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Hello from not-so-Paris,

I miss you. I miss saying hi every week, telling you crazy stories, ranting and laughing with you, and letting you in when my heart is breaking. Please know that my silence has not been due to a lack of content or craziness. I’ve had plenty. Trust me. I’m still ranting, still laughing, still experiencing moments of heartbreak. And I have had this lingering guilt that I haven’t been telling you about it. That I’ve left this space empty for a month. But, like my friend Hannah says, “sometimes you publish things, and sometimes you just live.”

There is no place like Los Angeles. I can walk down the street and see a homeless person sleeping next to a Michael Kors while a lady carries her dog in her purse and walks her child on a leash. That actually happened to me couple of weeks ago.

It is relaxed and driven in the same breath, relaxing and stressful in the same day. And I am having the time of my life. I am making mistakes. I am discovering things about myself that only this kind of city can bring out. I am staying up late and sometimes regretting it the next morning. I am eating kale and avocado and Chipotle almost every day. I am finding friendships in unexpected people.

I’ve seen the good, the surreal and the heartbreaking of Los Angeles, and in me.

Los Angeles is full of good vibes, and I’ve been in on a lot of them. You’ll be so proud. I’ve now been on every ride at Disneyland… Except for the spinning teacups. Because, really, why would I want to throw up my Mickey Mouse pretzel? I have been to a Dodgers games and therefore I have eaten a Dodger dog. I have sung in the middle of the street with my friend until it turned into a flash mob, which can only mean one thing. I have made friends that just get me, like they literally stop me mid-sentence just to say, “I get you” (I love the dramatic flair of LA people).

I have driven twice without my GPS, once without getting lost and once without cussing. What can I say? Saved by grace. I have had backyard dinner parties and helped in marriage proposals. I have re-discovered Yogurtland and bought an elliptical… They cancel each other out so yes, that’s still good news.

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This city is good, but this city is weird. My life is super surreal so much of the time, and I think it surprises me more that life is sometimes exactly like I pictured a life in Los Angeles to be. Like that time an old man with eyeliner and see-through skin hit on me in a pub and I scolded him until he left… And then found out it was Marilyn Manson. Double creepy. Or the time I accidently/purposely walked on the filming of New Girl and stayed for longer than socially acceptable, just to tell Zooey I thought she was great. Or how I kind of went on a date with a guy who had a neck tattoo. Nice guy but quickly realised we had different views on life, like not getting neck tattoos. I literally ran away from him. Literally.

If Los Angeles is one thing, it is surreal and strange. So that’s two things. I like words not numbers.

Life has been fun and random, but it hasn’t all been sunshine. I mean the weather really has been all sunshine, and I can’t remember the last time I checked my weather forecast, but I’m talking metaphorically. I’m clever like that.

Life doesn’t come with filters or the ability to crop things out, which is kind of annoying. Sometimes, just for a moment, I wish I had the remote from Click to fast-forward or delete a scene.

While LA invites impressive Instagram posts, behind the phone, honestly, my hands are still shaking. After I tweet, my biggest question is still, “Am I going to be ok?” Maybe you know how that feels. Maybe you feel that too.

There have been times I have questioned myself, days where loneliness felt inescapable and emotional exhaustion was overwhelming. There have been times all I wanted to do was jump on a plane back to Sydney, be with my big brother at our local cafe and have him tell me a joke only I would understand. There’s comfort in having a language with someone that no one else understands. My brother and I have that. I still desire that comfort, but it’s hiding from me, and I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever feel it again.

I’ve had moments where my thoughts were taken up by more “what if's” and less “but He said.”

But I have seen the faithfulness of God in ways that I have never seen before. I have experienced first hand His provision, His protection and His promises in ways I never would if I had stayed in Australia. I love Jesus more than ever before and I can’t help but tell people about Him, whether on stage or in Starbucks.

Like I said, I’ve seen the good, the surreal and the heartbreaking. I am living. I am learning. And I hope you are living and learning too.

You are in my thoughts. I would love to hear how you are, what you are learning and how you are living.

I’ll speak to you soon, then.

 

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