If you’re just now joining in and meeting me, well, hello there and welcome! If you’ve known me for a while, either personally or from my other blog, you already know that I’m a HUGE Linkin Park fan. When Chester Bennington died, my BPD went into overdrive and so did my impulsion to go to Los Angeles. However, I wasn’t able to go until a year after his passing, which was totally fine and super meaningful. But, going to a huge city that I’ve never been to, across the country, solo, and with an illness that makes me want to avoid big crowds, seemed like it was going to pose quite the challenge. Much to my surprise, it did not. It was quite the opposite and I literally just got back from my second trip there, which we will talk about in another piece.
So, now you’re wondering, how exactly did you find peace in the middle of a huge city like Los Angeles? Well, let’s get started shall we?
From previous blogs, it’s obvious that I’m comfortable in cities for the most part; like NYC, for example. However, Los Angeles is a totally different beast. You can’t walk everywhere and Ubers are crazzzy expensive, but you gotta suck it up and manage, which was a stress for me. So, prior to going, I made a list of things I wanted and needed to see. Since I was going to be there exactly one year after Chester’s passing, I had made a list of various landmarks, memorials, and notable places where he had been or even stepped foot that I wanted to see. I also had to put Chris Cornell’s grave on the list since it was his birthday, RIP <3.
Make note: When you plan things out, especially for LA, ALWAYS factor in TRAFFIC!
I had heard about LA traffic and how awful it was, but it really is awful.
Okay- I feel like I’m getting out of order… BPD brain. Okay- let’s begin at the airport.
Chester’s one year passing was July 20th and I had a memorial to go to that day, so I flew out June 19th mad early in the morning. First off, I’m not a morning person and I have insomnia on top of everything else. So, in order to ensure that I made my flight which was at 5:30am, I didn’t take my insomnia meds…So, I didn’t sleep all night. By the time I got to the airport at 3am, (yes, I love getting to the airport early. Better early than late. TSA is unpredictable, amiright?), I was super irritable. You know when you have BPD, or are just a normal human being and you look around and everything and everyone disgusts you? That’s how I felt. I was in MAJOR splitting mode and everyone around me was in the black area. I didn’t even know anyone, but they did awful things to me and everyone else around them. I knew it for a fact too…Yep, sure did.
When I have no sleep, I get in super weird moods too. So, when I was on the plane and it took off, I felt like I had all the power in the world and the plane was mine to control. Weird right? Anyway, I can’t sleep on planes because my anxiety won’t let me. It makes me think that I’ll miss my stop, even though everyone must get off the plane. As a result, I didn’t sleep.
After a very short layover in Charlotte, NC, it was off to Los Angeles. I went through the 9am hour 3 times, making me a time lord and at this point, I was getting excited, but also tired of seeing the 9am hour. I had never been to the west coast and I couldn’t wait until I could see the geography out the window. Come to find out, it’s quite flat and there are a lot of circles on the ground. Who knew?
When I landed in LA, I ordered an Uber and it took FOREVER. When my Uber finally got there, I was in the wrong waiting section. Apparently, there is a fancy waiting spot and a “regular” waiting spot. I was in the fancy spot… no wonder so many people were staring at me. I finally reached her and off we were to my first stop: The Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard. Why? I had to see Linkin Park’s handprints and put my chubby little hand in Chester’s.
The traffic was TERRIBLE and it took over an hour to go 20 minutes. My Uber driver was super nice though and we became friends in 2 minutes. We talked about life, mental illness, depression, and how to overcome even though I had no idea how to. Her advice was solid though and her optimism was contagious. The first person I met in LA was super nice. I was hoping the track record kept up.
Forever later, I finally reached my destination. Now, backtrack a bit. I couldn’t check into my Airbnb until 2pm and my plane arrived at 1030am. I was going to pack a normal suitcase, but I really didn’t want to walk around Los Angeles with a suitcase in toe, so I packed my North Face backpack that i took with me to Iceland. It was quite obnoxious but effective.
When I arrived to the Guitar Center, it was all boarded up. With a confused look on my face, I walk in and turns out the place is under construction and there are NO HANDPRINTS. I’m not going to lie, those handprints were one of my main reasons for going out to LA. I needed that piece of closure and I was flat out denied only a little over an hour into my journey.
By this time, I was really anxious and just wanted to go to my Airbnb, however, I couldn’t. So, I went next door and got some food. I figured I would stay at this joint for like an hour or so and then just meander to where I was staying because I didn’t know what else to do. I ordered a salad and tried to eat as slow as possible. The waiters kept looking at me and I felt soooo out of place, which just made me more anxious. I wasn’t going to leave though. Next, I ordered some coffee for my migraine and to take up more time because, YOLO. But then, I heard them talk about me and then I just decided to leave. It’s not like I just came in and ordered water, but I didn’t want any more anxiety, so I left.
I still had some time, so I walked up and down Sunset, which was pretty empty. I found a tattoo joint and thought of getting one for giggles, but it was closed. Los Angeles is so weird.