They call California the Golden State. This is the state that your wildest dreams can come true. Coming from Iowa this is exactly what I was hoping to come and find out. All I have wanted to do since I was in junior high was to come out to California and live my dream. Now being here, experiencing what California is really about; I now know what everyone was talking about. I can come out here and be a totally new person. I can reinvent myself into whatever I want. I can be nice, mean, funny, depressed, or I could even change my name and be a completely different person. Along with this, the dreams and weather have brought me to the best state in the United States, California.
Ever since I was in junior high all I wanted to do was be in the movies, or be part of the movies in any way shape or form. Become someone famous or hang out with the famous people. The place where people always told me to come was out to the West Coast to sunny California! This is the state where all the action happens, where the movies are made, where the celebrity’s come to be seen. Being from Iowa you don’t get out a lot. I grew up in your All-American town. A small town called Orange City where everyone knows everyone. Everyone goes to church, no one mows their lawn on Sunday, and no one talks about drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are present in the community but people just don’t talk about it in the open. There is also not a lot of film that comes out of Iowa. Although my town has made a couple low budget movies, none that are notable on any scale of imagination, are not like the ones shot in Hollywood.
People in the Midwest are so sheltered to all the violence, drugs, sex, and alcohol that happen in the world. They just like to pretend that none of it happens. They think that no one ever gets murdered, raped, or any other crime. But the truth is, it is there and if they would get out of their own private bubble they would realize the truth.
When I told people that I wanted to move out here they thought that I was crazy and that I would never get enough guts to do it. They thought that I was all talk. There has been only one kid that went to California from my school and by second semester she was back in Orange City, because she couldn’t hack it out here and she got to homesick. But look at me now, I am living in California and so far my dreams are coming true. I have the perfect weather, the perfect scenery, more beautiful girls than I can count, and an amazing group of friends. Although I haven’t been in any films, there are so many more opportunities here than back in Iowa. I believe the last big movie to be shot in Iowa was Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner. But now I am an hour and a half away from where they make million dollar movies. I just have to take it step by step until I am ready to move up to Los Angeles.
If you have ever been to Iowa you would know that the weather is far from perfect. It is either hotter than hell, or colder than the North Pole. Maybe a couple days out of the year you will get the perfect weather. On the other hand I have been in California for a little over a month and there has been only a day or two when it hasn’t been perfect weather. I know that Santa Barbara is kind of the exception for the weather and Los Angeles weather is not always perfect. But it is a heck of a lot better than Iowa’s weather and I would take it over Iowa any day. They might not have four distinct seasons in California, but if you have ever had to stand out in the freezing cold and scrape off ice from your windshield you would agree with me that seasons don’t matter.
Everyone back in the Midwest say that the West Coast is full of snobs and that everyone is stuck up in California. I am here to declare that this is the most false thing I have ever heard of. Everyone that I have met in California has been really nice and willing to give a helping hand when someone is in need. I think that the people in the Midwest are just way to sheltered. Sometime in everyone’s life they need to get out and enjoy the world. Do what they want to do, get unsheltered, and enjoy their life for once. People back in my town are stuck there. I have friends that went to school in Orange City, got married to there high school sweetheart, and still to this day live in Orange City. What kind of lives have these people lived? They never experienced the world. They never dated around to make sure that they indeed had the right girl/boy. They will probably be stuck in Orange City for the rest of their lives. For some people that is all right and they are going to be perfectly happy. For me I could never live with myself if I did that. I want to get out for a little bit and enjoy my life. If I choose to go back when I am older and raise my kids in Orange City, so be it. At least right now I will get some valuable life experiences in me. Those people will just be sheltered for the rest of their life and never experience the life that we are supposed to live.
So far California has truly been the place of my dreams. I have been reinventing myself by being the best person that I can possibly be. Lopez says it best, “The most important thing I learned was that I could do just about anything I wished, within reason (16). That is exactly what I am trying to do now. Be the best that I can be. People always said that it is the best state to live in. I am here to say that so far I completely agree with them. Compared to Iowa I am in paradise!
Rawls, James. “California: A place, a people, a dream.” California Dreams and Realities. Eds. Maasik and Solomon. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin: 2005. 11-17.