Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TexaCaliEspañYorker

I once heard former New York mayor say (and this is paraphrased): You move to New York, and after a while you start talking a little faster and walking a little faster, and lo and behold, you're a New Yorker!

My roots are in Texas. That is where I grew up. Texas taught me about friendliness, smiling, climbing trees, and walking and dancing in boots.

My early adulthood was spent in New York. Not only did New York teach me to walk and talk a little bit faster, but it pushed me to my limits, and in many ways, it showed me what I am made of.

In my late 20s, I lived for a year in Spain. Spain taught me how to be a straight-shooter. It also taught me that I was guapa and the virtue of being tranquila.

During my final weeks in California, I pondered what about my 3.5 years there made me a little bit more Californian. California made me a better (if not more aggressive) driver, a bit more liberal, a wife (!), and a person who is surprised when the sun isn't shining and it's not 70 degrees outside.

There is so much to appreciate about life in California. For me, it is the place I went to pursue one dream (acting) and found another (marriage). It has the most glorious weather, and I completely understand why so many people endure the awful traffic just to live in that oh-so-perfect climate. The gorgeous aesthetic of nature in So Cal is reflected in its people, who take pride in looking stylish--both men and women. The soothing rhythm of the ocean waves make for a laid-back lifestyle--one where people understand good and bad "vibes", and where the word "dude" has as many nuances as "How you doin'?" has to a New Yorker.

At the end of the day, though, I moved to LA because I didn't want to be 80 years old sitting in my rocker on the porch, saying to myself, "Why didn't you just try?".

While I didn't land on the sitcom of my dreams, I did get to do some fulfilling acting work. 

I went to Los Angeles. I learned how to act for the camera. I landed a few acting jobs (some paying and some not).  Funny enough, my two favorite jobs there were actually theatre jobs, not on-camera jobs--not a bad thing to learn about myself.  All that to say...I have no regrets. I'll have a satisfying answer to give my 80 year old self, who I have a sneaking suspicion won't be beating herself up at all!

When I was young, I remember hearing a story about a young girl who loved her plastic pop beads. She popped them together everyday and wore them as a necklace.  One day, her father noticed that she was growing up and had gotten a little too old for her plastic pop bead necklace.  He sat her down and told her so. She threw a fit, because she loved her pop beads so. Eventually, though, she let go of them, and her father gave her a new string of pearls, fitting for the young lady she had become.

I can't help but wonder if LA was my pop beads and maybe, just maybe, this new chapter in Texas is my pearls.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

10 comments:

Jennifer Disney said...

That was beautiful. I totally almost cried. :)

B said...

I may be biased, but you really are a great writer sweetie.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Really wonderfully said. I'm so glad that your travels brought you out to sunny California.

The best thing of all, I suspect, is being able to live your life with no regrets.

Autumn's Mom said...

I love how you can explain your feelings this way :) I'm glad your travels brought you here and now we are friends for life :)

Sharon said...

This was a really good post!

allison said...

Very good post!! Yes, my dear, Texas may be your string of pearls...but don't throw out the pop beads. Just keep somewhere safe where you can still pull them out every so often:)

Cherry said...

I love how you have these phases in your life and how the places you have lived have influenced you and helped you learn more about who you are and want to be.

Like the ladies have said. I feel lucky and am happy that you took that leap in moving to California.

Dana Cheryl said...

What wonderful gifts you've been given in life! Maybe the greatest being that you are aware of them.

Your experiences are inspiring! Maybe we all pursue our dreams. Then maybe we'll find our heart's true desire.

Lots of love to you as you take on new challenges and adventures!

the fan said...

Check out some Little Theatre groups nearby - you CAN have it both ways, y'know! xoxo the fan
p.s. It's colourful to have a Canadian reader who spells 'colour' and 'theatre' eh? ha!

Katie said...

You are blessed indeed! Flaunt those pearls and may you 'shine' in all your new ventures~