On walking away from it all

Could you ever just walk away from it all? Not just a daydream you keep in your back pocket, but honestly drop everything and walk away.


I did.

A number of weeks ago, I dropped everything and walked away.

This past year, I fell in love with another city, which for the moment shall remain nameless. I spent some time there visiting friends over the summer, and on a whim, I found an adorable little apartment and put down a deposit.

When I got back to Los Angeles, I packed up my shit, tied up my loose ends, kissed everyone goodbye, and hit the fucking road.

It wasn’t difficult. I thought I might be emotional as I drove away, but I wasn’t. Not a bit. Los Angeles isn’t a sentimental town, and the wild and shimmering version that belonged to me, it ended years ago. I’ve had plenty of time to let go. I still love Los Angeles, but I’m over it. This was the perfect time to leave.

I’m still getting used to my new surroundings. This place that I’ve found is beautiful and mysterious and deeply satisfying. I’m happy here, but this city doesn’t belong to me yet. It probably never will. For now I’m the one who belongs to it, and I’m content to yield to all the raw and uncertain adventure.


80 thoughts on “On walking away from it all

  1. JustThisGirl says:

    This is so, so good. I’ve done it a couple of times (each with a slightly more adult plan), and it always reaps rewards. I sometimes envy people who are happy in the same place all their lives, but that’s never been for me.
    Enjoy your new city. There’s nothing like living somewhere for a few years to make you really love a place.

  2. Nerdlinger says:

    I was hoping to stripmine my town to a smoking carcass, but lately it’s more like it’s doing that to me. Still, I don’t want to leave until either of us burns out.

  3. Dare says:

    Nice. Something refreshing about making a clean break and walking away from somewhere that used to be home. 2016 is gonna be a hell of a year, one way or another.

    • JC says:

      This was my guess as well. Or Austin perhaps. She’s surely visited New York before, SF and Seattle might be a bit too tech bro. San Diego doesn’t sound far enough to qualify as leaving it all behind. Madison is probably too chilly. Is Miami cool these days? I could picture her younger self liking it, not as much the grown up Coquette. There’s also Nashville.

      I suppose we will find out eventually.

        • JC says:

          I’ve lived in Madison, asshole. It’s one of the nicest places you could live. Actually, don’t take my word for it, it’s been #1 on places to live for two years running and was #2 before that.

          That said, I don’t think that’s where she’s going. I am sort of leaning toward Nashville at this point, especially as I get the impression Coquette works in the music industry on some level.

          • dick rider says:

            I’m not saying it’s not a nice place to live. Once you live in a city the size of Los Angeles you really can’t go back to an isolated city with fewer than 500K in population. It’s just not the same.

          • JC says:

            Sorry, I disagree. I have lived in big cities, three of them, all on the west coast. Madison is the smallest place I’ve ever lived. The thing is not so much that one cannot fall in love with a city like Madison having come from a larger place, but it doesn’t happen instantly. You have to come to appreciate living in a place that is neither stressful nor boring as hell. Anyway, I was really just being silly to throw it in the mix, just because I happen to think Madison is cool. Chances are she’s never visited here.

          • JC says:

            The people of Madison didn’t exactly vote for him. Madison is a bit like Austin, a cool city surrounded by morons.

          • JC says:

            I don’t have to justify anything, especially not having lived in a nice place a while ago.

            I’ve visited all kinds of cities around this country. I look for nice things to say about them all (even Fargo!), so you can shove your nasty negativity up your ass.

            The very most important thing about a place is having awesome people to hang out with there, so I’m glad I don’t live in whatever city you call home.

      • GOAT says:

        I would guess Portland, New Orleans, or Nashville. I cannot imagine her ever moving to Miami and this sounds too quaint for New York. I also don’t think she’d move to Texas, even for Austin. Maine seems too isolated and it can’t be Seattle or Madison- I feel like those are not cities worth leaving LA for. I’d love it if it was Paris.

        On second thought, I don’t know about Portland.

        • JC says:

          I agree. Portland doesn’t make sense for her (Portlandia is obviously satire, but based in enough reality that I don’t picture she’d like it there once I think about it.)

          I am leaning toward Nashville. Fantastic city, very hip right now. Nearby Memphis is steeped in music history and really fun to visit, too.

          • Mr Arnold says:

            She’s talked about how much she loves Portland and said that it was so fantastic that living there would be like cheating bc it is so easy to be happy

          • GOAT says:

            I remember that. Portland seems too tame and Nashville too country. NOLA is great, but it’s isolated and the economy in Louisiana isn’t great right now. Maybe it is Seattle. Fuck, I hope it’s Paris.

          • Mr Arnold says:

            I’m curious why you think a city where weed is legal and there are strip clubs on every block and everyone is drunk is tame? Honest question. I’m not a big fan of LA so maybe I’m biased.

            She has also talked about how moving to NYC felt a little inevitable so there’s that, too!

  4. Panos F. says:

    Wow. I’ve been reading since the early coketalk days and the glowcaine posts. 4 years later and this bitch still knows how to drop the news.

