The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: Surprises In The City

April 9, 2008

Surprises In The City

I've always had mixed feelings about moving to Los Angeles. I had ten very good years in Chicago. I was really happy. I was comfortable. It seemed counter-productive to leave a life that I'd worked so hard to build and that I loved so much, to move to a city I knew very little about, to take a job that while interesting, was really more stress than it was worth, to leave everyone that I loved and cared for to be in a city where almost everyone was a stranger.

Even as I chose to take a risk, there was still a part of me that saw Chicago, and everyone there, as what a perfect life would look like. I wondered if Los Angeles would ever match up.

But this city, being the way it is -- colorful, vibrant and full of life, is also full of surprises.

Today, I'm touched by unexpected kindness in times of trial and trauma. If I was back in Chicago, my closest and dearest friends would have surrounded me in this time, wrapped me in their love, held me close and protected me. They would have prayed for me and with me. And I would have never thought that there were other forms of comfort that even existed.

In Los Angeles, comfort comes in surprising and unexpected ways. It comes in a walk to Starbucks with a co-worker, where we talked about nothing but building a desk, silliness at work and the weather. It comes in funny e-cards, telling me that it does get better, and that time will bring healing. It comes in Happy Hour, sharing stories about love lost and found. It comes in offers to go to lunch, offers to vent and offers to find me some distractions.

Turns out that comfort is comforting, no matter what shape or form. Everyone is eager to reach out and care for me. And I'm surprised by this. Because I am rarely this gracious, or this open, or this kind, or this giving.

It was so easy in Chicago to keep myself surrounded with the people I knew. Each of them met my needs. I didn't have to show anyone much about myself because I had enough friends who knew me and gave me what I needed before I even knew I needed it.

In LA, I find myself having to ask for what I need. And I find myself humbled by how quickly and willingly everyone responds, whether or not they know me well, share my views or my beliefs.

At this, I am surprised. But for this, I am grateful.

1 comment:

Leah said...

What wonderful surprises! I hope and pray for more.