Loneliness is prevalent in Los Angeles..
As an LA native, I completely understand. Not to shit on my own city because I love LA, but we have definitely become a hub for seemingly soulless people and relationships. Ever walk down Melrose and feel like people aren’t even fully present? Does it also feel like there are judgmental eyes on you all the time, and simultaneously no eyes on you at all as if you don’t exist? Welcome to LA!
The older I get, the more I realize the importance of cultivating your own unique personality, and self worth in order to survive in LA. For all of you transplants, this is even more important! I often have people ask me where I’m from because I’m somehow “too nice to be from LA,” and i’m not offended one bit because I understand the perception. We have become so fame obsessed with the advent of Instagram modeling, sponsorships, and easy money rewarded for looks or selling a certain lifestyle. While I think it’s great that young people are able to make money so easily, I do feel like it sometimes gives off the illusion that some people are living ideal lives while the rest of us are just doomed to watch. This, in turn, can be quite depressing and anxiety inducing for younger generations as well as the rest of us who are getting older as we watch this constant display of youth flaunted in our faces. The older we get, the more we are reminded that we are no longer wanted or coveted in the eyes of society.
I’m not saying we should all delete instagram (although instagram cleanses sometimes help if you need them), but I do want to discuss a few things that might help you put LA into perspective:
Most people come to LA with a dream. This dream is usually fed to us through movies, TV, and social media. Some people come here and fulfill that dream. Some people don’t. Keep in mind that a good amount of the people you meet here have this “dream” on their mind constantly, and aren’t really thinking about stopping to make friends that will not benefit this dream.
The Support System
If you’re one of these people who came here with a dream, you might also be alone. Most people who come to live here have made the decision to leave everything behind to fulfill this dream, which can sometimes enhance the loneliness they may feel. Sometimes even keeping in touch with family and friends back home isn’t enough, and makes you feel even more isolated.
The Solution that Involves Other People
As harsh as it sounds, people simply do not care about you unless you can help them here. That being said, you are more likely to make meaningful connections while doing things you love (as cliche as that sounds). Sharing a common love or hobby usually brings like-minded people together faster than any other method. Another rule of thumb is to not go into a conversation or situation expecting to come out with a new friend or a relationship. People here may have very good intentions and may like you, but can be very flakey and leave you hanging. Be open to good things but don’t expect them.
The Solution that Involves You
Accept that loneliness is inevitable. It can last days, weeks, and even months before you feel fulfilled. Even if you get to that point, there is no guarantee that you’ll stay happy. The most positive thing you can do is hone in your creativity and turn loneliness into a fuel for hobbies and goals. Take a hike in the day and see a movie by night. Write, sing, and dance! You should also catch up on all of those Netflix shows that you won’t have time to watch once you start getting busy. There is no one size fits all solution for feeling lonely in this city, but believe me you’re going to miss the time you had alone once you start to cultivate meaningful relationships here. The best thing to remember is that the most important relationship you have is with yourself. Keep growing your personal relationship and the rest should fall into place.