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The end of a thing is better than its beginning...

I was born in Los Angeles, raised in a small Texas town, and grew up in New York. I guess you could say I'm an honorary New Yorker with Southern sensibilities. Now I live in LA again. When I was a kid, I used to imagine how much better off I would be if I were growing up somewhere -- anywhere -- else. LA was usually at the top of my list. Now that I'm here, I see why my mom got us out of here.

LA is one of the most beautiful contradictions I've ever encountered. It's looks great here. There's sun, sand, beautiful beaches, and the best weather in the country. (Of course, Tony! Toni! Tony! lied when they said that it never rains in Southern California. In fact, it's raining today. But I digress.) Everything you've ever seen on TV about this place is true.

The contradiction comes in when you look at the people and the way they live. There's a "California Girl" asthetic of being slim and long-haired that everyone feeds into. Since a size 10 is considered plus sized, people work out constantly. As for the hair, it's absolutely crazy. While a fly cut would be the bomb in New York, here it's all about having hair traipsing down your back. Weaves are big business, and I'm convinced that Cali has the best hair I've ever seen.

Everyone is chasing what they THINK is cool. I've heard so many people say things like, "Oh, that's old." It's all about the trendiest thing. It's like the whole city takes its cues from people like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. Even the Black people. It's insane.

At this stage in my life, I don't have time to govern myself according the latest issue of Cosmo. I'm a grown woman who has a pretty good sense of self. While no one can claim to know themselves completely, I'm well on my way to being able to figure myself out. I'm so glad my mother had the good sense to take me to place where reality rules and reigns. I'm also thankful for every place I've been and lived because they've made me the person I am today.

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