The “Chemosphere,” a sight I got used to seeing.
The stories we tell ourselves about how life will be when something happens, are just that, stories.
You can miss a lot waiting for the life you imagined to happen.
I know I did, which is why I’m writing this, so maybe you won’t.
"When X happens, that’s when I’ll do Y."
Apologies for using algebra analogies for those who are anti-algebra, including me!
Like most people, I’ve told myself stories about how life was going to be and it’s rarely worked out the way I thought.
Some of those stories included working as a photojournalist traveling the world taking pictures of humanity at its worst. The hope was that the pictures might help. Simplistic and idealistic, but a damn good story.
Glad that one didn’t work out.
When I moved to LA, the story I told myself was that I was going to make a living writing and acting and doing stand up comedy. The story changed to just writing movies, a rewrite to my story that was tactical. I was spread too thin doing too many things.
The result of this story was going to be paychecks that would buy a house in the hills and time for KZ and me to make art and do cool stuff. It was a bad plan, but I didn’t know it yet.
As the result of an odd string of events, none of which had to do with selling a script, we ended up living in a house in the hills. Justin Timberlake was our neighbor and lived on same street. Never met him, but often said hello to his security guard.
The house was actually an apartment that was part of a house in the hills and it was cheap!
Leaving Hollywood after a decade and change of all that comes with being in that neighborhood - hookers, gang bullshit, squatters, just for starters - I felt like we moved to a national park.
Hovering police choppers were replaced by circling hawks by day and owls hooting at night.
There were downsides to living far from civilization, one being you started to refer to where other people lived as “civilization.”
I hated having to drive anytime I needed anything, like a cup of coffee, something that had been in walking distance since I moved out of my parents suburban house.
Growing up in a working class, blue collar household, where work ethic was the law of the land, money was seen as a solution to a whole lotta problems. And it is a solution, just not to as many problems as we think.
Money definitely doesn’t buy you happiness and I’ve had the luck of knowing a few people who were loaded and miserable.
Rich people have a lot of the same problems as people who aren’t rich, it’s just way more fun to distract yourself with the “stuff” you can buy while being rich and miserable.
KZ and me driving down that street in a 1994 Honda Civic, which is still going, for over three years that we lived there was always a fun contrast to the millions of dollars in real estate.
I did love walking on Mulholland Drive every day. It would often be the only thing I would see when I was putting in long hours editing Vampire Mob.
The house in the picture above was on my street and I walked by it so many times it became just another house on the street. One that looks like a spaceship.
I’m glad we no longer live there and should I win the lottery or suddenly find myself swimming in cash, I will never buy a house in the hills.
I like living where I can walk out my front door to a place where they sell coffee.
I like observing humans in their natural habitat.
That’s part of what makes me happy about living in a city.
I’m extremely lucky that I got to see what a story I told myself would be like and that it was actually a lie.
Happiness isn’t as hard to find as you might think and it’s a lot cheaper.
You just need to tell yourself that story, the true story of what *actually* makes you happy, not the fantasy of what *will* make you happy, once X happens.