As I write this, I find myself in the kitchen of my uncle’s apartment in Beverly Hills. It has been a week since I got to Los Angeles and to say that my family exhausted every nook and cranny of LA is a gross understatement. We have traveled (on foot, mind you) to the most distinct places of LA and it has been magnificent. I haven’t had a proper vacation since I graduated from college in 2007 and not having to wake up at six am to go to work has been quite a welcoming experience for me.
Los Angeles is as beautiful as I recall it, however, you can definitely sense the air of sadness from the recession they went through in the last ten years. In my head, California has always been glitzy and glamorous and while it still is, I can’t help but sense the sadness and the struggle of people living here. People have a rough edge to them, as if this new way of living is surprising to them. Very much unlike Filipinos who have weathered quite a lot of storms and tragedies, it’s as if they are still reacquainting themselves with a new way of living.
Cliche as it may seem, I ran away from Manila with a broken heart. I won’t even lie about this or deny it. The thirteen hours on the plane with nothing but my stack of old movies, a good book, and my iPod was extremely therapeutic for me. It was as if I was leaving behind a part of me that needed to be left behind. My only prayer upon coming here was to be completely healed when I returned, I did not want to waste the trip nor use it as a band aid. I wanted to to heal completely and so far, God has been faithful in doing so. While other people use the time abroad to shop and party, I have used it to get reacquainted with my thoughts and feelings. It’s getting better and what I have learned I will share in another entry when the time is right.
One of the most exciting parts of the trip aside from visiting the famed Sta. Monica Beach is my time at the City Church Los Angeles! I have been listening to Pastor Judah Smith for quite awhile now and to see him in the flesh and hear him preach live was truly a dream come true. And to see so many people praising God in the middle of LA was astonishing and better yet, inspiring.
We also had our very own celebrity run-ins in the short time we’ve been here and most importantly, we have been able to run around Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, which is another thing off my bucket list.
The two things I learned during this trip so far is a) Manila will always be home (despite the small circles and the same people, I actually enjoy living there!) and b) I actually created a life that I don’t need a vacation from. It’s a blessing to be able to take a break for the sake of sanity but I’m blessed to know that I’m not taking a break to escape from all of it. Yes, I ran away with a broken heart but I intended to face it head on here by dealing with my emotions. So today, I’m glad to no longer feel the ache as I wake up. Truly, this vacation came at the right time.
We move on to Vegas on Tuesday and I’ll check in again. I’m just thankful to Jesus that I was finally able to write again. I still firmly believe that only great days are ahead.