Grateful Just Where I Am

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, eating dinner and staring past my balcony at the dreamy sunset, the ocean glowing almost purple. The Santa Monica pier in the distance, the Ferris wheel lit up in neon. A chill AF playlist is on in the background, and some dreamy singer-songwriter is strumming his guitar.

At this exact second, I feel like I’m in some cheesy movie or show about the girl who moves to LA after her life falls apart.

When I meet someone new here, and they ask me why I moved here, I tell them that the short answer is that I’ve had a tough few years and LA was my happy place, so I moved to my happy place.

I’m three months in, and the novelty is just starting to wear off a little. I live here now. I go to the beach everyday, because that’s my new normal. It’s as normal to me as getting on the subway was in NYC. (Hi, upgrade.) I look out and see both mountains and ocean. But I also go grocery shopping, pay through the nose for gas, sit in traffic and run errands.

And, as my therapist keeps reminding me, wherever you go, there you are. I haven’t been immune to feeling intense depression or anxiety since I moved here. I’ve still had some dark thoughts, though they’re more fleeting than they used to be. For about two weeks, I was having panic attacks nearly every day, to the point I was getting afraid to leave my apartment.

The difference? I have more space to relax (both literally and figuratively). When I walk down my street, it’s uncommon to see more than two or three people in a block, rather than the crush of people just crossing the sidewalk in NYC. I have a car (that I am obsessed with) where I can belt out 90s music to my heart’s content. (So, I am listening to the same music I was the last time I drove regularly, really.)

Some days, it feels like I’m on vacation. Some days it feels like I’ve lived here forever. I’ve had a few times in the past week or so where I’ve run into a friend, and that makes me feel like a part of this fabric, rather than a thread sitting awkwardly on top of it.

This may be incredibly naive, but I underestimated what a big change this would be. I’m so glad I made this change, though. Who knows where this will take me, but right now I am grateful to be just where I am.

11 comments on “Grateful Just Where I Am

  1. Bonnie

    Love this! Long time follower of your blog and I walked by you this am on the pier.. my husband told me to say “hi” but I didn’t want to be creepy!! We are here visiting some colleges for my son- sooo beautiful here!!

      1. Bonnie

        He’s a musician/drummer so looking at music programs. We checked out Musicians Institute and USC..We all loved USC! We are from the east coast so a lot to think about!

  2. Theodora

    I don’t like how you suddenly slam NYC like those that live there are now suddenly the losers. We all can’t relocate to LA without a salary/full time job, which i don’t think you’ve steadily had for many years. Entitlement is nice. Enjoy it.

    1. Valerie

      Hi “Theodora,” you seem to be following this blog very closely to lack reading comprehension. I didn’t read anything negative about New York in this post (crowded sidewalks are a fact, not opinion), she simply said she’s happier in LA. I’m sorry you take issue with someone else seeking happiness.

  3. Betsy

    This was so lovely to read! I’m moving to San Diego from CT in 3 months (I really can’t believe it’s getting that close…) and I’m starting to internally freak out. Any advice? How do people make friends in their 30s? I’m moving by myself, but will be staying with my brother and his gf to start, so I won’t be totally alone, but I don’t want to rely on them for all social plans, and of course want to allow them their space. Like you, I know this is the right move for me at the right time, but it’s still so scary. I keep thinking, what kind of weirdo person leaves all of their friends and family behind? But then I read your blog and I’m like, I can do this because she’s doing it. I appreciate how open you’ve been about the transition and your struggles. It’s helpful and motivating.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      Omg, thank you so much for this comment <3 Something my therapist said to me that has been really helpful to remember is, when I was freaking out, I kept thinking what if I'm still depressed/what if it sucks? She said to me "or what if it's amazing, and I think that's more likely." That said, it absolutely has been tough and honestly tougher than I realized but I'm still glad I did it.

      As for making friends in your 30s...join stuff! I haven't been as proactive about this as I'd like to be, so do what I say, not what I do 😉


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