I Survived A Year in LA
I honestly can't believe I am writing this on the eve of my 1 year anniversary in LA. It has been quite a trip, (literally 3,000 miles and figuratively in more ways than one). I still vividly remember June 28th 2016. From leaving my mom at the airport to crying and laying in a pool of my tears the whole flight to landing in the land of palm trees. I couldn't have fathomed how much my life would change. All I could think about is what wouldn't be the same anymore, the Friends, the Job, the Sunday brunches, everything that made life familiar and comfortable I was leaving behind for a dream I wasn't too confident in while on that flight.
I was scared shitless, but it was too late to turn back now. The lease was up, I washed my hands clean of the job that sucked the soul out of me and if I changed my mind I would be a 25 yr old crashing with my mom, which was like plan Z for me. SO, i went to the bathroom gave myself a pep talk and said "Nicole get it together. This is your reality. This is what you wanted." and left still feeling crappy but with a knowing I would have to make it work.
I landed in LA and the nerves washed away. I was curious now and excited to explore this new city. I asked the Uber driver a million questions and settled in with family who I had living here! Luckily, I had a cousin who moved a year before I did and was able to stay with him and his girlfriends family a few days before finding a place.
I found my dream place which eventually turned into a nightmare. Quickly my ideal LA life was falling apart and it continued to fall apart for months. The guy I had fallen for, grew distant and our original plan to move together and friendship fell apart. The room I was renting was way out of my means and despite its beautiful Spanish style layout, was a broken home. The couple I lived with fought often and I didn't realize how hard it would be to adjust living with roommates after my previous peaceful year in my own studio. On top of that, finding a freelance writing job wasn't as easy as I thought, opportunities I was promised didn't follow through and the blog I moved to work on I lost inspiration for. (This explains why my posts have been far and few between.) The job opportunities I was presented asked me to compromise my morals and that's when I realized I was really in Hollyweird.
I felt like God was mocking me, slowly deconstructing my life. I had moments I regretted moving. The first six months in another place is extremely hard but it completely shook my foundation moving to LA.
My move was full of disappointments and heartbreak and struggle. I lost friends back home who never bothered to reach out and friends I realized I didn't have much in common with outside of the fact we lived in the same city, I had to rely on people I barely knew for help which made me almost too vulnerable at times. I had to see people i loved for who they were because now I didn't have distance as a cloak and it was all very difficult to deal with. When moving I expected to be broke, I expected to be homesick but funny enough that was the least of my worries. It was the emotional side I hadn't paid much attention to and life was out to force me to.
Moving to LA taught me:
Humility- I ended up having to crash on a mutual friend's couch after realizing I wouldn't be able to survive living in the house with roommates. I had to for the first time rely on someone else outside of my parent to provide shelter. At 25, I was embarrassed but learned a huge lesson, I don't ever want to be in that position again and if I ever am able to help someone else out in that regard I would with no strings attached.
Self-love- IF you asked me a year ago today if I loved myself the answer would be yes, and although that wouldn't have been necessarily wrong, it definitely needed some work. Although I moved because I wanted to and I had a dream, it didn't change the fact that I envisioned a big part of my life in LA with the guy I loved that didn't reciprocate the same feelings. It destroyed me and I'm still healing from it but I am proud to say I allowed myself to be strong enough to be hurt and I am thankful that I am able to learn a lesson on true happiness. LA taught me true happiness is being joyful no matter the outcome.
Community- I was already on a spiritual path upon moving to LA but once arriving here it gave me every reason to cling harder. I found One Church LA and had the most awe-inspiring moments. I reconnected with old friends from college, I met new friends in Ubers and found a whole new passion, Acting. I am able to appreciate my friends from NYC but also have friends here who understand the day to day struggle of chasing a dream in LA.
Saying No- I have the hardest time saying no, but I quickly had to learn if I say Yes to everyone in LA i would not be walking in my purpose. Honoring yourself is important and knowing you can't do it all, especially what doesn't serve your greatest good can save you from a world of headache. Being steadfast in your beliefs whatever they may be will only bring you closer to what you want in life never further.
Balance- I often say I wish I could be a robot, because I can be really hard on myself but moving has taught me balance. Things take time and while I'm working out my career, I need to take time to sit back and relish in the beauty of the process. Of course, routine and consistency are important and pay off but humanity is an ingredient to success especially as a writer/actress.
This journey has brought me so much gratitude. A year later, I have my own place, my first car, I am a part of the Screen Actors Guild, I mediate daily, have beautiful friends and family and a dream to continue to thrive.
I also am back to writing on the very blog I lost interest in after I moved. I plan to write more often but not in an attempt to be a blogger and amass a huge following, it's probably the main reason I lost interest but I just want to get back to the basics and share my story as well as hear yours!
What was your first big move like? Comment below with your story<3