LA Paris

LA view

 LA sufers  LA 2

My snaps of LA life: View of LA hillside; Paris Hilton waiting for her car; Surfers at the beach; Restaurant opening party in Santa Monica

It’s hard to believe that barely three months ago, I was packing up my life in Los Angeles and preparing for a whole new adventure in small-town Ireland. As I’ve hinted in several previous posts, I decided to move because I wanted to challenge myself and to force a change that felt necessary.

LA can be a strange place. It’s a city where residents get to observe celebrities in their natural habitat. It was perfectly common for me to see Drew Barrymore in the grocery check-out line or Orlando Bloom picking up coffee at Starbucks. Most people in my circle of friends have some connection to the entertainment industry whether it’s through work or social circles. My freelance work with a well-known celebrity magazine frequently placed me right in the center of Hollywood parties, red carpets and celeb-driven charity functions. One of my best friends works for Screen Actors Guild and my sister is a managing editor for a celebrity gossip television show. There are also actors, musicians, chefs, and filmmakers in my social group in Los Angeles.

door town  door town 2

Snaps from Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland.

While I enjoyed the numerous perks of my work and friends’ connections, the shiny distraction of the Hollywood scene is nothing more than a temporary diversion from reality. It’s easy to acquire a false sense of importance, as if being at a Hollywood premier party somehow makes you more exciting or appealing. It does not. Though most of the time I simply enjoyed it for what it was (free drinks, fun parties, celeb-watching), I’ll admit that sometimes even I believed that my close proximity to celebrities made me more successful or interesting. It did not.

In LA, it’s typical for people to converse about celebrities as if they were personal friends. “Oh yeah, I saw Jen yesterday at the Chateau Marmont, she looked really sad,” says one women, referring to Jennifer Aniston. “Oh, poor girl, she’s like 40 and still single! I hope she meets someone soon,” replies another. These delusions of grandeur are common in Hollywood. People discuss these types of matters with the same passion that one would discuss politics or war or something that’s actually important. While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional chat about celebrity gossip, the gravity with which people converse about this fluff is just flat-out ridiculous. The sad truth is that I was just as caught up in it as everyone else!

group shotSaturday night dinner party at my place in Drogheda 

In small-town Ireland, this stuff just doesn’t matter. There are no glitzy parties to sneak into on a Saturday night. The farmers in the fields don’t care if you met George Clooney once or have a third-degree connection to Angelina Jolie. The talk around here usually involves the weather – ad nauseam at times – and any gossip discussed is about people who actually live here (just ask my friend Sinead’s mom if you want to know anything about anyone in town!). Yes, we have tabloid magazines and television shows. But people here are far enough removed from that world they’d never kid themselves into believing it actually had anything to do with their lives. It’s refreshing.

Sometimes I miss the fanatical, other-worldly fantasy that is Los Angeles. But most of the time I’m grateful to have a chance to breathe and reflect and live a life away from the constant distractions. It’s not necessarily easier, but it’s real.