Smog and traffic greeted me as I drove into Los Angeles after a straight twenty-four hour drive with my father from Texas. I didn’t focus too much on those aspects because that was inconsequential to everything else. The signs, the buildings, the sheer number of people in the city, the possibilities. It was my first arrival in California and Los Angeles and I was blinded by the light (forgive the classic rock reference).
How it All Started…
My move to LA was not easy by far. I was offered a job as a closed captions editor for TV and film over the phone thanks to an application I had submitted through LinkedIn. I consider myself lucky because most people have difficulty finding a job while living in Los Angeles, much less being offered a job hundreds of miles away in Oklahoma, my former home.
The company that hired me needed me in LA in two weeks. As insane as that request was, I was more than happy to oblige and by the end of June 2014, I had arrived to the City of Angels but with nowhere to live.
The Apartment Hunt
Moving on such a short notice I was unable to find an apartment before I moved to LA.
I spent a few weeks with my cousin during my apartment search and thanks to Craigslist and my powers of sifting through unusual posts (“You can only use the kitchen between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.”) I finally found two candidates for the position of “roommate” who rated high for levels of normalcy. The trick was finding rental posts that had lots of pictures and shared an abundant of rental and personal information.
I met up with both candidates and looked over the properties. I finally settled on an apartment that was only twenty minutes from work. More importantly, I found a roommate that I quickly became friends with which I had hoped for all along.
Making Friends in LA
After moving into my apartment and settling into the routine of training at my new job—I was ready to get out and explore LA.
But first I needed to find friends that were like me—independent, ambitious, single. In my previous moves to Louisiana and Oklahoma it had taken me six months each time to make friends, an experience I did not relish repeating.
This led me to do an embarrassing yet logical thing that anyone of my generation might do: I Googled “how to make friends.” Meetup was eventually my saving grace thanks to my ridiculous Google search. After a few Meetup events I am happy to say that I made friends very quickly with girls who were my age, non-natives of LA, and wanted to experience the city as I wished.
Since then, I have had so many great experiences, so many nights out at dive bars and clubs, hiking expeditions, a museum tour, a concert, movie nights, and fun dinners.
What I’ve Learned So Far
It’s only been three months but I’ve learned so much about myself and life since moving to LA. I’ve learned that living successfully in Los Angeles depends on my attitude and enjoying small and large parts of life and being thankful for this opportunity.
I’ve learned that my family loves me and are my biggest supporters even though they are miles away in Texas. However, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that I wouldn’t benefit from LA if I wasn’t showing LA the best parts of me which included the nerdy dreamer I was in Texas, the international explorer and identity-struggling girl I was in Louisiana, and the strong and independent woman that I discovered within myself in Oklahoma.
I have finally found a place of adventure and opportunity. I don’t feel out of place as I had felt for so long. This city celebrates me for all my weirdness and quirks and welcomes me with open arms to discover who I am and what I want to do.
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