      • J Lynn says:

        My guess is that Maine is too cold and remote for la Coq right now, but the mention of Maine makes me think of BoJack Horseman’s great might-have-been fantasy with the deer in S1. Such a great show. I’ve never been to Maine, or any of New England north of Mass., but would love to someday.

        • Skylar says:

          Go in the summer, it’s gorgeous. Or winter if you like skiing/snowboarding. I used to go to the border of Maine and New Hampshire every summer and I spent a summer in Providence, RI and four years of college in western Massachusetts. New England is great. But of course I’m from NYC originally so I’m all about the northeast. I was planning to move to Atlanta GA around now but a lot of other stuff came up and I’m in NYC for the foreseeable future. Coke would of course do great here but I think she’s too smart to fall into that trap, NY is not what it used to be.

        • CharChar says:

          I highly doubt Maine. The only city in Maine worth living in is Portland (which is where I live), and it’s got a population of about 65,000. Other than Portland, there are some very cool little artist colonies and seaside villages, but there really are no other decent cities in Maine. Cold weather aside, I just really couldn’t imagine Coquette choosing to live here–it’s a cool little city for 20-something hipsters , young families and wealthy New York couples looking to raise their kids in the fresh air, but it I don’t think it’s got enough of a pulse for someone like Coke. Plus, if she did live in this Portland and ever made it known, her anonymity would be shot to hell. Everyone is connected to everyone else here, and secrets are all but impossible to keep.

  5. Barefootsie says:

    Well, damn. I totally get it, living here in L.A. as well, but I sure as shit will miss knowing that the entity that is you is no longer in this town. They better appreciate your bitter and beautiful sparkle, wherever you are now.

    • J Lynn says:

      That’s my top guess, if I had to make just one. Say ‘no’ to L.A., for N.O., LA! Haha.

      At least, if in the USA, someplace southern. Right now, Portland is my “least likely” guess. That place is as expensive as any big-big city, and all you get for the bucks is roses and Carrie B. — not too shabby, but worth it to leave LA for?

      • J Lynn says:

        Keeping my #1 guess NOLA, but throwing another fascinating and historically legit Southern city into the mix: Baltimore. Relatively inexpensive, cool in its own right, but close to everything East Coast by train.

  6. My money is on Nashville New Orleans or Paris. I want her to be in Paris. But she’s probably in New Orleans or Nashville. Portland seems like a place she would visit and enjoy, but not live. She’s too wild at heart for Portland.

    • Co Coquette says:

      Might have been a pic from a fan/not her current locale considering the quote of the street art- coke has said it before in her advice “We are seven billion tiny flecks of talking meat stuck to an unremarkable mud ball hurtling through space in an unimaginably vast universe for no particular reason.”

  7. Ex-Nashville says:

    Nashville sucks though. 4 years (not college) were far more than enough. Nashville just wants to be southern california but with even more christianity where it doesn’t belong.

  8. E says:

    do you still want us to mix your ashes with cocaine and glitter and shoot them out the back of the hollywood sign when you die?

  9. PolicyChick says:

    Congratulations! I’ve done the same more than once – Sydney, NYC, LA, DC. Relish the adventure! I hope the pragmatic things work out too, like making a living and dressing in enough layers. Let us know how you go. I’m considering picking up and moving back to DC from Seattle (again) and I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger…. Very happy for you.

  10. Cellardoor says:

    When you say that LA “ended years ago,” is it because you changed or the city changed? I was just visiting from the Bay Area and felt electrified by the city in ways that I haven’t felt here in a long time.

  11. Liz W says:

    You had recently shared that you had feelings for someone unavailable. I read this recent entry and the words you chose and the way you described the move made me think you were talking about that person more than the old/new cities. I might just be projecting my own stuff. No need to answer, just thoughts. And I very much enjoy your writings. Thank you for helping me think about many things in a different way and for allowing me to be o.k. with what I think regardless. That kind of freedom seems in short supply most of the time.

  12. compagno says:

    Ciao Coke,
    Twenty-eight years ago I walked away from a high-paying job in New York to work at low-paying jobs in Rome. I have no regrets and no intention to move back.

    My life here is richer and more interesting than I ever imagined. Yes, I have had the usual ups and downs, but I am happy.

    May your new life bring you your own joy. As Italians say: “casa nuova vita nuova.” (A new house is a new life.)

  13. MSDS says:

    I also think it’s probably NOLA.

    My second guess hasn’t been mentioned yet so I’ll go out on a limb and say she moved to Houston, TX. A little unlikely because it’s so conservative but Houston has one of the strongest economies, and is the most culturally diverse city in the country. Everyone else is moving there, so why not Coke?

  14. Shady says:

    How perfectly stated, and so on point for me!! I, too, am mulling pulling out of L.A., and largely because all the things that lured me here aren’t really here anymore — at least not to the degree that makes it worth staying. So loved your description of the L.A. that belonged to you. Perfect! Can’t wait to hear where you landed and how it feels for you.

  15. Tessla Coil says:

    I think you just may be in Vermont, CQ. I hope so, at least, because if you’re in PDX then we’re way too close to never meet.

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