I always envisioned myself living in Los Angeles, but it always felt like a pipe dream. For me, LA was this magical place that I built up in my head; it was filled with all the amazing, iconic places I saw on TV, year-round sun-filled days, trendy shops and restaurants, the best style, fast-paced entertainment juxtaposed against a relaxed, easy-going vibe, and most of all, opportunity. Usually when we build up places or ideas in our head, we are sorely disappointed.
This wasn’t the case for me and Los Angeles.
Amazingly enough, LA is basically everything I thought it would be. Sure, it’s not glitz and glam at ALL times, but I have seen some pretty spectacular things that feel surreal. Everyday I stop where I’m standing and think “I can’t believe I’m here”. All these places that I dreamed about are right down the street from my apartment – literally outside my front door – and that blows my mind. I am constantly having those “pinch me” moments, whether it’s during my everyday commute through Beverly Hills, where I pass by Rodeo Drive and celebrity homes, looking down the street and seeing the Hollywood sign off in the distance, shopping next to Kendall Jenner at Melrose Trading Post (yup, that happened), or taking in the skyline from Runyon. Besides being around all those fun, somewhat superficial things, being right in front of them reminds me that I took action, made a change in my life, and really put myself out there to be in this position. I moved here after living in the Bay Area for most of my life besides college, and was ready for a change of pace. I was constantly thinking to myself “the time is now”, “you’re only young once”, and “just do it.” So, it a very un-me way (I usually sit on things for a while and analyze every possible angle of any given situation), I spontaneously enrolled at FIDM’s Los Angeles campus and moved to Hollywood. The fact that I even can say that sentence is still crazy to me. Hollywood always seemed like a fictional place in my head and now I live right in the heart of it. I’m really proud of myself for taking the plunge, throwing myself into a foreign situation, and allowing myself to just take it all in. It has been quite the experience and has really made me grow as a person, as cliche as that sounds. I never want to take that feeling for granted.
It’s a nice feeling to know that you are right where you are meant to be. At this time in my life, I feel as though that is true. Of course there are days when i really miss my family, my hometown, and they way of life I was previously used to. There’s day where I felt very alone or like a little fish in a big pond. However, it’s comforting to know that I’m not stuck; I don’t have to stay in the same place forever. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, immerse myself in the cultures of a new place, and know that I can still have my roots somewhere else. At the end of the day, my LA adventures will be a pocket of time that I will always hold close to my heart; they taught me about independence, accepting people that are different than me, branching out of my bubble, and adapting to a new environment. These were, and still are, such valuable lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Year One in LA proved to be just as magical as I wanted it to be, and for that I am grateful. I can’t wait to see what Year Two and beyond has in store!