Many people have asked me and continue to ask me what made me move to Los Angeles alone. The short answer is….I just wanted to, so I did! Now I’m not alone because my wonderful boyfriend also took a leap and moved across the country to start fresh shortly after I arrived. Before he actually moved I was afraid and had a bunch of “what ifs” floating around my head but we pressed forward and said let’s see what happens.
Rewind and I was living in Delaware a mere 1,061 miles away from my hometown in Alabama. A lot of people were expecting me to move back home because I was just about to separate from the military after 11 years. Moving back home was never in my plans even before I decided I wanted to move to Los Angeles I wasn’t thinking about Alabama. My attitude was simply, been there, done that! I operate on feeling and when something continues to nag at my soul and I can’t stop thinking about it then I listen to that feeling/inner voice. My inner voice was telling me to come to L.A. I didn’t know anyone here. I didn’t have a job lined up and the small plan I had to go back to school once I got here would soon prove to be bad timing and other things. I was a little scared about the move but on the day the movers arrived to pack up my apartment I knew there was no turning back so I committed to a journey and it turned into an adventure. I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 3 years this month. I have no regrets at all. Living here has made me a better stronger me. I take more risks now than I ever have in life.
It’s really quite remarkable the number of people who tell me they admire my bravery for making the leap. That leads me to wondering why aren’t most people taking leaps in life? I listen to friends, family and strangers talk about their dreams and how much they hate their current state of being but I always ask, so what are you doing about it? The responses are generally centered around money or the lack thereof . The other responses are full of people and things they feel tied to so they can’t leave (or so they think). I know a part of people including myself are too prideful to admit that we are afraid of what other people will say. Yes our ideas sound crazy and scary but who cares if no one supports you and no one gets it. Just remember that people generally never understand YOUR struggle but they always want to celebrate in YOUR success. I understand that not everyone wants to move across the country or to another country but most people I encounter desire to become something different or to be doing something different with their lives. My question again is why not just go for it?
- The job you feel you can not quit because the money is “too good” or the benefits are amazing will only replace you when you die or retire in less than a month. You’re an asset and nothing more. So go ahead and take a chance on yourself and open the business you’ve been thinking about none stop or take a chance and get back to the one thing you KNOW you’re good at because it’s probably what makes you happy even with no money.
- The city you grew up in with all of your best friends and closest family will miss you if you move away but you’re missing out on the life you deserve if you don’t move away. You keep dreaming about it, googling it but you’re just afraid to do it. You’ll find a job, a home and make new friends. If no one will help you move you can always road trip it…I did!
- That career you dream of but don’t have the education for is going to always be filled by someone else until you make time to invest in yourself. My own mother said she wants to go back to school and study business because she’s a business owner but she’s afraid of being the “old” lady at school amongst “kids”. She asked me what did she look like sitting in a college math class at her age, my response was you’ll look like a woman determined to learn.
- The person you admire from afar will always be afar if you don’t muster up the courage and confidence to say how you feel. Imagine what you’d feel like when they end up with someone else because you never spoke up. Don’t let the potential for love pass you by and don’t live life wondering what would have happened if….
- The trip you’ve been dying to take will always get pushed back if you keep waiting on other people to go with you. Go ahead and have your “Eat, Pray, Love” vacation. You’ll learn so much about yourself when you travel alone. You won’t have to plan around someone else and you can do everything when you feel like it. So go ahead and book your trip.
I could go on but you get it, I hope :). Life is never going to go how you plan it or how you think it should go. It’s full of surprises or else it would be stale and boring. Don’t hold yourself back. Remember when you were a kid and couldn’t wait to “get big” so you could go whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. Then you grew up and you started following a script that you didn’t even write. There is no one way to go about being a responsible adult. I used to think that I was going to get my education, have a 20-30 year career, fall in love sometime in between my career, get married, travel a few good places, retire and die because that’s what we’re taught success is in a nut shell. Moving to California and living life outside the box the past 3 years has shown me that I don’t want a cookie cutter All American Dream. I want and I push myself towards MY dream life and nobody else’s version of it. It feels amazing knowing that I’m doing this my way.
When it’s over you’ll want us to remember you were here but what else about you do you want us to remember about you?