La La Land. No, not the movie. I mean the term that probably came about in the late 1970’s. When I looked up the origin of the term “la la land” I found this: “La La Land came into use as a slang phrase meaning “a state of dreamy disconnection from reality,” whether due to drunkenness or dementia." Well, okay, I thought. I’m neither drunk nor old enough to have dementia, so what does this mean for me?
When I was little I remember going and standing on the hotel room balcany overlooking an alley in LA and saying to myself "I'll be back here someday," and soon I was (the city, not the alley). I went to Disneyland a few times with my family over the years, and drove through on my way to visit other people and places. Spring break my Freshman and Sophomore years were spent in LA with my dad. Music tour of my Junior year was also spent in this city, and then for spring break this year I returned with my mom. LA has been a part of my heart and soul for almost as long as I can remember.
I was eight years old the first time I wanted to be an actress, and at eighteen that feeling is still there. A longing to express something bigger than myself, to portray an emotion that I have felt and morph it into another character to make it bigger than what I could ever experience. There is something about acting and actors that brings people together, and I want to be a part of that. But I don't love LA because of my love of acting.
I love LA because of what it is- a city where time and time again I find another piece of myself hidden in the corners, the cracks, and the crevices. I love it because when I'm there I feel closer to everything I love. I love it because it's where I went to my first concert (Sara Bareilles, 2013) and slept in a parking lot while Katy Perry sang less than a mile away. I love it because it's where I made lifelong friends. I love it because it's where I spent hours in the American Girl store and that's what my childhood was practically made of. I love it because every time I go I seem to have changed, and every time I go I learn something new.
My entire life has been lived in a state of dreamy disconnection. When I look back on the best moment of my life so far, all I see is dreams. How I found them, how I chased them, how I'm still chasing them. Maybe this means I'm disconnected from the world, but I think that maybe it's the exact opposite. Maybe dreams are what bring us all closer. Maybe dreams are what brings out the human parts of each of us. Maybe wishes on stars aren't childish, but rather the moments that keep us alive.
I have dreams, and most of the time I live in them. LA is a city that welcomes that part of me when few other places will. Reality can be beautiful. Sometimes it can be better than your dreams, but when it's not, dreams are what keep us glued to all the good that still remains. I may live in a state of dreamy disconnection most of the time, and I may also be detached from reality sometimes, but I think it's the moments when I'm like that that I experience the best parts of life. So maybe living in La La Land isn't all that bad. In fact, I think I prefer it that way.