This New Year, Let’s Go

It’s a new year and I’ve been in LA since January 8, 2011, a little over a year.  Since then, I’m relearning that this city of lights is for the most part constantly sunny without the east coast notion of “seasons.”  What a change from those wintry days in Bronxville when the sun vanished for days.  The most drastic change in LA weather appears to be the shift from afternoon sun to sunset when the sunny warm temperature suddenly drops resulting in a chilly ocean-cool, which in retrospect, provides a nice balance of warm and cold.

The year for me though really wasn’t about balance.  It was filled with rather tumultuous  shifts.

Above all, the most difficult was leaving the academic Sarah Lawrence College bubble and landing into the real world.  A world without dons (advisors), and one without students dressed in a liberal splash of colors, tutus, bright pastel colored skinny jeans, and wild styled hair—oh and let’s not forget the vast gay population.  The real world is also one without passionate academic rhetoric and stories from times spent in “the city” (NYC).

Moreover, being a student at SLC is like being a student at Hogwarts.  Because of this, perhaps the hardest part now is not being a part of that magical world anymore.  Naturally, I crave that magic, that abstract world of painting, theater, dance, music, big grassy lawns, hills, black squirrels, and ferociously cold coat-and-scarf- weather.  But it’s OK because I’m living at home with family near the beach in Santa Monica.  A place where Ocean Avenue is a few minutes walk from my house and from there, I see the ocean everyday—a complete blessing.  A place where I’ve been frequenting the most rigorous and exciting yoga classes that give me a holistic mind and body workout, resulting in strength, flexibility, love for all beings, peace, so much sweat, and pure amazingness.

I am hoping that my passions for intense athletic yoga classes, amazing organic artistic creative foods, writers like Haruki Murakami, and foodie writers like Sophie Dahl—that all of these loves come together resulting in a liberal arts career path.  One that is constantly changing, that is exciting…maybe one of my stories will excite people and make them smile and hopefully offer something new.

“This New Year” is the title of Big Tree’s second album that came out last Autumn.  Big Tree is a band composed of SLC kids, most of whom I’m acquainted with, and I have been fortunate enough to have seen them perform many times on campus.  When they play everyone is excited.  It’s such a treat and experience to see such talented and passionate musicians create a unique sound of jazzy rock that is loud, sweet, and just great.  Go to and you’ll see what I mean.

“Let’s Go” is one of Free City’s popular themes that they’ve put on their hoodie sleeves and sweatpants.  I’ve liked Free City for a while and I currently have a “This New Year” album poster on my wall and next to it I put a Free City “Let’s Go” sticker.  Hence, the title of this post.

It’s especially important to not simply think in terms of “go” as in going and doing something like one thing after the next, but rather to be selective and focused with how we spend our time.

A year goes by in a woosh.  It’s 2012; the year of the dragon.

For me, I need to think: Work experiences. Let’s Go!


About ravishingshaukwaves

Leila Shauk is a recent graduate from Sarah Lawrence. She studied Poetry, Philosophy, Art History, Literature, Music, and Fiction Writing. She has a penchant for good writing and good food. Apart from good eats and literature, she loves practicing yoga, playing bass, and exploring other forms of creativity like abstract painting, and cooking.
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