To say my first two months in LA have been interesting would be a drastic understatement.
I came out here with nothing but a dream, faith, and a few bucks in the bank. I had never visited and had zero connections. I just knew that it was time for me to start doing what made me feel most alive, even if that meant I would have to struggle along the way.
Week 1—I was involved in my first ever car accident. The other driver didn’t speak English and neither one of us knew where we were when trying to report the accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt and I now know how to handle similar situations.
Week 2—I volunteered at the Downtown Film Festival LA and learned the true meaning of “getting your hands dirty”. It was a great experience in that I was able to get a behind-the-scenes perspective of the process, and made some cool friends along the way.
Week 3—A job offer resulted from me searching for a parking space at 2AM. Albeit temporary, it was a great learning experience.
Weeks 4 & 5—I received a parking ticket every other day totaling to about $400 in addition to having my car towed for the first time. If you get your car towed, in addition to the $93 citation, you are issued a $45 storage fee for each day your car sits on the lot, on top of the base $300 impound fee. Now, when people say, “Read the signs,” I read the signs…
Weeks 6— until now consisted of various enlightening encounters with intelligent homeless people, networking events where people would try to convince me not to be myself when meeting new people (no thanks), and employment opportunities that are stretching me daily.
What I’ve Learned So Far…
Aside from having thick skin, know yourself. Not everyone is going to understand the uniqueness of who you are, and that’s
their loss fine. If you’re certain of who you are, there’s nothing anyone can say or do that can make you feel less than—and you will be tested. Look at it as a character-building opportunity. Stop making excuses! How will you know unless you try? I refuse to be in my latter years saying, “What if…” I’m pursuing my passion now and will view any outcome as a learning experience.
Moving out here with no connections forced me out of my comfort zone—to the utmost extent. There were times when I didn’t know how I would make rent or put food in the fridge. These past two months have been some of the most humbling I’ve yet experienced, and I’ve learned more about myself and life than I have in the past decade. You really discover who’s there for you when times get tough. I knew I had a support system before I left Connecticut, but I didn’t realize how valuable it was, and, for that, I’m blessed and grateful.
So, three flights, one tow, two car accidents, and 10 parking tickets later, I’m still here and don’t plan on turning back!
Moral of the story: never lose sight of the prize—why you came here in the first place. With the big picture in sight, all of the petty things seem to lose their significance. Be consistently persistent, and you’ll be left with no choice but to move forward in your pursuits.