Every year, at the end of June, I take a mental inventory of the lessons I've learned, the distance I've come, and the people who've entered my life -- because June 27 is my anniversary with the city of Los Angeles.
I'm nowhere near the person I was on June 27, 2002. Heck, my life at this point last year was nowhere near what it is today (I've updated my bio on the right to reflect some of the changes I've experienced).
Being the TV lover I've always been, I like to think of my life in Los Angeles as one, long-running primetime dramedy, featuring a large ensemble cast, occasional cliffhangers and plot twists, farewells to beloved characters, arrivals of new guest stars -- some of whom may turn into series regulars -- and those requisite, special two-hour episodes set in exotic locales.
Being the showrunner of my own series isn't always what it's cracked up to be. After all, overseeing the creative direction of my main character is a challenge. Unexpected developments pop up. Budgets get cut. Tough decisions need to be made. But at least he has a strong relationship with his supporting cast; the chemistry surpasses anything that's written in a script. (My main character, of course, is me -- in case this metaphor's getting a little out of hand for you.)
We've had our fights (rent hikes, parking tickets, street closures), our private alone time (hello, countless coffeeshops and hiking trails), and our moments of passion (ask anyone who's witnessed me consume an Umami Burger). Los Angeles and I have even worked together to bring change to the world (those two stints on jury duty, the NOH8 campaign, three Hot in Hollywood benefits). Our relationship has stood the test of time, and we're always finding ways to reinvent the dynamic between us. There are always new things to discover (restaurants, shortcuts to downtown). There are always reasons to celebrate each other. And I even know how to work the city to my advantage without ever having to compromise our love for each other (yellow curb parking, you're the best loophole ever).
I love that you get me.
Once again, thank you, Person Reading This Because I Probably Told You To. Thank you for tuning in and sticking with me throughout all of it. Here's to more trials and tribulations, more celebrations, more learning, more of...L.A.
For a look back at my past 5 anniversaries:
A Perfect 10 (2012)
Eight Is Not Enough (2010)
The Seven-Year Bitch (2009)