Recycling Los Angeles

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I used to have this saying engrained in my mind. Grand View Elementary had an impeccable recycling and gardening program (go gators).

I was an active garden club member (are we surprised).

I remember discovering recycling for the first time; the trash that became treasure. All of a sudden, somehow, out of nowhere, things became anew.

It’s been a while, and my inspiration to write has been spotty.

But I’m here with a great message for all of you.

Try not to recycle past lovers/boyfriends/girlfriends/friends/places.

You find yourself eerily transported back in time. You find yourself in the same pair of shoes, even if you tried to clean them and pass them off as new.

It may be “recycled,” but the remnants of old pains still linger.

I felt that same twitch this weekend, being back in Los Angeles. I came here looking for some familiarity and friendly faces. But for me, Los Angeles is recycled.

It’s a beautiful city. I have lived here for 80% of my life, and I always found a new coffee shop in Venice, a roof-top bar in Downtown, a beach in Malibu.

When I came back after moving to San Diego, I found so much of the same, the same superficiality, the same buildings, the same beaches. The new roof-top pop-up felt the same.

Los Angeles loves pop-ups, recycling places with more expensive drinks and more elaborate hashtags.

This place was recycled, yet different, as I am more confident and more poised. But there’s still the lingering remnants of insecurity, crossing the street with my shoulders hiked up to my ears.

With it’s massive size, I couldn’t possibly be re-welcomed to LA in just a few days. The 45-minute wait time to get to your destination exhausted me. I yearned for the 10-15 minute commute down forest-lined highways near Little Italy.

I dressed up but missed my simple shorts and cropped tee to walk down to Bird Rock Coffee.

I found that I missed the casual feel, the young, hip scene. Three days had me missing the excitement of running down by the bay and hoping I’d run into some muscular man’s arms.

It’s just the San Diego effect. There’s something great happening. I feel like it in air. It’s not recycled. It’s pure.

It’s different than coming back here and texting your exes. 

Recycling sometimes seems like an option.

But when you look back, you need to look back at the good times, AND the bad.

Just like the scene in 500 Days of Summer when Tom’s sister remarks, “Look, I know you think she was the one, but I don’t. Now, I think you’re just remembering the good stuff. Next time you look back, I, uh, I really think you should look again.”

That movie taught me so much about life. I will always recycle 500 Days of Summer. Check back next week for a full observation of everything you can possibly learn about love from Summer Finn and Tom (Zooey Deschanel & JGL). 

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