I’m sitting in the middle of my apartment in LA with no internet plan, no car, no TV and nothing to do. I moved to the city about 3 weeks ago and feel like I’ve aged 5 years. After creeping endless women on Instagram who have started podcasts, blogs and small business I’m feeling 50% discouraged that I’ll never be them and 50% inspired to be them. Which leads me to pick up my laptop and just write, and write and write.
My story isn’t anything special – maybe in 3 years from now I’ll read this blog post and laugh at how I think I’m interesting enough to even write a blog post. Or I might look back on this and say “shit, imagine if I decided to take an uber to the mall instead?”. I grew up in Toronto, ON which I never realized until I left, how incredible the city is. It’s friendly, eventful, safe and a melting pot of cultures. I would like to think I was pretty successful for a 23 year old back home. I was working as an Associate Producer for one of the biggest Canadian Television Networks, I loved my job and the people I was working with. If I would have told myself as a child that was were I was going to be in 23 I would have cried out of happiness. I was living in a beautifully hipster apartment with my boyfriend of 3 years, I had a car, no financial debt and successfully attending weekly yoga classes.
I have always wanted to move to LA ever since I could remember. I lived up in Santa Clarita for my senior year of high school while my mom was temporarily working here and I caught the LA bug and told myself I would be back one day. 3 months ago I told my boyfriend that I wanted to move to LA, seriously. Being the supportive boyfriend he is, he started looking for a job out here. We both did; although he was more successful.
If you’re a Canadian who wants to move to the States, YOU KNOW how hard it is to get a Visa. Seriously, there’s a better chance of you falling in love with an American and getting married than having an American company sponsor you. We were about 2 weeks in looking for jobs when I got a call from Jake at work saying that he got called in for an interview in LA. “What do I say” he asks, “Yes! Say yes!” I scream.
We flew to LA from Buffalo on the May 24 weekend (because flights from Toronto were literally $1600). Rented a car, continuously asked ourselves wtf we were doing here and Jake ended up getting the job on the spot. Coincidentally enough I was able to find an American company who would hire/sponsor me on the same trip. We flew back to Toronto completely avoiding the reality that this could be real. Maybe it was the thrill of the chase? Because when we were faced with actually moving here we suddenly felt very different about the city.
A week after we’re ending the lease on our apartment, moving everything out and quitting our jobs. We had going away parties, goodbye cards and so many well-wishes. This was it, we were going to LA to be this power couple and we were going to figure it out (living off of his salary because well, I’m just freelance). Our plan is to have Jake get his Visa first, we move and then I get mine afterwards. Jake’s Visa doesn’t come through and now we are screwed.
Once we got back to Toronto we went through a roller coaster of emotions; what do we do? Do we try again? Do I go on my own? Do we stay here? After everything?! We finally say out loud what we were always thinking – I need to go on my own. This was an opportunity I wanted and I’m here and I couldn’t turn it down. A long distance relationship was something I’ve never done and something I didn’t want to do. Not being with Jake was enough to make me forget my dream; but you either know or will learn that a) absence really does make the heart grow fonder b) you will be more independent than you could ever imagine and c) someone who really loves you would never hold you back.
Now I’m 3 weeks in the city, just moved into my apartment last week and only had 1 gig (which freelancers know, is not enough to pay your rent). I’m terrified for what’s going to happen but I’m happy. In the end, I didn’t move because of work or because I got an opportunity. I made the opportunity myself – I wanted to move here so I did. I underestimate what I’ve accomplished in this short amount of time. I have major doubts about working freelance and being on my own but when I look at what the world has given me, I know it’s on my side. A friend of mine told me that our problems are only as bad as we make them. There are time where I’ll cry and think what am I doing here? I’m fucking broke, I gave up everything. But then I think that my 16 year old self and my 70 year old self will thank me for taking this risk. And the worst thing that can happen, is I pack up and move back to Toronto.