Meditations on Living in Los Angeles

I’ve been reading “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius and have been thoroughly enjoying it. Some of the meditations I agree with, some I don’t, some have made me think, some have made me disagree but overall, it’s been a worthwhile and thought-provoking book translated from the work of a philosopher & Roman Emperor who wrote and lived from AD 121 -180.

And while reading this, I decided to write some meditations on living in Los Angeles. As a fan of this great city, one who has lived here on and off for a total of eighteen years, I feel I am qualified to do so…

MEDITATIONS ON LIVING IN LOS ANGELES

1.  See past the illusion to find great beauty.

2. Welcome the sun and clear sky, for it is plentiful and will also induce a calmer mind if one allows it.

3. Take heed of the traffic, it will be your greatest enemy. Learn the city streets, the pattern of lights and stop signs and only use your signal right before you make a lane change, otherwise you’re just asking for the other car to speed up, which they will most likely do.

4. Beware of restaurants under the rating of A. Yes, it could only be structural problems but do you really want your stomach to take that chance?

5. Allow for all walks of life. This city is a melting pot of cultures and receives those willing to pay higher rents than most other cities in America with open arms.

6. Dreams are made and shattered here. Know that simply coming to Los Angeles does not actually end the work needed in order to achieve the dream of landing an incredibly competitive job. This may be a wonderful starting point but do not let delusion cloud your understanding that only 5% of the American population ever actually achieve these jobs.* That said, never forget YOU may be part of that 5%**.

* Statistic is not verified but rather made up to illustrate the point that many dreamers do not achieve the end employment they seek when first arriving here.
** Statistic is not verified but rather made up to illustrate the point that it is possible to achieve an incredibly competitive job but that it is very, very, very difficult to do, unless #7 happens.

7. Luck may be around the corner. In this city, one can become a celebrity over night. One can be discovered, make a million or just happen to be in the right place at the right time. And while this may be true in other cities, it is much less rare in Los Angeles.

8. Movies are plentiful. You are blessed with limited releases, independent theaters and an abundance of film festivals year round so it would be a shame if you didn’t go often. A damn shame.

9. Remember the celebrities you see throughout the city, from at the drug store to the local Starbucks, are people just like you and I.

10. Beware of parking meter attendants. They can smell an almost empty meter from a mile away and will ticket you before you can blink.

11. Take time to stop and ponder this: you have mountains, ocean and desert all nearby. Nature has smiled on this city and its beauty is all around should one be looking for it.

And some taken directly from “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, that I thought are Los Angeles appropriate:

“Do not copy the opinions of the arrogant, or let them dictate your own, but look at things in their true light.”

“Think of the totality of all Being, and what a mite of it is yours; think of all Time, and the brief fleeting instant of it that is allotted to yourself; think of Destiny, and how puny a part of it you are. ”

“To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.”

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