The other day while at lunch in East Cobb with my best friend from high school, Brittany, asked me what she thought my life would be like if I had chosen to stay in Atlanta rather than move to Los Angeles seven years ago (today marks the day). Strangely, I had never thought of this. My brain usually wonders off to what the future may hold rather than the reverse. Ironically, my friend Stephanie and I have had many conversations over the last six months regarding both of our past experiences and upbringings. I suppose the theme here is honoring and remembering where I come from, even though most days I do not feel much of a connection (other than the Southern Hospitality in my personality, which I vow never to lose) as I feel most at home in LA or even NY (but really LA… I mean come on, the weather here is just phenomenal).
So I truly thought about it – what would my life be like if I had stayed in Atlanta? Bluntly – Marriage, Kids, White Picket Fence. I would have married one of my high school or college boyfriends. The two of us would have had a house in the suburbs – likely Smyrna or maybe Alpharetta (I cannot imagine living in Woodstock or Canton, as I thought they were far away from civilization when I was a kid, but so many people seem to live there these days...maybe I'm missing something?) or maybe Brookhaven (please don’t laugh… I still don’t really know where it is or how to get there but a handful of my dear friends live there... it's kind of near Buckhead, no? #noclue) decorated with items from Pottery Barn (I highly doubt we would have any Amanda Giacomini Ganesh and Lakshmi paintings in the house as I currently do) and likely already have one child with another one on the way.
Our wedding would have been in May or October (as those are the only two months where the weather is usually up to par in the south…but most likely May because October is football season and it is against southern religion to wed on a Saturday in the Fall in the South) at the Marietta Country Club (or the Auburn University Club).
Him and I would drive down 85S to Auburn (with my parents and his in tow) every other Saturday during the fall, tailgate, buy our little girl an Auburn cheerleading outfit and our little boy (ya know, the one that’s on the way) a Bo Jackson (or maybe Cam Newton) jersey onesie to wear home from the hospital, drive back to our house in the burbs with our toddler asleep in the backseat talking about how one day we’ll get a place at Lake Martin so we can spend the weekends in Auburn. Or another possibility, I would have married the boyfriend that was an Ole Miss guy… but nonetheless, it would have been the same scenario (there would be a House Divided sign in our yard… that my dad would have painted).
I imagine I would have created a freelance make-up business for myself in Atlanta, given that I was doing make-up before I left for Los Angeles and also since so many productions are now filmed in Atlanta. Or maybe I would have gone further up the Aveda ladder (made of organic wood from Nepal, of course) and worked with the Institute. Or perhaps I would have worked at my mother’s office doing something with mortgage/real estate/titles (clearly I have no interest in any of that as I just described the job as “something with…”).
I got into a text conversation with my dear friend David, a native Angeleno who spent 15 years in Atlanta, about this topic. I told him my projection of what life could have been like for me.
His response: “A prison in the Middle East sounds just as fun.”
I quickly searched for glass half full comebacks: “Well, one nice thing would be that one of my boyfriend’s family members worked directly with diamond distribution and I would have had a hell of ring if I married him.”
And then I said out loud “WHOA.” That’s what I came up with?! A materialistic answer? Ohh right. I have no sense of spirituality or meaning of the greater purpose of my life when I’m in Atlanta. That part of me blossomed while living and thriving in LA. Meanwhile, through the looking glass… would I even had discovered yoga if I stayed in Atlanta? I mean probably the classes, sure, but the actual practice and meaning behind it that I govern my life with? Hmm… I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it is doubtful.
Would I have tapped into my creativity? I mean sure… perhaps I would have an Etsy shop on the side for fun creating Aubie holding a Menorah figurines (it’s a rarity, trust me). But that’s not what my true creativity is made for this lifetime - it was clearly made for the life I've created for myself in LA.
Not to say that this little picture I painted on the "what if’s" isn’t lovely (ok, maybe it’s not lovely for me… or David) for some people, it’s all based on perception and what works best for everyone is always different from person to person. Now after spending some time not only in Atlanta, but also consciously thinking about the "what if" scenario, I really understand why I am in LA (or NY at times) – I’m in LA not only living out my dreams, but also maximizing my full creative potential. I am so truly blessed to have listened to my inner voice that said “move to LA” ... I suppose that's what the little inner voice is... your truth.