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Sunday, June 17, 2012

GOODBYE, LOS ANGELES: A HEARTFELT LETTER AS I START A NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE


Happy Sunday and Father's Day, Everyone!

As many of you know, I've been on a new direction in my life, finding my own path, and growing, something I think we are all doing at certain times.

My move back to NYC, a city that has always felt like home to me, with energy and drive like no other, is underway! It is a bitter-sweet move for me, since so much of my life has been in LA, including much of my 20's, but I am truly excited about the adventure ahead for me!

To mark this time in my life, and fully express my thoughts and feelings to each of you, many of whom have been following me since I began my blogging journey about 3 years ago, and become friends, I have written a farewell letter to Los Angeles to reflect on my years in the city of angels as my weekend post for this week.

Since this blog not only documents style and design, but my life as well, and I think it is always good to look back on your past, and take what you have learned with you into the future, while remaining positive and hopeful.

Thank you all for your continued support and simply being a part of my journey. I am documenting each moment on the road, so, stay tuned for pictures, updates and even some video! :)
June 17, 2012

Dear Los Angeles,

Since the end of 2003, I’ve called you home. Though it is no secret that I never fully felt as though you were where I belonged. I was in my 20’s, finding my way in a city I had always wanted to live, trying to establish the actor within myself, and discovering what that meant in your world as the business evolved.

From the moment I arrived, on that mid-October evening, your busy, traffic filled freeways and tall, elegant palm trees welcomed my rather innocent heart. As your sun warmed me with thoughts of all the wonderful memories that would be created, new friendships that would form and lasting life lessons you’d teach. Though sometimes slowly learned, through all the ups and downs that colored my own unique path, or road map of life.

My time with you gave me a 2nd chance with an undiscovered flame. A flame that was first sparked back in college, when I was just 17, with someone who was now living in your city as well. This lead to my very first heartbreak, leaving a tiny crack on my newly strengthened heart forever. As difficult as they are to endure, they are also important in any girl’s life. Mine helped put to rest the “what if” feeling I’d had, where he was concerned, since my youthful, college days.

You also introduced me to my first, and unexpected love. While honestly unfolding the layers within myself, and helping me to discover who I am, what I want, and ultimately, what I need in life, and in another person. Specifically, a person who is going to stand by my side through the remainder of it. If that is indeed something that is meant for me in this lifetime, with which only time will tell. This very meeting led to the hardest decision I have had to make in my life thus far, but one I know was the right one for my happiness, and us both in the long run, though truly heartbreaking.

Since then, I have been able to step outside of it all and reflect. As well as gain further knowledge, feelings and thoughts from others, incidents and things that were said, which only confirmed my decision. Honestly, some things I found out were sad, hard to hear and even surprising, but I now fully realize the impact those lack of social graces, respectful interactions, behaviors and comments had on so many. In the end, he was a fit that simply wasn’t right for me, and he deserves true happiness, love and someone we can stand by him with no reservations.

My wish for him, is to first find genuine happiness within himself as a person, facing what I believe he knows he has needed to deal with for some time. Especially, after living through such a tragic event, which should have left him even more thankful and appreciative in and of life. Then, I hope he finds happiness in the life he leads and in the people and world around him, in a more positive manner, free from overwhelming negativity. Leaving him with the ability to fly and allow all the great qualities he holds to shine!

Aside from relationships, your city allowed me to further explore life as an actor, and all the highs, lows and frustrations that come with such a difficult, and often unfair, industry. You gave me the opportunity to meet and work with some well-known, talented actors on TV and in Film, be in a 3D video game, as well as, attend some red carpet events. All while shining a transparent light on an industry I feel has changed since I began, for different reasons, and with the invention and popularity of the internet.

All of this, sadly, caused me to lose some of the heart and drive I once had for it. Something that was reinforced while packing, when I came upon tapes from my acting and film classes in college. I truly did have a passion for it, and held a raw, magical and somewhat angelic view on it all, which I think I lost a little over time and with age.

As I write this, I am on the verge of a new journey in my life. Reflecting on the past 9 years in your city, and ready to embark on my new path, as the old one on my road map of life comes to a fork. It is time for a change, to follow new dreams in life with which I hold passion, and remain open to all that is ahead.

Strangely, the lyrics from an apology song, written and recorded for me by the one who broke my heart, read, “I hope you get to see the seasons change when the big city calls your name.” Well, the big city, better known as New York City, has been calling my name since the day I left. It is where my heart lies, and the place that most feels like home to me, with an unexplainable energy and drive that is unique to the city itself.

