Saturday marked my first official month in Los Angeles, surviving and thriving is the goal. The afternoon was spent fighting through downtown traffic with Emma and Meg in the garment district, only to give up and move on before getting the opportunity to see the museum of cat portraits. Don’t be too bummed, the next event was a chocolate truffle tasting and that was worth everything. After consuming a fair amount, and engaging in some rad conversation, we decided it was time to go before the caffeine high wore off.
Emma dropped me off in front of the house and I strolled on over to the grocery store to pick up supplies for the yummy brunch I planned to make the next morning. I decided to call my parents for the sheer fact that I missed them. I could hear their heavy hearts in the tone of their voices as they discussed the festivities for Easter, my first little holiday away from home. I did my best to keep the conversation up beat, full of laughter and love before saying my farewell.
My friend swooped me up early from the store and we headed over to his apartment to get ready for the evening. He powered through a nap while I listened to slow jams and put myself together. I woke him up once I finished and he proceeded to groggily get out of bed and get ready. We got hyped, hopped into the uber and headed downtown. Since we arrived early, we had to wait a little before the bar opened, but with a beautiful night, I did not mind. We paid the entrance free, and made our way to the rooftop. I was beyond stoked to see how the city looked from up high, and was in complete awe at first glance. We strolled over to the bar, grabbed our drinks and toasted to our new jobs. The night was simple, just enjoying one another’s company and the view of course
Upon completion of my second drink, I gazed out at the night sky lit up by the city and then it hit me like a ton of bricks that THIS is my city now. Don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have been given because it is truly a blessing, but that fact did not stop my heart from sinking in my chest or the smile from leaving my face. The vacation high that I had been so graciously riding since the day I left washed away, and I could not figure out how to cope. I kept quiet for a while as my friend asked me what was wrong, but I couldn’t answer for the fear of bursting out in tears. I sat quietly for a moment longer before getting up and grabbing another drink from the bar, trying to adapt the whole mind over matter mentality. I would not let my own shit ruin the celebration I had been counting down to. I pulled myself together, only to be greeted by my friend who was ready to call it a night. A little caught off guard, I just stared at him, trying to figure out what was going on in his head only to be barked at. I turned away, just sipping my drink slowly before eventually chugging it and walking to the elevator. I did not say a single word until he approached me once more, my response was brief.
We sat in silence on the way home; the only noise was the constant ticking as he texted on his phone. I was frozen, I did not know how to form words, nor did I want to. All I could focus on was the rush of emotions that appeared out of nowhere, and instead of discussing them, I simply wanted to suppress them. I hobbled my way out of the uber, ripped my shoes off once I hit the door and plopped on his bed. My ears were ringing so fiercely I could barely hear my own thoughts. I thought about apologizing for my behavior, but instead asked what happened. He did not want to discuss it; he merely wanted me to go home. I asked him politely to give me a few minutes until the ringing in my ears seized and the nausea subsided. He obliged. I laid there a few more moments before sitting up, trying to form sentences only to have my tears beat me to it. I had a complete and utter breakdown, just as drunk and disgusting as they come. Then all of sudden, the words just spewed out of my mouth and I wished they hadn’t. He called me an uber, and I crawled in, still profusely crying and just ready for the night to end.
When we reached my street, I apologized to the uber driver and hobbled up the steps to my house. I changed into pajamas before facetiming a friend from home, only to have him watch me ugly cry and laugh at the same damn time. We made light of the situation the best that we could, and when I felt comfortable, I began to vent. For starters, moving three thousand miles away from the only home I have even known is hard, it is so much harder than my little brain could have comprehended. I am no longer within driving distance from my parents, my homies and basically the comfort zone of familiarity I have always known. In Los Angeles I am lonely, and it is a new form of loneliness, one that cannot be easily defined to individuals who have yet to feel it. To avoid the feeling, I began to cling to the two friends I had from Atlanta that had also relocated to southern California. I figured if anyone would understand, it would be them. Plus, I trusted both to accept my raw emotions as I began adapting to my new city. That’s another thing people do not tell you, and I don’t know if it is because it is easier not to talk about or every experience is different, but your emotions are a little out of whack in the beginning. (fun fact: I am not big on venting my emotions, because I have always been told I am little too sensitive, but I chalk that up to my inner writer. I feel things intensely, and while it has its downfalls, it is also incredibly beautiful.)
Outside of the intense loneliness I sometimes feel, and the array of emotions, everything is fairly self-explanatory. You have to step out of your comfort zone immensely when you move to a new city, whether it is going to meet ups, general assemblies, or simply hanging out in a coffee shop or a bar. You have to force yourself to do things you would not normally do to adapt to a city that is entirely new, and it is hard. I can tell you from first-hand experience, but I can also tell you that it is worth it. I have met a few rad people thus far, and I hope a friendship blooms with each individual. I have learned a lot about business through general assembly, and found the perfect platform to network for my new job. I am just constantly saying yes to new experiences, because why the hell not?
The biggest lesson I can give from my first month is do NOT suppress your feelings, because no one expects you to have your shit together straight out the gate. Moving to a new city, regardless of where it is, is incredibly brave and you should be proud of yourself. It takes a lot of balls to pack up your belongings, say good bye to your home and start over. Plus, your feelings are valid, no matter how insane you may feel at the time. If you prefer to write it out, go for a run, or whatever your method to the madness is, do it. Or simply let someone in, vent your feelings, your frustrations and whatever your little heart is holding in. The people, who truly love you, will not hold it against you. Your homies and your family are rooting for your success and your happiness, always always remember that. Finally, you are a bad ass, so keep on keeping on!