From the time I was a little girl, I had my heart set on living in New York City one day. Something about how the city was so romanticized in every movie and TV show I watched made me want to see what all the hype was about. So the day after I graduated college, I packed up my things and moved to The Big Apple. I lived there for two magical years, and though I still love the city (and may move back someday), moving to Los Angeles from NYC was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my 20s.
To be honest, before college, I never pictured myself moving to the West Coast. I'm from Florida, went to college in Boston, and planned on working in the music industry, so New York seemed like the most logical place for me to move post-grad. But after befriending so many amazing people while I was in school who had goals of moving to L.A., I realized there are many other options to explore other than the pathway I originally mapped out for myself.
So even though I always pictured myself living in NYC, making myself open to possibilities — and a new city to call home — really has changed my life for the better.
The biggest lesson I've learned since graduating college is that I need to be flexible. I had huge plans for myself — working at a record label or managing an artist — which didn't pan out. With that realization came the need to expand my horizons. I looked for work outside of my original field, and that lead me to working in editorial.
While NYC is certainly the center of the media and editorial industries, I felt that as a freelancer, I wanted to try my luck on the West Coast. I took a leap and moved. Fortunately, after three months I realized it was a great decision and my freelance career began to really take off.
In addition to working in a new field I enjoyed, moving to a new city was a great opportunity to develop personally — and that's exactly what I've done in L.A. Not only have I reconnected and strengthened friendships here, but I've also made connections with new people around the city. Events, fitness classes, getting work done in a local café, and anything in between provide awesome opportunities to meet new people.
Because I spend so much time driving now, I've also found creative (and safe) ways to be productive while in the car. I listen to podcasts on the reg and often have Siri read off my to-do lists when I'm on my way to a meeting. It's definitely different than answering emails or playing games on my phone on the subway, but I love getting a little bit of time (or a lot, depending on traffic) to myself to gather my thoughts and recalibrate before stepping out of my car into the "real world."
Another fun part about calling my new city "home" has been the journey of finding my "go-to spots." Over the past year, I've established my coffee spot (Alfred Tea Room), my work spot (Groundwork Coffee, North Hollywood), my happy hour spot (Mirabelle Wine Bar), my nail place (Laque Nail Bar), my massage place (Squeeze), and even my favorite poke place.
Though I felt apprehensive about moving all the way across the country out of fear it would not feel like home, finding amazing places where I'm so comfortable has made me feel like I've become a local. Now I can say I have my favorite spots on the East and West Coasts.
NYC will always have a special place in my heart, and I may even move back one day. But moving to a new city was so much more than just moving my belongings. It was taking a leap of faith and betting on myself. It was me believing I could think outside the box with my career without feeling obligated to follow my original plan. I moved on a whim, and it actually worked out just great.
Of course, packing up your things and moving across the country might not be for everyone. But switching up your original game plan can sometimes be exactly what you need — at least that was the case for me. I'm the happiest and most successful I have ever been in L.A.