It has been said that, “You can’t live the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” Something I have a tendency to do. However, it is also said that, “It's just a chapter in the past, don’t close the book, just turn the page.” That is exactly what I am doing, turning the page. Although, I hope you know that through everything that happened in your city, which went by in a flash, I am, without a doubt, happy I got to experience you.

My future adventure awaits, just in a new city, where I plan to continue “leaning forward” into the next chapter in life. This time, without too many expectations, but instead letting life take the lead and enjoying the ride. “We shape our places, and afterwards, our places shape us.” That is what you have done for me, Los Angeles, and is what I’m sure New York City will do for me, in its own special way, as well.

The smile on my face is a part of who I am, and I will always do my best to stay positive no matter what because I think it is so important! As Thoreau, one of my favorite poets, once said, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” I’m not sure we ever fully know ourselves, or the exact direction we are going at all times, but I do believe that with each step we take, and the experiences and people we encounter, it helps us to better find our way.

I am excited about what is ahead, and so, as Douglas Adams said, ”I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.” Just because your city is now a part of my past, doesn’t mean I’ll forget all that you have taught me, or all the amazing and memorable times I had with some wonderful people. All that I have learned, along with those who came in and out of my life during my time with you, will remain in my heart forever.

Thank you for shaping me into the person I am today. A person who is, “learning to love the process” while following her own heart, and leaving your city stronger than when she arrived! Life is an enigma, which is what also makes it fun, but it is important to remember to “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

We are all on our own road, getting to places at different times. As an ex and still good friend once wisely told me, “We are on no one’s timeline but our own.” My timeline continues, with a job opportunity in NYC, alongside a genuine talent in the music industry, and possible exciting world travel in the near future. I already think it is going to be a great one, and I plan to truly live and experience every moment of it!

Here's to the next chapter!

"Still That Girl" by Britt Nicole

12 comments :

  1. Liesl! I just adore you!! I am so excited for this new chapter in your life! You lived, and learned SO much through your time in LA.... and I can't wait to see what life has in store for you in NYC! I have no doubt that we will meet up someday in the city, and I can't wait :)
    Safe travels during your move!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Courtney! Your words and support mean so much, and I am so thankful that I have gotten to know you in blogland...can't wait to meet up in person! Hopefully if you come to NYC!!! :)

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  2. Hello gorgeous :) Your thoughtful letter struck a chord, I respect the raw honesty of it and hope you again find everything that you lost. You are wonderful and I adore you and your modesty.

    Wishing you safe travels back to NY and all the happiness this new chapter in your life can bring you. You have much to offer, go out there and be wonderful.

    xoxxo Diana

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    1. I can't tell you how much your words mean to me, Diana! :) You have been here for me from the very beginning and I just know that if we ever meet in person we will be the best of friends...and I look forward to one day going on the adventure we both hope to take! :) Thank you for everything, and know that I think the same of you! xoxo

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  3. This was so beautiful Liesl! It literally brought tears to my eyes! Having lived in both places, I know how hard and exciting at the same time life in LA can be and how much the East Coast can feel like home no matter what. I'm sorry you had to go through heartbreak, especially the most recent one, but I know there is someone amazing out there for you who will treat you like a princess! You DESERVE it! I know this next chapter will be your best one yet! xoxo

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    1. Thank you SO much, Lindsay! Your words were so sweet, and I know that you have experienced both coasts and can relate, as well! Thank you for always being such a positive support...I can't tell you how much positivity means to me, something I've truly realized in the last couple years! :) Sending big hugs your way! <3

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  4. So fun! Both LA and NYC are amazing! It's all a journey and along with a journey brings growth. I'm so excited for you!!! and jealous! lol xoxo A-

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    1. Thank you so much! They each have great things to offer, and I too am excited...you'll have to make your way to the Big Apple to visit! :)

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  5. Girl you just gave me goosebumps! How very exciting for you. I wish you all the very best!

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    1. Thank you so much, Debbie!!! You always leave such sweet comments, and I'll be sure to document it all and get some affordable NYC fashions on my blog soon! :)

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  6. this was such a beautiful post, liesl! i wish you all the best on the next chapter of your life! :)

    <3, Mimi
    http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/
    Want a summer scarf? Enter to win a $20 ScarvesDotNet Gift Certificate!

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  7. this letter is beautiful! i wish you all the best in your trip across the country and your new adventure in NYC!!! *hugs*

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Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to look at my little spot in blogland!

I welcome all comments and thoughts and look forward to hearing from you! :)

by Liesl Ehardt