One year ago…
by Amelia Kanan
…I came to Michigan. I parked my car at one of my (adopted) families’ houses in Los Angeles and packed up my non-winter clothes to fly East in search of some comfort. I had been unemployed sine the end of August and the industry was on hiatus until January. I was broke and more importantly, feeling broken. I had given up my apartment in July and was getting really sick of living out of my bags…all 15 of them. I had surrendered my loft space since I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be unemployed, not to mention where in the city I might find work. What if I got a job in Venice? I had my fingers crossed while I cooked dinners for my loved ones’ in their kitchens, watched movies on my friends’ flat screens and visited my storage unit at least once a week to reshuffle the items I carried with me. Towards mid October, it really started to wear on me. People were promising jobs, but it wouldn’t be for months and they were tentative. My smile was becoming fake as my perspective began to switch. The more and more I looked around the city that I had grown to love, I began to see the flaws. The anger, greed, selfishness, and lack of appreciation towards the real things in life. Did I really want to commit myself to this culture? Would I want to raise my kids here? That was another thing I began to consider. Did I want to make my career my main focus in life and sacrifice the personal side? If I wanted to meet someone who believed and cared about the same things as me, was I really in the right place for that? Another thing the real estate is so expensive and on top of that, confusing with lots of hoops to jump through. Everything seemed to have strings attached, hoops to jump through and a lot more difficult to obtain. Internally and externally I was struggling. I couldn’t even feel relaxed after a hike in the mountains, a yoga session or a wine night with my best friends. Something was wrong and I had a lot to figure out.
Hence my holiday hiatus in the Midwest. I needed to reassess my goals, needs and hopes for life. I was 29 and finally ready to be the person I had dreamt of becoming. Los Angeles had helped with some of that growth but I had reached some kind of mental plateau. I was sick of the parties, the banter, and the…lack of quality. I missed my family. I missed people who had the same morals and background as me. I missed history and tradition being a part of my life. On the other hand, California had been my home since I was little. It had been the only place I cried leaving. The ocean, the mountains, the cities, the calmness, the healthiness, the excitement, the diversity, the possibilities and not to mention…the large amount of people who I love that live there.
I didn’t cry when I boarded the plane and the minute I landed in Detroit, I felt a sigh of relief in the pit of my stomach. I began writing “Scene In Detroit” for CBS and found a sense of worth that I had lost during those few months of unemployment. It forced me to get involved, meet people and experience the city that was existing. I relished in the company of my cousins and family, a lot of whom had moved back to Detroit after living away as well. I had Steve, my writing partner from Los Angeles who had moved to Detroit in the Spring, to answer my questions like “Have you regretted it?” “Do you miss it?” “What do you miss?” All the while, I sent out resumes, e-mails, writing samples, made web advertisements, and applied for positions in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, New York and Detroit. I told myself I would go where I got called.
Here I am today, a year later without a question in my head about the path I am on. Although I have not met all of those goals or have yet to become that person I see myself becoming, I have no doubt that I am well on my way. Each day I learn something new, love myself more and each day, I see proof of that. I haven’t looked back and I can’t even imagine what’s to come in this next year…I love that.
Bring it, 30.