Revisiting Places You Once Adored

When you’re a teenager, you have preconceived notions of what you want out of adulthood. You want to drive a Ford Explorer and live in Southern California.

That’s not what you wanted? Maybe it was just me. (And let’s be honest, that’s a pretty ridiculous combination: a gas guzzling automobile in the land of the environmentally conscious? That never would have worked.)

I’ve been to Southern California a fair amount for someone who has no family here or real reason to come here. Each time I’ve ventured West, it excited me to come out here, and I mourned the day when I’d have to head back East. It was thrilling to see stores and restaurants we didn’t have back home. People here spoke Spanish, ate sushi, and were crazy about avocados. There were palm trees and more than three lanes of traffic. Visiting Los Angeles was as big of an adventure as you could have when you’re from a small town in Virginia.

The first trip to LA -- 2001

The first trip to LA: 2001

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to LA. In that time, I’ve fallen pretty hard for New Orleans, a boy from New Orleans, and the swamp. I love southern hospitality, warm summer nights, soul food, an affordable cost of living, and saying “y’all”. It took me awhile to accept that I’m from the South, but now I’m proud of it. It’s a lifestyle that I’m fond of, and I never want to leave.

Beautiful Mississippi Sunset

Beautiful Mississippi Sunset


Working in tv/film, I’ve definitely embraced the change of pace and opportunity to get out of Nashville for a bit and learn from some great Los Angeles producers. But, it’s the first time I’ve been to California and been completely indifferent about it. It’s the first time I’ve been able to look at it from an unbiased perspective. I see the beauty here, but I also see the flaws.  It’s the first time I’ve been here where I realized this isn’t the life I want. I’ve grown up.

Have you recently visited a place you once had blind adoration for? How have you changed?


Author: Laryssa

Laryssa has spent 6+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. She writes about her experiences to help (and amuse) others. If she's not working, she's either traveling, reading or writing about travel, or planning travel. Follow , Twitter, or Facebook.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi this is a really long “comment” but I just read through a lot of your tips on here and really identified a lot with your thought process and reactions to things. I think you’re hilarious.

    I’m from Nashville and last summer I interned for a small health and lifestyle website that produced its own content in New York. On a VERY boring shoot about sleep tips, I met the DP, who was drinking out of a Sundance water bottle, who later brought me on a MUCH larger shoot for a TV show for only 1 day where he was 1st AC. I knew NOTHING and wore that goofy burger king headset and I screwed up an abysmal amount of tasks. But he just called me up to offer me a job as 2nd AC on the same TV show up in NY, so I guess I wasn’t all that bad?? Plus I needed an excuse to go back up there this summer because just seeing my boyfriend wasn’t worth the cost involved in a trip to NY. It’s harsh but c’mon its true.

    Anyways, I went back up to NY in March for a student film conference and it was as lame as it sounds. The weather was cold, rainy, and windy and I didn’t pack the appropriate clothes because it had been 75 degrees all week where I had been living previously. I even packed a pair of shorts. Wishful thinking I know. Overall everything sucked not to mention I was broke the ENTIRE time.

    Although, I will say that NY had charmed me to my inner core during the time that I lived there over the summer. I made brief but truly fantastic memories that I hope never fade.The only thing was that, by the end of it, I was so ready to come home. I was ready to be back in my American-sized, country-fried bubble.

    I’m about to hop on a plane to go back up there for a month and I’m nervous that this will be the nail in the coffin in my affection and admiration of the Big Apple. I’ve got one year left of college and my parents live in one of the top booming cities. So lately I haven’t been so against the idea of staying in Nashville for a year or two and developing my craft before I set out for the film industry in NY or LA.

    I recently attended the Nashville Film Festival where many producers and jurors brought up the fact that Nashville was their favorite festival while many of the big name fests were overwhelmingly commercial. The industry tent was usually the hot place to be and had a few B and C list celebrities. Nashville is on the map and really making a statement these days and I’m scared that I want to move to New York just because I grew up in Nashville when it was just “dumb ol’ Nashville.”

    So as of lately, I’ve decided that after college (in Knoxville, TN) is over next year, I’m going to suck it up and move back into my parents’ home and see what jobs and opportunities I can jump onto. If I don’t, and Nashville really becomes the bustling place everyone says it is/will be, I’ll be crying in my miserably tiny apartment in Queens eating a can of soup. I’ll do it for the FOMO.

    I was really happy to learn that you went to Belmont and are probably familiar with Nashville. What are your predictions about the city’s film industry compared to similar cities like Atlanta? What do you think is my best move?

    Thanks so much for keeping this blog, you’re doing so many people a huge favor for it.

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