Why Move to Los Angeles?

You’re moving your life away from family and friends.

You’re leaving the house you grew up in, the street where the school bus picked you up. Love or hate where you’re from, at the very least, you know it. And by leaving, you sacrifice your knowledge of the terrain, the edge of familiarity – so you better know why you’re doing it.

Don’t underestimate what you’re giving up.

You’re leaving your doctors, your dentists, your favorite orthodontist. The relationships with your mailman, the grocer, the barista who knows how you like your coffee. You know where to go for sushi, shrimp scampi, and after 10 p.m. drink specials. You’ll uproot nearly two decades worth of life.

So, why do it?

The Family. Surprisingly chipper about my departure.

If you’re still living with your parents, you take many aspects of your life for granted. To think otherwise is naïve or foolish. If you’re paying rent, your parents (hopefully) aren’t gouging you. You don’t pay utilities, electric, cable. Someone buys groceries, someone cooks, even if it’s only on occasion.  There are leftovers, and a microwave to heat them up.

Pots and pans are available for your use. A spice cabinet too. You didn’t buy that oil, the salt, pepper, the paprika, the cornstarch, the chicken stock – they were already there. Along with the countless oddly shaped mugs, your favorite Giants glass, the Corelle dishes.

You didn’t buy any of it. But you’ll have to.

I hope you know why.

Think about the question. Better yet, find and contact people who have done it, and ask them about the transition. It’s easy to romanticize about your beautifully independent life, or LA dreaming with your car windows rolled down.

Answering the uncomfortable questions, that is hard.

  1. Why do you want to move to Los Angeles?
  2. What do you want to do?
  3. What is success after your first month?
  4. What is success after your first year?

However, don’t spend much time thinking past year one.

There’s no point. You’re going to find and lose so many interests and meet so many people in your first year, thinking any further is a wasted exercise. Creating a long-term plan (at this stage) will just limit you from seizing the opportunities that come up. You’re better off being flexible, willing to try anything.

Good questions:

  1. What kind of people do you want to surround yourself with? 
  2. What are you going to use this time in a new location to accomplish? 
  3. What are you not going to do? 
  4. Finally… what is failure?

Quitting is okay. Failure is okay. It’s better to give up something completely so that you can make a full commitment to the next chapter in your life.

What’s truly awful is dragging your feet through an experience, and getting stuck somewhere with only half your heart invested.

Imagining failure is a step most of us glaze over, perhaps because it feels counter-productive or because it’s uncomfortable.

But if you take the time to imagine the worst case scenario, you’ll often realize that:

  1. It’s not that bad after all and
  2. It doesn’t take that much work to reverse your fortune, and return you to where you were before.

So take the time to do it. Examine these questions before proceeding with your planning. If they scare you, good.

 “If you’re not scared, you’re doing something wrong.”
– David Horvath

Looking for gas. We find porn.

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Photo Credit: Georgi Momchilov

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