Land Of Misfits

mis·fit [mis-fit] noun

  • something that fits badly, as a garment that is too large or too small.
  • a person who is not suited or is unable to adjust to the circumstances of his or her particular situation: a misfit in one’s job.

I got a new roommate recently. I can really appreciate her because not even two weeks into our living space tenure together, we’ve already found out how much we have in common.

Sure, at first glance it doesn’t seem as though we do. She looms probably 6 inches taller and her skin is as fair as hotel linens. (One sip of beer and I turn red as a cherry.) She is a Ph.D. student in Chemistry – while my only claim to fame in that field lies in the fact that my high school chemistry teacher has patents at Oscar Mayer in weiner casings. Punk rock is her savior while electronic music has been mine.

But hey – we’re similar where it counts. We’re both Bruins and Midwesterners. If her hometown (Kansas City) is known for BBQ, then it can’t be too far off that my hometown is known for brats and beer. Because you can always BBQ brats but you can never BBQ without beer.

And now you know from this post that I extremely love sausages, since they’ve gotten quite a few mentions already and I’m not even at the break yet.

So the on-going joke here in metro L.A. – that is, the part of Los Angeles where you can actually walk to places and aren’t forced to drive 100% of the time (ok, maybe 95%) – is that 9 times out of 10 you will meet a transplant over a native Southern Californian. I don’t know if it’s like that at all in Manhattan but I wouldn’t be surprised. In fact, I’m curious as to where Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda all came from – but I don’t think that was touched upon in the show. In my own fantasy Los Angeles version, we got Michigan, Wisconsin and Texas.

It was really interesting to find out that our families were even alike. The things we couldn’t say, much less discuss. While I’m not saying that all Midwestern families are like this, I truly believe that the reason why a lot of us have chosen to transplant here is because there was a sense of obligation to conformity that we’ve been running away from. And you might counter that it’s merely running away from our problems.

To which I can’t disagree. What I would counter, though, is that we came in search of a larger perspective within which to solve our own issues. It’s not enough to be the big fish in the pond anymore. There is more out there than a world in which we are the end to ourselves. And I tend to teeter on the thought that I might feel self-indulgent if I reveled in such an environment.

Still, the simple life is simple in so many great ways and I carry pearls of the Midwest everywhere with me to this day. The values upon which to build a jaded reality – while allowing that jadedness to be a choice, not a foundation. A region in which entitlement is less of an option offered me my foundation and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. And so conversely, I might feel self-indulgent if perhaps I didn’t move back to raise my kids back there because I merely got too comfortable here!

Los Angeles is just too big a city to waste. It’s a hub. Some people stay for a little while and fewer make it their home. If you put in the time to find your places here, it’s well worth it. And if not, that’s okay – because we’re only getting more and more populated as it is. But just the wealth of the ideas that are exchanged is so magnetic to me. The way that this is the place where dreams are made, not where wishes are granted. If the city doesn’t eat you up first, you’ll find your niche. But just finding out if there is that determination within you is tempting enough, because there really is something here for everyone – no matter where you come from.