Los Angeles is big.

It sprawls.

It takes fifteen minutes to get to the grocery store and the groceries you get there are 3x more expensive than smaller cities.

Traffic can be a beast even when there is no wreck – When there is a wreck, forget moving – put on an audio book trilogy or learn some Russian via your iPhone Rosetta.

The air quality is bad.

Rent is high.

The people are by and large desperate and hopeless.

But, the weather is typically nice.

And despite the above mentioned junk, there is culture to be had, great diverse food to be eaten, nearby beaches which are next to awe-inspiring waters, nearby mountains which are next to amazing skiing runs, and the ever-hope that what was “almost” yesterday can become “yes” and “victory.”

I used to live in that city and while it was hard, it was fun.  It had energy.  And as long as the credit cards kept spending (avoid the cc declines), I could go and do some cool stuff with creative people.  As well, I could write about the interesting people, places and things I saw and I was rarely left with a creative block.

But then I had to move away from the big city.

I had to move to West Texas for a while to take a job.

West Texas is cheaper.  People are nice.  They seem to be focused on being polite and to actually care about you.  They all seem to work in normal settings and call this area “a good place to raise a family.”

I wasn’t going to be raising a family in West Texas.  I wasn’t going to be there long enough for a gestation period to happen.  I was assigned here for three months and was given the choice to rent a a short term apartment, crash with people my boss knew, or jump into short-term housing (corporate housing or short term furnished housing) in Lubbock, Amarillo and/or Midland.

I chose Lubbock short-term housing for one month.  Then Amarillo short-term furnished apartments for the second month.  And for the third month, I went with corporate housing in Midland.

And let me say this:  While I experienced a dearth of culture, high, dusty winds, wild accents, no mountains, no ocean views and some writer’s block, I actually loved my time in West Texas.  I know this might sound weird, but I think my month-long stays in the three different ‘extended stay’ locations made all the difference in the world.  Living in well-appointed settings and next to ‘neighbors’ who were in transition made me think a lot about life – about being in short-term settings alongside others who had their own reasons for choosing this type of housing.

There were friends to be made in my month long stays and I definitely made friends I’ll never forget.

I’ll tell you about these legendary friends who lived with me in legendary quarters in future blogs.