Yesterday, our family said goodbye to Los Angeles in the same way that we said hello to this great city ten years ago. We began our day in Santa Monica, walking the city and enjoying the view from the ferris-wheel turning circles out there on the pier, remembering our roller-coaster ride on that very same pier shortly after Yumiko and Emily arrived in 2014. After that, we drove along the waterfront up near Malibu (we even talked about Barbie) before heading inland on Sunset Boulevard. We had lunch near the Desilu studios, where the original Star Trek television series was filmed, before then driving through Brentwood and Beverly Hills to gape at the enormous celebrity mansions, joking about how some of them seemed to resemble Japanese castles or “Jo!” as I like to call them. Continuing along Sunset, we talked about rock n roll as we passed by the famous Troubadour and Whisky a Go Go clubs, where so many musical greats have performed. Passing Westwood and through West Hollywood we finally emerged onto Hollywood Boulevard to take in the human spectacle at and around the famous Chinese Theater. From there, we drove through Griffith Park, up to the famous observatory of the same name, seeking a good view and a photo of the Hollywood sign (and we got a doozy!) and then back down towards Echo Park to see the beautiful old homes between Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles.
We arrived downtown via backroads just after sunset, where we cruised in our black Prius with the windows down, coasting slowly up and down Grand Avenue and Los Angeles Street, amazed by the Manhatten-like sights, sounds, and even the smells of this once great, yet now rather desperate metropolis at nightfall. We parked the car and then carefully walked the mean streets—even passing one blocked off street where a movie or commercial was being filmed—before finally arriving at “The Last Bookstore” (that’s really the name) where I got super lucky and found a quite rare copy of Walden, which was the very last book I’d been searching for to buy and complete the collection of books I’d been assembling to take back with me back to Japan to enjoy in my old age. We then wrapped things up with a delicious Thai dinner feast before heading home.
Driving back, as my family slept, and as I threaded my way along the crowded nighttime LA freeways, I thought of our last decade here in the greater Los Angeles area; from Colton, to Irvine, to Ventura, to Menifee and finally Huntington Beach, and the life we lived together during this time, and of all of the things we’d done, the challenges we’d met and the many changes we’d undergone. Coming to America was certainly a good idea, if not also a very, very risky and scary one. And I’m glad we did it. Would I have done it if I knew then what I know now? That answer I’ll keep to myself—as some secrets are better experienced than explained.
At one point during the day, walking back to our car from the Santa Monica pier, I asked my daughter if, after she at last gets herself settled into her new life in Tokyo next year, will she, in the future maybe, still feel like one of “us”—will she still feel like the American she has so clearly become? She nodded yes and smiled. And that made me very glad.
☀️ THE GOOD LIFE CREED ☀️
The Good Life Meditation serves as a daily compass, orienting me towards personal objectives and principles essential for a purposeful existence within an indifferent universe. Further your understanding of The Good Life by visiting my website, GoingAlone.org, or delve into my book Going Alone—hardcover recommended. Get a signed copy here. 📚✍️
🎯 OBJECTIVES: 1. Be Always Ready to Die ☠️ 2. Make Good Use of Time and Resources ⏳🛠️ 3. Develop Good and Sound Life Principles 📜🦉 4. Cultivate Good Emotional Reactions 😌💡 5. Perform Good Actions 🤝✅ 6. Recognize True Limits and Opportunity 🚪🔍 7. One Thing Slowly 🐢🧘♂️
8. Maintain Balance ⚖️
📜 PRINCIPLES: 1. Principle of War ⚔️ 2. Principle of Reason 🧠 3. Homunculus 👤 4. Anchorhold ⚓ 5. Home of Good and Evil 😇😈 6. Principle of Purpose 🎯 7. Atomic Principle ⚛️ 8. Principle of Nature 🌳 9. The Pirate Ride 🏴☠️ 10. Principle of Maturity 🌱➡️🌳 11. Social Principle 🤝
12. Principle of Family 👨👩👧 13. Public Speaking 🗣️ 14. Temperance 🍷➡️💧 15. Life Will Not Go Well ⛈️ 16. The Horror Show 🎭😱 17. That Which Must Be Borne 🎒 18. The Feast of Offal 🗑️🍽️ 19. Distraction 📵 20. Agency and The Great Indifference ⚙️🌌 21. The Best Seat in the House 🛋️ 22. The Restless Man 👣 23. The Path of Wildness 🌲🛤️ 24. The Great Life Adventure 🗺️ 25. The Risk of Avoiding Risk 🎲 26. Sin and Damnation 😈🔥 27. Complete Oblivion 🕳️ 28. The Season of Philosophy 📚
29. Scriptwriting 🖋️📜 30. Bullseye Aim 🎯 31. The Uphill Climb ⛰️ 32. Arena and Utility 🏟️🔧 33. Nothing IS enough 0️⃣ 34. The Principle of Fun 🎉
35. Being Ready 🚀
🌄📚🚶♂️ Kurt Bell is a passionate explorer, dedicated family man, and author of books such as "Going Alone" and "No More Looking Out For Number One." Born in America in 1964, he integrates Stoic philosophy into his physical and philosophical journeys. Today's venture on The Path of Wildness embodies this harmonious blend of exploration and mindful living. While Kurt savors these moments and looks forward to future adventures, he remains ever prepared for life's end, ready to depart without a single backwards glance.
🌐 Website: https://goingalone.org
▶️ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/softypapa
📧 Email: email@example.com
👍 Support my endeavors on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/softypapa
My name is Kurt Bell
Learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone
Be safe... But not too safe.