Breaking News
  • January 16WINTERFEST DANCE 2/10
The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

I often think about how different my life could be

Me with my parents friends Anita Thomas and Phil Collen.
Me with my parents’ friends Anita Thomas and Phil Collen.

I often think about how different my life could have been if we hadn’t moved.

My parents, our three dogs, and I moved to Grand Rapids when I was a baby. The move didn’t affect any of my friendships. It didn’t affect any of my commitments. It didn’t affect anything of mine. I was a baby. 

Moving at such a young age didn’t affect my life at all, but now, 17 years later, I can’t stop thinking about what my life would be like if we stayed. I daydream about it so frequently only because I know for a fact that it would be incredibly different.

I can’t stop wondering because I was born in Burbank, California, a city in Los Angeles County. The media capital of the world. Hollywood. I was born in the city of actors, media, and entertainment.

The hospital I was born in was across the street from Disney’s production studios. Burbank is the headquarters of many of the most well-known film studios in the world. Studios such as Warner Bros. Productions, Walt Disney Studios, Nickelodeon Studios, NBC, and hundreds of other production and media companies are based there. 

Only in my dreams am I able to go back. Living in the Los Angeles area would be drastically different from Grand Rapids. I’m not mad at my parents for taking me away from there and bringing me here. 

To be honest, I have no desire to move back.

If I did want to go back, it’s not that I want to go back because I think that I could have been famous for whatever reason. It’s not that I have big dreams of becoming a movie star or being a part of a TV show. It’s not that I feel like if I went back I would be friends with celebrities. I don’t want any of that. 

If I did want to go back, it’s not that I want to go back because I think that I could have been famous for whatever reason. It’s not that I have big dreams of becoming a movie star or being a part of a TV show. It’s not that I feel like if I went back I would be friends with celebrities. I don’t want any of that.

I just like to imagine what it could have been. Everyday things. Going to school, sports, friends, and myself. Everything about my life would be different with no similarities. The only similar aspect of my life there versus here would be my parents. 

But L.A. is nothing more than a fantasy. 

Fantasy isn’t real.

It’s fantasy because I don’t actually want to go back. 

Also, I know I’m not anyway.

My parents both lived in California for many years before I was born. My mom had lived all around in cities like San Fransisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. She was an actress. She is the inspiration for my dreams and fuels my imagination and creates the life I think I could have had. 

She loved being in commercials, but she was also in some movies and TV shows as well. She was just getting her TV career started before we left. Before that, she was a stage actress in plays and even toured through Europe for one of her shows. It’s almost unreal to know that that is what my mom’s life was like before she had a family—had me. 

 We lived in L.A., so yes, my parents knew famous people. They have met, hung out with, seen, and even become friends with some of them. Years ago when they first told me about their lives, it left me speechless.

In my fantasies, knowing famous people seems like fiction, but knowing that my parents had experiences that brought them face-to-face with famous people seems exciting.

When my mom was in acting school, she knew Daniel Dae Kim. He was in her classes. She could’ve been in so many movies and shows and had roles like him, but we moved here before she had the chance.

My mom and dad’s best friend was married to someone famous. Their friend was married to a guy whose name is Phil Collen. He’s the guitarist for a band called Def Leppard and became very close friends with my parents. Def Leppard was one of my favorite bands, even before I knew about my parents’ connection to them. 

My dad spontaneously hung out with celebrities. Some examples are at his cousin’s house, where he was introduced to the Kardashians. At a party, he met and hung out with Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The creators of South Park. 

In reality, if we never moved, meeting celebrities wouldn’t have been as exciting. It would have been an average day. Nothing special. Once I had this realization, my thoughts on California life began to change.

I began to think more deeply about how my parents’ lives were before, I feel like it ended because of me. Like it was my fault that they left both of their lives behind. They’ve told me time and time again that they moved because they didn’t feel like Los Angeles was a good place to raise a kid. 

They aren’t completely wrong. Every year, L.A. proves itself to have more turn-offs that add to the list of reasons why we left.

I can’t help but blame myself. I became an addition to their lives. Yes, I was their choice, but they say that they left because they didn’t want to raise a kid in L.A.

I was that kid. I’m why they left.

They left their incredible social lives behind. Seeing pictures of my mom and dad all of those years ago makes me sad. They looked so happy. Like they were having fun. Hanging out with their friends and enjoying their lives.

My mom dropped her acting career. She left her dream behind. My dad’s adjustment to Michigan was much easier, he grew up here, but he still also left a lot of things behind in California.

Every so often, my mom says she wishes we never left California, and I can’t help but feel a stab of guilt. She misses it.

They left everything behind to give me a better life here in Grand Rapids. I’m grateful for that. They did it to help me have a better childhood away from the craziness of L.A. But looking back, I feel a sliver of guilt for taking them away.

For many people, dreaming of California is only for fame and fortune. But for me, it’s to see how my life could’ve played out. I daydream about how my everyday routines and extracurriculars and every detail of my life could be different. Every daydream could have been reality.

I can’t help but look into my past that doesn’t exist.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Olivia Rainey, Staff Writer
Olivia is a senior entering her first year on The Central Trend. She has always had a love for writing and is looking forward to ending high school on staff. Outside of writing, she loves spending time with her horse Fitz, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. Although she has no musical talent whatsoever, Olivia loves rock n' roll and punk rock and can always be found listening to music. She wishes she had joined the TCT staff earlier, but she's excited and glad that she decided to join for her senior year. Her favorite bands: Blink-182 and The Offspring Her weirdest thing she's written: An essay about toasting bread in junior year Her Starbucks order: A venti Strawberry Crème Frappuccino with extra strawberry purée Her favorite TV show: South Park

Comments (0)

All The Central Trend Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *