Even if the circumstances for leaving LA were sad Mandy felt a rush of adventure when early afternoon she was finally in her car on the road to Lake Haven. The drive would take around 4 hours and her new car made it a much more pleasant drive. All the modern cons to make driving a breeze. She put on her favourite music and set the Navigation for Lake Haven. She knew the way, but with the verbal instructions she could just relax and listen to the prompts.
Mandy had arranged for her best friend Lilly to stay at her place and mind her cat, Felix. Her place was close to the city center and Lilly loved staying there. A break from suburbia life and closer to her work. Lilly already had spare keys, so no hassles sorting it out. Mandy fully trusted Lilly with her place. They had been friends for a long time and Lilly was always there when she needed help. Even if they didn’t see that much of each other, now that Lilly was living with Gary, they still remained close. She and Lilly would mostly meet up in the city for a bite to eat after work, when Gary was away with work. Which was only once a month. Still, they were close and could talk non-stop about everything and anything. Their friendship always took off as if they had never been apart.
Mandy loved Lilly’s friendship. The only true friend she had in the city. The rest were just work colleagues or people she met briefly when networking. Many she met up with regularly, but all just fun party people as she called them. None of them connected on a deeper level. They all worked in an industry where image and career was everything. Deep connections just didn’t fit in, as they would crack open the fine-tuned image they all had worked so hard at gaining. But the cracks were there sometimes when the bottles of wine dulled their senses. When the cracks got too big people usually moved to another company. Luckily the city was huge and allowed the odd crack to stain the image without permanent damage.
Mandy had always maintained a polished and faultless career. Mostly because she really loved her craft and stayed out of the politics and kept her nose clean. In her almost 10 years in the industry, she had never had any problem finding work. The last 7 years she had contracted out as a freelancer, a decision she hadn’t made lightly. She gave up the security of a steady income. But the gains had been enormous. She had been able to charge a lot more for her work and was now a proud owner of a city apartment almost mortgage free plus had been able to enjoy trips overseas and time off to write a small novel. Mandy had so far never regretted taking that decision back when she was only 25.
Mandy had worked overseas for a couple of years but eventually came back to the US to be close to her mum again. Her mum lived partly in San Francisco and partly in Lake Haven in the summer. Mandy’s home was now LA. So different to small town Lake Haven, but she loved the busyness and the anonymity of the big city life. Always something to do and see. Writing inspirations everywhere and close to the beaches for relaxation and recharging. It was the best place for Mandy right now at this point in her life.
In spite of her love of LA, Mandy never said no to an opportunity to get out of the city and explore new places. She loved nothing better than hiring a small house or room somewhere and just spend the weekend exploring and writing. New places gave her inspiration and she always met some interesting people along her way. Mandy loved her own company, she needed her lone time to recharge, but on the flip side, she loved the company and the interaction with new and interesting people. The conversations and the stories that came from that inspired a lot of her writing and ideas. You can stay in your own head too much and your writing can suffer. She learned that a long time ago.