Growing up in Arizona, I had always wanted to live in LA. It was so close we visited family and friends who lived in LA often; I always loved the energy of LA. When I was finally old enough and on my own enough to make the move, I did and have never looked back.
This past Grammy Sunday, I was able to sleep-in, thanks to my husband who gets up with our little girl on the weekends so I can get a bit more sleep than usual. What a guy. I woke up, feeling rested and refreshed, and then anxious. I had forgotten, and in the fog of having just woken up, remembered I needed to take fresh flowers up to my boss’ house and be out to my cousin’s house in Whitter by 2pm. My cousin and his wife kindly give us many of their daughter’s outgrown clothes and toys to us regularly. Talk about a blessing! Whittier is at least one hour from where we live and there was no way I would be on time. I called my cousin to make sure my late arrival was okay, and fortunately it was.
I stopped at the store with our little girl in tow, then up to my boss’ house, then to Whitter. The drive to Whitter from Beverly Hills (what a thrill) was absolutely gorgeous to me that day. My navigation took me on surface streets from West LA down the Wilshire corridor, past the La Brea Tar Pits and past the Wiltern Theater. I reminisced about years ago when two of my friends and I got invited last minute to see a Lady Gaga show at the Wiltern. This was when her first album The Fame had just started to really blow up. I think “Poker Face” was the radio single at the time. I forget who opened for her, but as we stood in the raised VIP area, I was thrilled at my spot to watch the show. I was a foot or so above the other people in the standing room only venue. I was right at the wall that separated the two areas so I could lean on something, which was nice because I was wearing boots with heels. Gaga came on and I remember thinking that the performance of the first song was nothing short of spectacular, but I can’t remember what the first performance was. I’m pretty sure I can’t remember because shortly after my daze in happiness begain with that first performance, Kanye West’s big head was escorted to stand directly in front of me. I was literally pushed aside to make way for Kanye. I didn’t want to cause a scene as I had been escorted into the VIP section by someone who got tickets for us for free, and I have no idea how he got the tickets, but I didn’t want to be kicked out. So I stood to the side and slightly behind Kanye, staring at his giant noggin mere inches from mine. We got to meet her, take a photo with her after the show, and I even got a personalized autograph from her for my little brother. All’s well that ends well I guess. All that reminiscing about the Wiltern at a red light. So, that happened.
My navigation continued to direct us towards downtown LA, when it finally guided us onto the freeway. As I drove the two blocks through downtown LA, I just then realized that the Grammy’s were going on just a few blocks away. A few friends were there working, and for the first time in forever (homage to Frozen), I wasn’t sad about not being there. Just two or three years ago, that would have been all I cared about doing or getting myself to somehow. Five or six years ago was the last time I went to an award show and wasn’t working, that show was coincidentally the Grammy’s.
As I drove through downtown Grammy Sunday 2015, I didn’t even want to be a spectator backstage, like I was the last time I was there. Who was I becoming?! In that moment I realized that I was becoming a person with different priorities, and I was totally fine with that. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the beautiful, sweet little girl in our lives, looking out the window at this city. I had never been more thankful to be driving away from “Hollywood,” and towards our extended family’s house, especially on a day with hardly any traffic.