There’s a difference between showing up for your life and forcing it. Nothing truly has meaning when it’s forced. Whether it’s a job, a lover, or a living situation – you can’t force it. I don’t think it’s terrible to leave jobs, people, and cities.
Staying where you don’t belong may be comfortable, but the inevitable complacency attached to the comfort is never worth it. If you’re not a little scared about the uncertainty of what’s coming up next, you might be doing things wrong.
I’ve been asked to explain why I uprooted my life several times. It’s a fair question in a city that can be self-absorbed, but I didn’t come to LA to get famous – I like the beaches.
I ended my three-year relationship and cried my eyes out in confusion after. What would happen next? No matter how good or bad things were with that guy, I always felt that I was supposed to be doing something else – sort of like reverse déjà vu. Two years passed and I ended up moving to LA. I left my friends, who were the only family I had ever really had at that point.
The plan was that there was no plan. At first, everything was great. I had a high-paying job as a Fraud Analyst with a big bank. I got a puppy and the apartment that I wanted. I was driving my dream car all over LA thinking I had won. After being homeless, fatherless, and aimless – I had finally made a home.
Within six months of being here, my dog died, and someone crashed my car. I began the New Year with a black eye and realized how alone I was. I stopped paying attention to my schoolwork and my GPA sunk like a fucking rock in a lake. I also began to gather how much I hated not only my job but also the entire industry. Can you switch careers after six years? I traveled all this way, and I was just as upset as I was when I left. This time I had no friends to distract me. I was alone with my sadness, and I wore that shit like a coat.
Was I running to something or running from something? Life back home was complete shit. I couldn’t go home because there honestly wasn’t one waiting. However, it felt like I couldn’t stay in Los Angeles either. So I dug my feet into the ground like the little stubborn-shit that I am, and I stayed anyway. I would not return to Texas with my tail in between my legs. I cried until I figured out what I was doing.
Long story short, I ended up falling in love with the coolest person I’ve ever met, and he lived down the street. If I ‘d run back home, that wouldn’t have happened. I got a new puppy, named Carrot. I went back to school for the second time and now have a 3.0. I got the balls to quit the banking industry six months ago. I’m a full-time writer now, and I’m not starving to death. I work at a marketing agency and magazine filled with creative people my age. I finally made some friends. Things worked out. But I have been in Los Angeles for two years. It took years of getting out of bed when I didn’t want to. I drove myself to work and gave myself pep talks like, “Someone will pay you to write.” I worked for free.
I’ve had a million freak-out moments in the crevices of my success. I put myself out there in this relationship, even though I was scared it would screw my life up. I quit my job when I was unsure that I would find another. I clocked in for my life day in and day out for the last two years and slowly saw results.
Good things happen when you’re out of places to run, just not all at once.