Monthly Archives: June 2012

Airports

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Let me set the mood for this post. You know the opening airport scene in Love Actually, where the Prime Minister says:

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. . . . If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

Well I have a similar feeling. Yes love is great, blah blah blah.  I grew up in this country as an undocumented immigrant. Mainly this means, I did not have a social security # that allowed me to legally work, drive, or receive any federal/state financial aid for school. More importantly to me, it meant I didn’t have the legal documentation needed to board an airplane. I was stuck in California, never being able to go anywhere far enough you needed to fly. I felt so constricted.

When all that changed and I was finally able to board an airplane, I began to love airports. My romanticism with airports is their ability to reach long distances. It takes 5 hours on a plane to get to the other side of the country, an hour to go upstate, 15 hours to get to China or Bolivia. In a good way, aside from legalities, doesn’t it make the world feel so much smaller?

We’re so lucky to live in a time that we have access different parts of the world using this technology. We have the ability to travel to different cities, states, and countries and learn about other people and cultures. We have the ability to connect with friends and family members that live far away. Because of this, I genuinely enjoy going to airports even if it’s just to pick up friends or family. I love when they get in the car and hearing about their adventures and who they saw and if they talked to the person they sat next to. I love planning my next trip, imaginary or not.

While my dreams and fantasies on becoming a travel agent are quietly dwindling, I don’t think I’ll stop loving going to the airport. Many thanks to the Orville and Wilbur Wright in North Carolina for being the first in flight.

 

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Turning 24

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I’m constantly self-reflecting. I don’t know how much other people do it, but I am constantly looking at things I’ve done in the past and what I’ve learned. I think of things I can do and what I can take away from them. I think of why certain people have or haven’t done things and those results, with no judgement, just wonder.

Turning 18, 20, and 22 were kind of “boring” years for me. For undisclosed reasons, turning 18 didn’t have a major significance. I couldn’t go to “cool” 18 and over places. I turned 18 already in college, but had few friends. I can’t think of anything spectacular that happened that year.

Turning 19 – I joined my sorority and orientation program at school. I made A LOT of new friends. My social life sky-rocketed. I went on my first international trips. I practically fell in love or felt  the most I’ve ever felt for guy, and got heartbroken! Getting heartbroken was sad, but I believe in “better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all”.

Turning 20 – While my social life was about the same, at this point it was now normal. Unfortunately, all my friends were turning 21. Therefore, having to leave me out of activities. Once again, I can’t think of anything else that happened this year. That should speak volumes in and of itself.

Turning 21 – Obviously, I turned 21. There were a slew of fun new places to go to!!! I also moved away from home for the first time and spent a semester in North Carolina. I made a bunch of new friends and had new adventures. I went on my first road trip with friends to New York over Thanksgiving break.

Turning 22 – I’m not sure why this year didn’t feel as awesome as the others but not as bad as 18 and 20. It should’ve been just as fun. I graduated from college, started a job with the Walt Disney Company, made new friends. I did gain weight year 22. I spent most of this year prepping for my London Trip, for when I’d be 23. I also spent a lot of 22 waiting to turn 23. For some reason I thought 23 was going to be AMAZING.

23 was amazing. I went to London with a close friend. We had unbelievable adventures. I went out a lot with my friends and did fun things, all of which are a blur now. Even though, most of 23, I wasn’t permanently employed, I had enough to survive and I was happy. Who’d have thought? I lost a noticeable amount of weight. I started dating more frequently than before, partly out of boredom and also to learn more about myself. I met a guy that I enjoyed spending time with, that made me happy, inspired me, and someone I learned a lot from. Although short-lived, I’m still very grateful for that experience.

Needless to say, as 24 approached, I was nervous. It was going to be another one of those dull years. I didn’t have a specific plan for my birthday celebrations. The day of my birthday was spent running around trying to fix my laptop.  The day of my party, I ran around buying supplies. I invited several of my close friends all in one place for  karaoke. Even then, I was nervous stepping in and getting the party started. By the end of the night, I had a BLAST. I had such a great time and so did my friends.

I must have been re-inspired from Pinterest or some other place. I am also a firm believer in “Life’s what you make it”. I believe in fate, destiny, luck, and all that jazz. I also believe you can change your change your fate or destiny and improve or break your luck. We each have the ability to change our course with the support of God ( my choice of higher being).

That’s when I decided to embrace the rest of my 20s. This is a time for living. I’m sure the other decades will have their fair share of celebratory occasions. For now, I love being young and old, financially independent (mostly), having a disposable income, my circle of friends. I’ll save the next coming-of- age worry for 30, but that’s eons away.

24,25,26,27, 28, and 29 are going to be amaaaazing!

Los Angeles Proper (am I using that correctly?)

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About a month ago, I started a temp assignment at a cable network located on Miracle Mile. Miracle Mile is located in the “Mid-City” area of Los Angeles. In other words, NO WHERE near a freeway. The fact that it takes at least 20 minutes to get to the closest freeway/highway is mind boggling to me. Maybe because this isn’t my part of town it’s just so weird to me.

For most of my life, I grew up in a middle-class suburb of the San Fernando Valley. What I consider to be my part of the “Valley”, is a perfect square. Each block is about a half-mile from the next. Streets run parallel and perpendicular to each other at 90 degree angles. The 118 freeway is at the most northern part. The 101 freeway at the southern most part. The 405 runs north to south, in the middle of the rest of the valley. I consider home to be west of the 405 freeway. Whenever I’m at the top of the hill on the 405 headed north and see the landscape of the Valley, I can’t help but sigh and think “Home”.

My commute runs from the northern end of the valley down to Miracle Mile. It takes me about 75-90 minutes to get to work, an hour if I’m lucky. I’m sure you can ask anyone, but driving is not the issue. It’s sitting in traffic and losing 2.5 hours of your day that drives people crazy. For anyone looking to move to LA, you better know how to be really comfortable in your car, by yourself, for long periods of time. Phone dates, audio books and music do help pass the time!

Getting back to my point, I like having easy access to a freeway. I like that in the valley, if you need to go 10 miles across the way, jump on any freeway and you’re done. Not in LA. The City of Los Angeles has too much surface street for my liking. The streets are smaller and more crammed. Just now, I looked up directions to go from Miracle Mile to Glendale, hoping that some freeway would be easier. Nope. 10.8 miles all surface street.

Another thing I like about the valley are the hills. It’s true, I do find myself signing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music” whenever they hills look particularly majestic to me. I love when the sun is peeking through the clouds and you can see the shadows of the clouds on the hills. I love around March, their fresh and bright green color. I love the day after it’s rained, when the air is fresh and crisp and there’s no smog. I look all around I can clearly see the hills at all ends.

At the age of 24, I shouldn’t be thinking of “settling down” but I am. Just . . . not yet. I’ve come to realize that I do genuinely like the city of Los Angeles. However, when I do plan on “settling down”, it MUST be near a hill and near a freeway. I don’t want to live on a hill, just at the bottom of a hill, I must also be accessible to my cities of choice/need (for work). Where would I want to live permanently-ish? Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Franklin Village, Los Feliz, Silverlake (maybe?).

I don’t plan on settling down in LA anytime soon. I love this city, but I will be taking a break from it in the near future and then come back and hope it still welcomes me with open arms.