I moved to Los Angeles in January of 2012 from a small northern town in Wisconsin. It was during the coldest part of winter, the kind of cold that makes your nose hairs freeze when you breathe in (half kidding). I lived in Wisconsin most my life and like any normal 20-year-old, I wanted more. I was in search of something new, and if Iʼm being honest in search of finding myself and figuring out who I was outside of my small country town. So, I packed up and headed to the city of angels, eager to see what life awaited me.
After what seemed like the longest flight of my life (only 4hrs) I finally stepped foot on LA soil. I was breathing in the same smoggy air that many of my idols were breathing in, I was here, finally. I had this overwhelming calmness in me. It had felt as though I was returning home from a very long and cold vacation, but I knew this was exactly what I needed and exactly where I wanted to be.
I had gone from having the same few food chain restaurants to pick from to having every kind of cultural cuisine at my disposal. From being one of very few black people in my area to being surrounded by so many different people from all different parts of the world and walks of life. I was able to expand my taste palette when it came to food, I was able to switch up my personal style and try new things without feeling like I looked out of place, because I wasnʼt dressed like everyone else. Most importantly though I felt like I had finally had a voice and wasnʼt scared to use it.
I could openly have discussions about topics that I knew no one else could understand back home. I felt better understood by a massive group of strangers than I did by anyone else. I became the best version of myself by simply feeling free enough to figure out who I was and what I wanted and LA gave me that.
Itʼs been 7 years now that Iʼve been living in LA, and I wouldnʼt change a thing. Iʼve grown into an incredible woman and continue to keep growing and learning. Of course there have been hard times and also times where I have doubted myself and my choices, but every choice and every mistake I have made here has made me into the person I am today.
So my advice to anyone wanting to move out here, but are on the fence about it, like Nike says, JUST DO IT. You never know what will happen or what can happen. As George Adair once said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other end of fear.” So be fearless, take a chance on yourself and your dreams, because one decision could lead you to exactly what you didnʼt know you needed.