Living in LA has taught me a lot, stretched me as a person (creatively, emotionally, and physically [in yoga, get your head out of the gutter]), and challenged me for the better. I have been inspired by the people and have learned so much by simply observing the lives these *pedestrians lead.
But sweet lord above it has challenged my will. YOU GUYS! LA may not be New York, but the variety of fashions walking down the street leave me wanting nearly every day and the restaurants and the concerts, and the... you get the picture. I want to shop till I drop and makeover my wardrobe constantly. I want to eat everywhere, and see everything, however, (and that however should truly look like this: HOWEVER) I am not sure if you are aware, (who am I kidding, I don't mean to insult your intelligence) it is hella expensive out here.
Sure, most people make more money in LA than they would in other places, that being said, every thing also costs more. Life 'taxes' and literal taxes blur together into a hot mess of budgeting, which Drew and I are terrible at! Don't get me wrong, we are good (relatively speaking) with our money, we just go about things a little differently; Drew calls it 'hedging' (saving up for each segment of our life- rent, bills, etc in separated accounts) and he is very good at it. Also starting your own company will suck you dry, emotionally more than financially, but truly it takes money to make money, which takes a tole on the expenditures you want to make.
Since moving to LA we have cut back, way back. Shopping is a luxury, unless it's for groceries, in which case we have adapted a 'go to town' mentality. Eating out was cut back, and 'going out' is qualified as going to a party at a friends or out for a cocktail every now and again. I swear we aren't as lame as we sound (maybe a little, but not a lot), we just have to keep our heads above water so that we can work in the way we want, create something beautiful, and live the lives we want to lead; which currently means learning to be content.
We have started cooking together (which is awesome), going on long walks, coffee dates, wine nights, sunday suppers with friends, movie nights, and cocktail parties, all of which cost something I suppose, but the value they add to our lives far out weighs the cost. The 'taxes' may be great (as in large, overwhelming, and somewhat consuming) but at the end of the day, if you asked us to trade our lives from something else, I can't say that we would. Our community, the things we are able to do, our routines and adventures, all make life in LA well worth it.
So bring it on life. Tax us as you may, we will pay our dues and come out the other side all the better for it.
*Photo is a behind the scenes shot from a shoot I recently did with the incredibly talented Tom Van Schelven