Up until two years ago, I spent my entire adult life wanting to get the hell out of wherever I was. Always planning and plotting my next move, squirreling away money for something better. LA was the ultimate gift to myself – FINALLY I was going to live in a place that I didn’t fucking loathe. The omnipresent wanderlust itch would mercifully subside and I could enjoy the feeling of being settled in a place and calling it home.
And I have. While there have been some major bumps in the road, Los Angeles has delivered far beyond what I’d even hoped for. There’s a giant space between “Making It Big In Hollywood” and like, becoming a meth’ed out Hollywood Blvd hooker and I’m nestled comfortably in there. Once you’ve survived being knocked around a little bit, it actually becomes pretty easy to get by in LA, so long as you’re willing to work hard, hustle a little bit and live within your means.
I’m an extremely modest person when it comes to aspirations about lifestyle. I don’t care about being rich or having a fancy car and my vices (besides more travel) are generally attainable. Here in LA, I’m living my own version of a comf life: I make enough money to do the things that I want, can afford expensive groceries and like, get a new dress sometimes. I’ve got a fucking adorable little studio apartment in a building of all working artists – people that get money to express themselves creatively which will never cease to tickle my jaded, blue collar heart. My life is simple and quiet which feels lovely since I myself am anything but.
Besides all that, I’ve got mountains. I can get in my car, drive for ten minutes and be here:
I’ve got the ocean. Endless activities to do and places to go. A few wonderful friends and a whole bunch of great acquaintances. Crazy good restaurants and bars. Perf weather 99.9% of the time. Like, seriously it never changes – it’s almost bizarre. So, what’s the problem? I mean, there really isn’t one but…
It’s super difficult to get things done round these parts, at least for me and many people that I’ve spoken with. LA is one big, beautiful distraction. I spent so many years fantasizing about living in a place like this and feel obligated to take advantage of all its amenities. Time feels static and I’ll find myself often looking around at the sundrenched, palm tree-dotted landscape and thinking “Wait, which month is it? What season is this?” I’ll blink and another month will have gone by and all I have to show for it are a few hikes, some great dinners with friends, a couple well-earned hangovers and a pathetically small amount of writing completed. I’m enjoying a lifestyle and feel content but I’m not satisfied or anywhere near living up to my potential. And that has to change. Liiiiike NOW. I’m 33 and I most certainly don’t want to just keep on tending bar forever, which could very easily happen.
I know plenty of people that grind away out here, doin the damn thang in whatever field they have chosen and so I can’t figure out if it’s me or my surroundings that’s holding me back. Maybe it’s a combination of the two or maybe I’m just using LA as an excuse for the fear or whatever that keeps me from being able to just lock it down and get it done.
So. I’m thinking about moving to New York City. Not running away like I have in the past; just moving. Consider most of the above as the “Pros of Staying in LA” so here are the “Reasons to Move to NYC”:
- I’ve always felt that I wanted the experience of living in New York and I’m not getting any younger. I don’t have anything anchoring me here – no man, no children, no pets, no career-type job.
- I have a ton of friends there and am pretty confident that I could easily get a job in a bar, with the experience and connections that I have in the industry.
- If you want to write film/tv, you live in LA. If you want to write books and the like, you live in NY. Right?
- I actually really miss rainy days. And snow. And the way changing seasons alters your routines and experiences. I’ve had the same damn routine for two years now.
- BABEZ. I’m just not into the guys in Los Angeles and the feeling is mutual.
- I’d like to be a part of a creative community. Sometimes I feel like my style of writing and ideas don’t really fit in with the stuff that’s going on around me here. Like, for example, when I talk about writing with people, the first thing they all tell me to do is take an improv class. I do not want to take a fucking improv class. I don’t want to perform or be famous. I just want to cower safely behind my laptop while people hopefully enjoy some words I’ve strung together.
Is the real problem me? Am I just a lazy sonofabitch who would only find a whole new set of distractions in New York to blame for my lack of tenacity and ambition? Am I really just constucting one big excuse to get up on all of that hot NYC D? I’ve never had to make a decision like this before – possibly walking away from something wonderful in hopes that something else might just be a little more wonderful. How selfish and spoiled is it to even be considering this?
Feel free to share your opinions on this with me. I like getting advice almost as much as I like giving it!