I didn’t realize how bold it actually was to pack everything up and leave the comfort of my hometown, family, friends and childhood home. That is the beautiful thing about being a young dreamer. The idea of diving is frightening, but the jump and sense of self-fulfillment are incomparable. I jumped, I thrived, I fell, I got up and I wouldn’t change a single thing.
I knew that this would be the biggest challenge I had ever faced in the 25 years of my young life. It was the journey and challenge that excited me most. I was a mid-twenties girl in the chaos of self-identity and desperate for the sense of self-approval…but it was not my venturing out that allowed me to achieve this sense of approval… It was my ability to withstand the hardships I faced during my adventure in LALA Land.
I arrived in Los Angeles with some savings, excitement, and a lot of determination. Shun the non-believers! The law of attraction is real! I set two major goals for myself. I envisioned what it would be like way before I even arrived, not purposely… I was just that excited. Within a year I had achieved my goals. In six months I landed my first “legit” job in marketing and six months later I got the keys to my own place. My first year in LaLa Land felt like a walk in the park, but life is everything but that. With this came a break-up, financial stress, and serious loneliness.
I’ve always been (still am) an over-thinking ball of emotions and a lot of my time was spent alone. These two things combined strengthened me and pushed me to grow as an individual and although I wouldn’t change a single thing about my solo adventure, there are things I would recommend to others to do differently. During my 3 and a half years in California I received messages here and there from individuals in which some admired my courage, other’s who questioned my reasoning and most of who desired to move out of state and start an adventure of their own, but were too afraid to do so for one reason or another.
I’m dedicating this post to all the dreamers out there who fear change. I want to share with you my experience, why you should take the leap, the benefits, and tips on how to make your venturing out a little less intimidating.
It’s pretty simple. Why not? Ok, maybe not that simple, but I do tell this to anyone who has ever shown any interest in exploring their opportunities. Take it! If you are young with no children to depend on you… GO FOR IT! You owe it to yourself to do everything your heart desires. Even if your adventure is just a 3-month summer getaway in a whole new city with a summer job and roommate. DO IT!
Test your limits. This is one of the biggest benefits. You’ll be surprised to discover how much you are capable of when your only option is to be capable. Yes, this sounds terrifying, but push yourself. What you once thought was impossible suddenly becomes doable. You’ll find yourself looking back at all the things that you once thought were inaccessible. Believe me, the growth, it’s an amazing feeling!
Value. In my personal experience, there were moments when I found myself reflecting on things I took for granted. From my home, people and even the simpler things like where I would normally go for an oil change or to tidy up my eyebrows. There will come a point in time when you will realize the worth of even the smallest things and though most of these things and people are irreplaceable, when I did finally find a replacement to some there was a serious newfound appreciation.
Different city, different people. Let me elaborate on this one a bit because this was specifically important to me. Throughout my life, I’ve always found myself misjudged whether it was personally, socially, etc… There were times things would get to me about what so and so said without really knowing who I was at all. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point in time, but for me, this happened quite frequently. When I made my big move, not only was it my opportunity to “change” but to be around people who knew absolutely nothing about me. It became almost like a social experiment for me. Surrounding myself with a completely new crowd made me realize 3 very important things:
- There was absolutely nothing wrong with me other than me surrounding myself with the wrong people, obviously. There are amazing people out there focused on all the right things and those are who you should be vibing with.
- Sometimes the people who know the least about you, turn out to be better people than those you’ve known for even more than a decade. Time does not define a true friend.
- I made friendships with individuals ten plus years older than myself. With that, I learned the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are successful, experienced and can offer you wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.
Aside from these things I also realized how blessed my life actually is. When you connect with people who grew up very differently, it truly is an eye-opener. I met people who have had very tough lives and because of this, I became more appreciative of mine.
Loneliness. There is something liberating and empowering about the ability to be alone. This part of my experience definitely tested my strength. It was easily one of the hardest parts. Eventually, there came a point in time when I realized that we truly are our own backbone. Because of this, I also became very selective of who and what deserved my time. I learned to be less giving of myself and I shifted my focus strictly on things that offered growth.
Free-Spirited. At that point in my life, I realized that most of my decisions had one thing in common. They were usually made to please others or to receive some sort of invisible stamp of approval. Moving out of state was my decision and I was proud that it consisted of bravery and self-assurance… And although the struggle was real, the sense of self-reliance and fulfillment I gained will stay with me forever. There is a certain change in me…I no longer question my ability or fear whether I am capable of accomplishing something or not. It kind of just happens. I get things done. No questions asked.
- Visit the city prior to making the big move.
- Save, save, save! You can never have enough savings.
- I personally didn’t have a roommate, but I realize that living in a city such as Los Angeles it would have been much easier on me financially had I done so. I do recommend this for someone who’s fear is whether they can afford it or not.
- Apply for jobs 1 to 2 even 3 months before or preferably have a job upon arrival.
- Study/Research areas before moving. As a female, I think it’s very important to study the safety of your location, crime rate, etc. Visit the area, familiarize yourself.
- When finding a place to live, take your time. I used apps such as “RadPad” and “HotPads”. I was on there daily and really researching thoroughly where I could find the best deal and the best area for my budget.
- Download local apps. A new city is a big change, check online and customer reviews to find where you’ll be getting the best deals and services.
- Have a plan! Don’t just arrive. Jot down your major goals and prepare yourself to conquer the city!
- Give your self time to acclimate before your anxiety, confusion and regret kicks in. I cried for the first 3 weeks. The change was big, but the new opportunities and adventures were so welcoming.
- And the most important tip is to LIVE IT UP! Make the best of every situation, smile through it all and just really enjoy it! The simple fact that you made the jump is something to be very proud of. Not everyone has the guts to!!!