As I rolled along the freeway by the Oceanside exit, I made a pact with myself to keep the OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONEs to a minimum. The caffeine from my triple latte had not kicked in yet, so I was still in a state of depression. I looked through the rearview mirror trying to catch a glimpse of the traffic behind me through the piles of crap I had stuffed in my back seat. The car was full to the rim. I had become a cliché, a mere E! Hollywood Story reenactment. The girl with the big dreams driving to Hollywood to meet with Success. In her car, everything she owned. Well, actually, not really. Her roommate had left earlier with a Uhaul full with their precious belongings. She imagined future interviews. She would not be able to tell James Lipton or Henry Rollins she lived out of her car, since they had secured a 1200 sq. ft. apartment in NoHo. Hipster pseudonym for North Hollywood.
The landscape became uglier and hotter with every turn of the wheels. It’s not funny how dismal things look at 5 mph. My god, just a week ago I was in London, in SoHo, not NoHo! Then the caffeine kicked in. I knew with certainty I was doing the right thing. Who needs self-help and support groups when you have a pink card from Coffee Bean? Suddenly, Orange County didn’t look so bad and I was going 55 mph. Then, CA-101 and 15 mph, also known as the Via Dolorosa. An OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE crossed my mind as the blue sky became a shade of stale gray. No big deal, I thought. Blue skies and decent traffic never got me anywhere. Later, I found out that, technically, my apartment was not in NoHo, but Valley Village. “Valley!” Today, after two months of telling people I live in NoHo and Mapquest telling me I live in Valley Village, I accepted and embraced my colorful neighborhood. I am not looking back.