That’s me six years ago today when I arrived in Los Angeles from London. So much has changed since that day when I arrived with just a battered suitcase, and a bunch of naive dreams – mostly for the better, a little for the worse.

I have always been one to live in the present – looking back has always been difficult for me as I only seem to remember unhappy thoughts, and I stopped looking forward when I realised that I had trouble committing to the future plans I laid down for myself. The one plan I followed through on was moving to America.

I moved to the USA on Sept 14 2001 – three days after the tragic and terrible events of Sept 11th. The mood as you can imagine was grim but not really part of this story. I packed up everything I own – gave it away, sold it and stashed a little away in kind friends homes, one of my best friends took my cat in (my only regret in leaving) and I packed everything I could into that one suitcase and off I went.I wish I could say it has been easy – it hasn’t – there has been many obstacles both emotional and physical but it made me stronger. I truly believe unless you have moved far away from your family, friends to a strange country then you can not understand what it’s like. The only thing I can compare it to is a kind of boot camp – where your personality is stripped away from you and you have to find yourself again within the unfamiliar surroundings to put yourself back together again.In thinking about this post, a quick search on my computer found something I wrote at the time about why I moved 5456 miles away from family and friends; 28 is a strange age. It’s the time you really have to deal with the impending big three oh! Questions which have been previously pushed aside using delaying weapons such as booze and drugs, refuse to be subdued. You realise that life has crept by you and suddenly you have reached this age that you thought you’d have your own home, a decent job and a steady partner. Now you are here, you look around you and all you own is a rather good PC, a crappy TV, cat and 10 year old saucepans. You still rent and probably share with mates. Your boring, unfulfilling job is just a means to paying for your social life, yet your money seems to go nowhere. You remember the days when you could get drunk, a packet of ten Silk Cut and a taxi home all for just £15. The last guy you snogged was the bloke from the IT helpdesk at the works birthday party and you’ve spent the rest of the year trying to fix your own bastard computer each time it goes wrong. Cheerful huh? Funny thing is, I looked at friends of the same age who to me had at least a few of those things that I thought I’d have by now and they were asking themselves the same questions. By 28 we’ve confronted our demons, and finally WHO we are but the million dollar question is now WHAT do I want to do with my life? Where am I going? What is the point of my life? And mostly what do I want to do with it? A good friend sent me a quote which started a trail of thought that refused to go away;“…I wished to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau.I started to listen to a lot of Tom Petty, and pretty much came to the conclusion that everything in life can be answered by a Petty song. One that stuck on repeat for over a month was Time to move on. As trice as it sounds it was almost as the lyrics had been written for me.“It’s time to move on,Time to get going,What lies ahead,I have no way of knowing,But under my feet,Baby, grass is growing,It’s time to move on,It’s time to get going..”And with that, I decided that it was time to get the hell out of Dodge. Time to for me to find new experiences, take life by the horns. I might not find what I wanted to do with my life on the road but it had to give me more time to think, space to do what I wanted and maybe find at least some kind of answer.So here I am six years later. Did I find myself in Los Angeles? I think in a funny way I did – I am very happy and in love with a kind, funny man who loves me for who I am – bad parts and all, I have my health, a job that challenges me and although I miss my family and friends back in England – my life is here now. This is where I belong living in the present, occasionally reflecting on the past and planning for the future in a city where no one belongs.

“You know where I belong? L.A. You know why? Nobody belongs there, it’s the perfect place for guys like us.”

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