Starting a New Life

Category: Weekly Columns

We all think or speak about wanting to “Start over” with dreams of what we might do differently if we could. Whenever I declare such a thing, I am clear that I’d like to start over with the knowledge I’ve learned living as long as I have. Sort of an oxymoron, I suppose.

Panarama with house being framed

In my teens and young adulthood, I had a great solution for any problem. I simply ran away (figuratively or literally). I couldn’t handle the conflict of a break-up so I simply chose the cowardly exit of just not calling anymore. Trust me, I’m NOT proud of that youthful exit strategy. With colleges, I just transferred when I got dissatisfied or disillusioned – hence I attended three colleges in three years and graduated with a B.A. I attended one college for my MBA, but I rushed through it in less than two years.

As irony would have it, I chose a career that offered little in the way of security and plenty of options to move around – usually not by choice – by going into showbiz, specifically the television business. In my quarter-century career, I had nine different jobs with unemployment periods ranging from a few days to nine months. I left jobs of my own volition, was fired, the company was sold and everyone was let go, and every variation on these themes that you can imagine. Sometimes, I walked away with a buck or two but other times I got zilch and even had to sue for contractual payments still due me.

Panarama from clubhouse

             View from the clubhouse – our house in distant background

The ONLY constant in my life was where I lived. I was born in Los Angeles and have lived here my entire life. And, this is where this column is going – away from Los Angeles and California, as I will be moving to Park City, Utah next summer.

Having lived in L.A. my whole life, I’ve seen the city morph from orange groves in the valley, drive-in movie theaters everywhere, to smog-central and finally major international destination. I’ve seen neighborhoods develop and decay as well as many re-gentrify. I’ve seen “Hollywood” go from glamorous to trashy to something between (now). I’ve also seen the traffic problem go from bad to worse and the political environment go from worse to worser.

On the 8th green, with our house in the background

  On the 8th green, with our house in the background

My wife and I love to ski and spent many winters at Mammoth Mountain, the only major ski area in relative proximity to Los Angeles. Later, we discovered Park City, in Utah, and realized how much more it offered as a place to go, place to ski, and now a place to live. The lifestyle in the summer is even more intoxicating.

The decision to move there was not capricious as we first bought a townhome to get a feel for the place. After two years, it was clear to us that we loved it and, when serendipity gave us the home we’re currently building, we set our future plans in motion.

Canyon view with 8th green

                                                  View from our lot

Leaving Los Angeles permanently was not an option until our youngest son finished high school. He is a senior now, so our timing is working just fine. He plans to go to college back east and when we move next summer, he will begin that phase of his life. His older brother is done with two years of college (also back east) and plans on living in Los Angeles, while he pursues a career in music.

Our (parenting) job is almost done. Living in L.A. is no longer required. So we are going to be starting a new life in Park City. I’m excited but I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t also declare I’m anxious as well.

Morning Panarama

One part of making this move that is easy is the fact that neither my wife or I have much family in Los Angeles. My wife’s family is all in Vancouver and I have one (much older) cousin left in L.A. Leaving friends is more consequential and leaving our (golf) country club is very consequential to my wife.

The sad reality is that many of my lifelong friends have either left the area themselves or we’ve grown apart. I have many superficial friends and an incredible amount of “virtual” friends from my Social Media life, but our social life is not near as intimate and full as, say, my parent’s social life was. It was a different time, to be sure. And, given my “virtual life” on Social Media, that is a life that is completely portable.

Technology means we can stay in touch with anyone and everyone we know. Our new home will be a destination-visiting vacation place, we hope, for all our friends and family.

Bruce on 9th Tee #Golf

                       Standing on the 9th tee – our house right THERE!

I don’t have any problem meeting people and I’m equally happy being alone for periods of time so I hope that this “starting over” will not be as difficult as it might be for this old dude. I sincerely hope it has the same effect that re-inventing myself with my second career did – invigorate my life and mind. We’ll see.

  • jack43

    There as many similarities as there are differences in our lives. Sadly, California is no longer the Golden State. It has become tarnished with a political ideology that has destroyed everything worthwhile. I too would be happy to leave Southern California but for the fact that we have a very close relationship with our young grandchildren living here. Maybe, when the grandchildren are older and our grandparenting duties are not as active (just as you will always be parents, we will always be grandparents), we may go somewhere else. You certainly make Park City look inviting (but for the snow).

    So where is home? I have always loved Mark Twain’s line from the Diary of Adam. Adam, he proposes, lamenting the passage of Eve remarks, “Wherever she was, there was Eden.” That’s how I feel about my wife…

    • Bruce Sallan

      You are a lucky man @jack43:disqus to feel that way (about your wife). Our new home is in a development called Promontory – watch the video and you’ll see why we’re going there!

  • Mei

    Space is what we lack in Singapore! For me, a sanctuary at my home is my corner sofa lol There’s no place without people if I venture out, and it always leave me very tired jostling with the crowd!

    • Bruce Sallan

      Then YOU will have to visit @disqus_mAYzV8PM6A:disqus – we’ve a great guest master suite for our friend!

      • Mei

        I have to! I’m hoping to at least let my kid go to US to visit her cousins there before she has to go to grade school, which is terribly busy and stressful here!

        • Bruce Sallan

          You’ll have to come with her @disqus_mAYzV8PM6A:disqus !!!

  • Kenna Griffin

    I think we have the opportunity to start over every day. It’s not on the levels you described above, but it certainly is possible.

    • Bruce Sallan

      Wait a minute, Professor @krgriffin:disqus – are we agreeing? Xoxo…

      • Kenna Griffin

        That can’t be the case.

        • Bruce Sallan

          Miracles do happen @krgriffin:disqus – hope to see you at #DadChat tonight!?

  • The JackB

    I was born and raised in LA too. Aside from spending most of 2013 in Texas LA has always been home but I don’t expect to stay. It shocks me to say it, but things change and so do we.

    • Bruce Sallan

      @TheJackB:disqus – then you know the sad reality that L.A. and California are just NOT the same anymore…

  • David Weber

    I left L.A. for what turned out to be for good in 1982, after having grown up there and gone to college only 100 mi. away. As of 1982, I had traveled or lived overseas but not with the idea of never coming back to L.A. Even in ’82, I thought I would likely return to L.A., just not too soon.

    But things change and I never returned…and 99.99% of the time, I have never looked back. I have very fond memories of my youth in Los Angeles (I was born in 1952). A few times a year, I trawl on the internet for information about “old L.A.,” specifically the L.A. of the 1950s-1970s, when I lived there.

    There are many websites with a great many photos, essays, comments and so forth that are fun to consume…Google to the rescue! The best is youtube … if you enter you get old home movies and other moving images from “old L.A.”

    Good luck in Utah!

    • Bruce Sallan

      I thought you were CRAZY at the time @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus that you left L.A. Well, I sort of still think you’re crazy…lol. But, you have certainly lived an exciting and well-traveled life and where you are now seems an ideal fit for this chapter of your life’s journey!

  • Stan Faryna

    I did not know you were a zombie apocalypse prepper. [grin]

    • Bruce Sallan

      @faryna:disqus – we’re not moving THAT far away!!!