A review of my time in Los Angeles - Kukucka Photography
Well, I never expected to write this post so soon after arriving in LA, but it seems that this is one of those life experiences where you just kind of know you're truly along for the ride. Just when you think you should turn right, you find yourself veering left, and you realize that your hands aren't even on the wheel - if they ever really were. You know something more profound is happening that doesn't have anything to do with a place or a decision. You're on an adventure that you can't fully prepare for in advance. You just have to make the choice to begin (or not). And once you do (or not) you have to let go of the wheel and let the Divine steer.
While I have loved my time in LA beyond words, I struggled to get my creative ideas off the ground here while still being able to afford the exorbitant cost of living in a city with as much collaborative energy as LA - and so I'm waving a metaphysical white flag and trusting that leaving LA at this time is absolutely part of a bigger picture that will only benefit me - and already has. It's incredibly hard to leave, but a series of both personal and professional opportunities seem to be happening in Pittsburgh that just aren't happening here in LA right now. That's probably the best way to describe how this time has been for me and why I'm returning to my beloved Pittsburgh - the city that holds all my ages. And, why I'm leaving my beloved LA - a city that has always invited me to be more than I thought I could be. While I love the creative energy here, I find it difficult to afford, and I'm not as willing as I thought I was to start over on the level that being here involves. On a personal note, I have missed the friendliness of Pittsburgh, and it will be comforting to be in it's kind arms again. It is the friendliest city I've ever known - and being away from it has reminded me to not take that for granted when I return.
I so wanted to play here creatively, but I'm actually not sure I fit in this particular playground at this particular time in my journey. I don't have much interest in how many "likes" I get, or who is following me on Instagram - and that seems to be what matters here. No judgement - and it's actually kind of fun to play along - but I found myself becoming more concerned with how "likeable" my work was more than whether it came from my heart. An easy place to get tangled, though I look forward to blending the two. I care so much more about knowing that someone was touched by something I created for them. I care that someone sees the blessing that is their life because I was honored enough to hold the camera for them. I trust that I'll find the perfect balance for me, as I believe the two can be good friends, if not best friends.
I'm sad. I'm excited. I'm trusting. I'm discouraged. I'm encouraged. I'm in awe of my bravery, and more than anything, I'm proud of my heart. I'm alive like never before in the adventure that is my life. I learned that I can write a play, and I can share a game of questions. I learned that I can show up as myself and it's ok. I learned like never before that the Divine has this, there is no doubt. She's got the wheel. I trust this with my very breath.
I couldn't leave LA without finding a way to document what this time has meant to me. This has been a tremendous turning point in my life. This video doesn't begin to convey my gratitude for this adventure. For the dear friends who would talk to me at any time of the day or night. For the beloved companions who walked alongside me in these months since I arrived, in ways so comforting and reassuring that there are no adequate words to thank them. They may never know how much their love has meant to me, though I will welcome every opportunity to thank them, person by person. You have helped me to remember that none of us are EVER alone.
I'm excited to bring a new level of my work to my hometown - and who knows ... maybe Pittsburgh will be glad to have me back. I wrote a play. I made new friends. Loved more deeply than I thought even I could. Found out my heart was right about something I just needed to know for sure - and I do. I also found out it has no limits. I laughed a lot, worried too much, and will never forget anything about this time. And who knows what's ahead. I know that Pittsburgh is quite the talk out here - with some productions happening, and a new energy that has caught the attention of LA. I'm looking forward to seeing what all the chatter is about. Proud every time I overheard something about my Girlburgh ...
All of life is a semi-colon. Always unfolding. Never ending or stopping. Not even pausing. Maybe that's why I've fallen in love with combining video. Just when you think something stops, it begins to move. And so it is.
Here is a video review of my time here. And thank you for walking alongside. We're all on the journey together - just "walking each other Home," as Ram Dass says. I'm grateful for your company, and proud to be a witness to your lives.
(Note: I refer to Pittsburgh being in my heart a lot on this video, as I had left for LA just two days after the Synagogue shooting. My heart was heavy with grief for my beloved city, and for our families.)