It’s been over two months since I moved to LA, and my New York armor is starting to slowly dissolve. I didn’t even realize how conditioned I was by New York because I was so conditioned… I arrived in LA like a smoking engine, full of ideas and projects (house, work, style, etc.) and LA forced me to relax, to take my time, and enjoy the scenery.
Here, not everything is like I imagined. To be honest, the experience is even better than what I had in my head. It’s deeper than the image of the sun shining all the time. It has to do with the cadence, the softness, the way people think about life here. I’m just getting started, but I feel everything starting to shift in me, from the smallest details to my deeper ideals.
It’s great here because seriously you can wear anything, and I mean ANYTHING YOU WANT. And honestly, deep down, nothing makes me happier than wearing WHATEVER I WANT.
First of all, it’s because there are no seasons. It’s cool in the morning, hot during the day, cold at night. So that leads to weird clothing configurations. For example, now, it’s 10am, and I’m at the café wearing jeans, flip flops, a light jacket and…a wool hat. Yes, flip flops and a wool hat. And recently I wore mules WITH SOCKS because a breeze made my feet cold.
Even Chris kind of looked at me funny, even though usually he never comments on my outfits (he doesn’t care at all)(to my great disappointment). I should mention my socks were electric blue.
The other day I was at a party in Malibu and before the sun went down, all the girls were wearing big flowy dresses and flowers in their hair, then they all ended up putting on puff jackets over their dresses once night fell.
It looked something like an editorial shot by Elaine Constantine in the 90s. I love it. So, what about me, what’s my look?
I have to add that:
1. All my clothes are in boxes in storage, still in transition.
2. All my clothes will probably not work at all with my new life anyway (my passion was coats hahaha :)
3. I live in Venice, the haven of chill, with surfers, nerds on skateboards, and hippies who are tired of all the fuss and look on with wide eyes.
The result is that the fashion requirements are really, really, really low. Nobody expects anything from you, in fact, and you can be in jean shorts all year long without it ever being a problem. It’s great, but it definitely doesn’t encourage consumerism or any desire to pursue style. So I’m going to have to find a balance, because just like Gwyneth I’ll never give up my quest for style, I swear.
[There are also the yoga pants girls, but that’s a species that flourishes everywhere in Los Angeles. And it scares me because I surprised myself going to Whole Foods more than once (oops, Erewhon actually, much hipper than Whole Foods) after my exercise class, in yoga pants in the nutritional supplements aisle looking for the best probiotic…Such a cliché, so embarrassing, ack!]
Which brings me to tell you about exercising in LA.
I’ve started getting into it again. In other words, I’m starting to come out of my January slump and I’m trying to find my exercise family. I don’t know what’s going on in LA, but it seems like people group together for classes by style/age/body type. I won’t name the classes because I don’t want to upset anyone, but I’ve tried:
1. A Pilates studio and dance class near me where it seems like only nice ladies in their 50s and up go (and the occasional very sweaty man looking strange and lost). The atmosphere is a little too relaxed, you don’t really push yourself because you ACCEPT YOURSELF, okay. You hear people talking about the farmers market or real estate (the favorite subject of LA since we can’t talk about the weather like in NYC) between crunches and it made me feel about as athletic as an oyster.
2. A yoga studio where they talk a lot about light and inner strength and turmeric (I admit, I love it when they talk about inner light) and there are a ton of different kinds of people. At my first class, I was sitting down waiting for class to begin trying to look busy without looking at my phone (sacrilege!) and a woman came in and said I was too cute and deserved a hug so our light could mix. I’m not against it, why not (especially since she said I was cute) but then again, the workout wasn’t challenging enough, I really want to be able to move.
3. Another Pilates studio, where unlike the first one, all the girls are wearing yoga pants AND they’ve had work done on their lips/breasts/butts (which makes for some very strange looking bodies). And the occasional lost man who’s come to get an eyeful. After that class, I can’t even walk for three days (those kinds of girls aren’t kidding around when it comes to fitness, they want RESULTS) so I feel good, but I have a hard time identifying with the ambiance there with my normal body and non-bulging butt.
As a result, I was feeling a little lost, when suddenly on Friday my friend Jen invited me to join her at a class called The Class, which I loved. It’s a mix of all of the above – you jump, dance, yell, talk about light, the people in the class don’t fall into any specific category and you really tone your muscles.
The problem? The times and places of the classes – super early and far from my house. Bummer.
Especially since here’s another thing I’ve totally lost: the structure of my days.
Because waking up in LA isn’t like waking up in Paris or even New York. In LA, when you wake up, even at 6am, you’re pretty much getting up after the rest of the world, which means you’ve got five texts waiting, 56 unread emails and phone meetings at dawn. You have breakfast, terrorized by the idea of looking at your computer and getting buried.
If I want to talk to my family, it’s better to do it before noon. But there’s a nine-hour time difference with France. Same for my team. If I really want to have a productive day, I need to start working at 7:30 and it’s completely insane until noon, then things calm down, then suddenly after 3:00pm, no one is around anymore and you’re just speaking into the void online.
I had imagined organizing my days like that: work like crazy in the morning then go to an exercise class in the late afternoon, but the truth is, my days always get overbooked, and I’ve never been able to exercise after 11am. Once I’m dressed and I’ve taken my shower and started my day, getting back into my exercise clothes feels like a superhuman feat.
And there’s always some last-minute plan, happy hour with super nice friends, errands to run, a sunset that’s too beautiful to miss.
So my days are just a total disorganized mess.
But you know what? Pfff, it doesn’t really even bother me.
I’m learning to be patient and accept that a new lifestyle doesn’t all fall into place in three minutes or even three months. I’m doing what I can, trying not to become too cliché but without going crazy resisting everything either. No big deal if I’m at Whole Foods in yoga pants and no big deal if I miss another 5:30am yoga class.
I’m waiting for things to fall into place naturally, from the details I’ve just told you about to the bigger life questions.
We’ll see, right?
Translated by Andrea Perdue