving to LA really had nothing to do with fame or success or anything of that sort. (My priorities had drastically changed since my “you’re watching Disney channel days.)
The truth is, just like Peter… I had simply fallen in love.
But I didn’t know if that was a good enough reason.
The thought really would haunt me. Because even though I was living a life I was extremely proud of, I was always worried deep down that I would be disappointed in myself if I never really tried. I wouldn’t even entertain the thought. And I don’t even know why. That’s not my personality at all. But the only way I could explain it is that whenever the thought would come to my mind, I would immediately justify why staying in Utah for the rest of my life was a perfectly fine scenario. And I half believed myself too.
And then… (sigh)… ‘La La Land’ came out.
it was as if Damien Chazelle directed that movie JUST to light a fire inside of me. shout out to you baby.
The night after watching that movie for the first time, I could no longer keep the thought in the back of my mind. It was right at the forefront, screaming to be acknowledged.
In fact, here is an actual journal entry I just dug up from December of 2016:
”I just saw La La Land with Jessie. The whole movie had me mesmerized. I was so aware of how beautiful the film was, but I was even more aware that it was more than just a film. “Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem”
It occurred to me that the rest of the world does view dreamers as foolish. And I’ve never really seen it that way. I’ve never felt foolish for wanting to grow up to be a movie star at age six. Or a fashion designer when I was fourteen. Or a band stylist at age sixteen. Or a vogue journalist at age nineteen. I’ve never felt foolish. I might be naive, and I’m quite sure I’m getting ahead of myself, but I feel like I have the world in my hands and it wasn’t until seeing that movie that I realized something.
I was driving home alone on state street at one in the morning (my favorite) and I was listening to ‘Come What May’ from Moulin Rouge. It is such a powerful song and even more powerful when you’re driving alone in the middle of the night, emotionally vulnerable after having watched Ryan Gosling tap dance for two hours. I even missed the turn to my house because I was so caught up in the moment. The volume was all the way up, and I was screaming “IIIIII WILL LOVE YOUUUUU UNTIL MY DYING DAYYYYY!!!” And I even had tears running down my cheeks. It was so pure. That song had nothing to do with La La Land, but it was the song that was playing when I finally understood. I finally understood what that line from the song meant.
“Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem”
It’s not the dreamers that are foolish. It is the dreamers who don’t do anything about their dreams. They are the foolish ones. And as I pulled up in my driveway, I realized that I was the foolish one.
And that was the night I decided to move to LA.”
And as of tonight, two years later, almost to the exact day… I finally did.
Dream big, little fishes.
The newest tiniest babiest fish in the biggest baddest pond