What I’m about to write probably comes as no surprise to you.
But it’s both a post that I never thought I’d be writing, and an announcement that feels like such a non-announcement that I’m not sure how to write it.
So here we go.
I’m moving to LA.
Well, at least for the fall. (A few people have told me I’ll miss fall in NYC, but I’m really not the type of person who gets excited about boots and leaves, so I think I’ll be OK.) I’m lucky that my current work situation of being self-employed allows for flexibility, so I can try it out like this.
I first contemplated moving to LA after going there to visit friends for my griefcation. I dismissed the notion quickly, though, knowing that would be a rash decision just a month after my mom died. But over the past year, LA has become an itch that I just can’t scratch. I visited there after my birthday to see if I still felt that way. Yup. And then, again, in June, to decide if this was something I really wanted to try. Also, yup.
Why LA? First of all, why not?
But in all seriousness: I’ve just felt a deep peace there that I haven’t felt in NYC in a long time, or maybe even ever, if I’m being serious with myself. I’ve started to feel so trapped in NYC—most of what makes me happy when I’m home in the NYC area is outside of the city, and also takes longer to get to. The energy of NYC that once fed me, now drains me.
In LA, I’m excited about living by the beach (act surprised that I’m going to live by the beach). I’m excited about being able to get to gorgeous places to go for a quick hike. I’m excited to not feel so trapped—that I can get in a car and drive up the coast…or just drive to Target.
Look, maybe I’m romanticizing LA. I know that when I’ve been there, I’ve been visiting. Living there won’t be all puppies and sunshine. (I know, traffic.)
So here’s my master plan:
- my BFF Meg and I are taking a cross-country Amtrak trip. This has actually been planned long before I made this decision for reals. She has to be out there for work mid-September and has some time in between, and said to me: “Hey, do you want to take a train across the country?” Always down for an adventure, I said yes almost immediately.
- We’ll get to LA on 9/14: and for the rest of September, I’m going to Airbnb. Going to try a few different neighborhoods: Venice and either Santa Monica or one of the South Bay beaches
- October + November: stay in one place, which I will pick when I’m out there.
- December: make big decisions.
I’m so excited. I’m so scared. But I’m trying really hard to focus on enjoying the process and letting it unfold as it may. I already want to know: how does this end? Do I stay or do I go? But if I’ve learned anything in the past few years, we don’t know how this story ends. Any of it. And the struggle lies in the search for control. So I’m going to attempt to give myself over to the process.
As my dear friend Leah says, even if I don’t stay out there, it will have been good for me to have a few months out there.
When I was in college, I actually dreamed of moving out there when I graduated, but at the time, the job market there for me was much smaller than DC or NYC, and I didn’t.
I’m single, and I’m working for myself. I have nothing holding me down right now—and if I didn’t try this, I would regret it.
Fear is telling me this past week or so that things are OK in NYC, I don’t need to move. And that’s actually the relief: I am moving because I want to, not because I so desperately feel like I need out of NYC, like I did feel in the past year. I have the most amazing friends who I will miss, but airplanes are a thing, and I think this will be an amazing thing for my independence as well.
OK! Logistics questions.
LA friends: please lay literally any recommendations on me. I’m also especially looking for workout class recommendations (especially yoga!), therapist/psychiatrist recommendations (I’m setting up consultations but am always happy for personal recommendations) and just your fave things to do in the city. Also, any apartment search recommendations. Oh! And surfing lesson recommendations.
Anyone who’s traveled long term/moved temporarily: what am I forgetting? I had a weird panic this morning about emptying my fridge, and I know I need to figure out a mail situation.
Anyone who’s traveled XC: we are stopping in a lot of national parks: Arches, Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon (south rim), Joshua Tree. We’re staying nights in: White Sulphur Springs, WV (Greenbrier); Maysville, KY; Denver and Grand Junction in CO; Moab, UT; Flagstaff, AZ; San Bernardino, CA. We’ll also be driving from Moab to Flagstaff—so happy for any recommendations in any of those places or in between Moab to Flagstaff!
Any recommendations for any of the above greatly appreciated! You can comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.