Moving to Los Angeles was a big deal for me.
It’s the reason I launched the travel blog I always wanted to create, it forced me to become a true go-getter, and it pushed me to explore life outside my comfort zone without having anyone to hold my hand through the process. 23 years spent living in the same county just wasn’t cutting it for me nor pushing me to flourish.
And if you’ve ever read a “Making LA Mine” post, you could tell how much I adored living in California. Despite round-the-clock traffic barricades and living expenses that weren’t the friendliest, the place was for me.
The bright sun and perfect days, the surreal landscape admired from the cliffs we hiked and ocean views from my office, the ability to take my camera out for a spin and get amazing snaps no matter where I found myself, lazy beach days, and constantly being inspired by the city’s variety and action made it one of the only US cities I could see myself in during my 20s. That ethereal feeling you get riding through Venice or down the PCH along the Pacific blasting west coast hip-hop, taking late night jacuzzi dips with the crew, and hanging poolside at places that resembled resorts in the dead middle of winter didn’t hurt, either.
So why would I leave this city so soon?
This explains it all (no Clarissa). I wrote it earlier this year during a slow day at work with the hopes of alleviating a slight emotional overload I was having. I made sense of why I was feeling such unrest in the most reasonable way I could:
Tip-tap-tip-tip-tap-tap. Keyboards clicking. Around me I hear cubicle dwellers ‘hard at work’. But me, I currently sit at my desk, in front of the computer I’m glued to for way too many hours in the week, mind adrift. I could be getting ahead on work. But instead, here I am, thoughts racing, the whole of my mental in another world -- literally. Internet browser maximized with no less than 12 tabs open all regarding expat life in Thailand. Monthly expense breakdowns. Visa regulation woes. Earning an income digitally. Where to rent in Chiang Mai. All of the things I need to be vigilant about so I’m not running out blind.
My emotions somersaulting between anxiety, excitement, the cognizance of just how much information there is to take in. Bursting at the seams in anticipation of this ambitious relocation -- but no, not because I’m trying to escape from a life I resent.
Life… is cozy. I could easily fall into a comfortable state and enjoy this low pressure, untaxing office job. I could be like all these others, who seem so okay with this monotony.
It’s honestly not bad. "Hello, it’s your dream industry. You get to learn about all these new countries and email people all over the world." And the amazing cruise discounts!? Why not work my way up? Get that travel industry experience that could land me in a C-suite somewhere 10 years from now? Why not be okay with the occasional luxury cruise vacation and utter dehydration I’d feel in this environment in exchange for job security and a consistent paycheck?
If I stayed, sure, there wouldn’t be anything necessarily wrong with choosing to grow my career there. I used to think my life would play out something like that.
I do not, by any means, want to sound insensitive to anyone without a job at all, or to those who are comfortable with this type of job, but the idea of that being MY reality quite literally revolts me. I cannot be contained.
It’s not that I don’t love my life -- because I recognize how blessed I am daily and I’m happy here -- it’s just that I’ve realized what it takes to attain more freedom in my personal life and career. Now that I’ve been exposed to what it takes, now that I’ve researched and read about so many others who are living this reality and showing exactly how it’s possible, I want out of my current work situation and thrown into the business ventures I have cooking up in my brain.
I’m not going to just up and quit and move a world away. I am anxious but I am patient -- sortofnotreallybutyes. I need to give myself some time to really learn, to teach myself things, to get plans underway.
I am into these office views, but I am not into this gray office life. People who aren’t built for this sometimes wait, or don’t realize it, until they are 30, 40, or 50 to do anything about it. Some people never do anything about it, working their ass off until retirement to live how they want. I am only 24. I have only been working full time as a non-student for a year, and I cannot even fathom being here for another year.
Am I being dramatic? No. I know what I want and I’m going to go after it. I’m going to prepare myself as much as possible. I’m going to fail at things. I’m going to try new things when I fail. What I’m not going to do is not make it work.
I’m going to work. Being glued to my computer all day would not be a problem, in fact, it’d be quite effortless for me -- IF I were working on projects I'm passionate about. IF I had more flexibility in my work schedule. IF I could travel more freely without worrying about not having enough dang PTO!
I want to produce. I want to create things. I want to travel, to be inspired by people’s stories, and to inspire others. Until I get tired.
I’ll definitely settle down one day. I want my cute, comfortable, soul-filled home adorned with paintings by friends and artifacts from my travels around the globe. But first, I have to know what it's like to be a true nomad.
I’m pushing send, I’m putting it out there. Some may doubt me. Some may be waiting for it all to come crashing down. But I’m giving it to the universe and in doing so, I’m holding myself extra accountable.