Moving to LA (and Out of My Comfort Zone)
If you keep up with my updates on Instagram, you know that I just moved to Los Angeles a few days ago. It feels surreal, in fact it feels like I'm simply on vacation. Leading up it felt so soon, too soon. I didn't feel prepared emotionally and I still don't, but I'm wondering if I ever would have. All the romanticism of the spunky fashion stylist moving to the big city with big dreams has been quickly melting away as the move has unfolded. Really all I've wanted to do leading up to the move was curl up in my bedroom, turn off the lights, and ugly cry. Perhaps with a pint of Rocky Road and a marathon of Pretty Little Liars at hand. It REALLY doesn't help that that "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" by Denmark + Winter just started on my playlist as I'm writing this but that's how things magically seem to happen sometimes, don't they?
What all these feelings boil down to is clear; I'm terrified. I've decided to leave everything I know, to leave friends, to leave the small but promising fashion industry that allowed me to make a name for myself. Most importantly, it involved leaving my family. I feel like Katniss from District 12 entering the Hunger Games, with the odds stacked against me, except for one thing: my ambition. Can that be enough?
One of my favorite classes in college was Young Adult Literature and we had to read a dystopian novel called Divergent by Veronica Roth (do yourself a favor: skip the movie and read the book instead) and I've never forgotten a scene in which the protagonist, freshly separated from her family and all she knows, is initiated into her new faction by literally having to jump off a tall-ass building rooftop and into a dark hole in the ground. She jumps, basically unaware if she'll even make it out alive, but she lands on a net inside the hole and then, as the initiation is over, she makes a new name for herself, literally and metaphorically starting her journey towards a new life. That scene sums up exactly what's going on in my own life right now. I'm making a leap of faith, my biggest one yet, completely aware that LA has chewed up and spit out many talented creatives, many people with dreams. I'm aware that people run out of money, people run out of motivation and hope. Logistically, LA also has a lot more wardrobe stylists and more competition than Denver does. I'm aware that I could fail and be devastated.
The common denominator in all these fears is me leaving my comfort zone and entering the unknown. But I HAVE to do it. Nothing huge ever happened from playing it safe. After all, embracing challenges is when the real growth comes. I keep running through the scenarios of everything that could go wrong in my head but what if everything works? I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I didn't try my best to make my dreams come true. I'm choosing to reach within myself and be the crazy optimist who believes he can enter LA, enter the hunger games, jump off the roof and into the black hole, and come out alive.
I was driving through Colorado on Friday night and I passed the sign that said the state line was 10 miles away. I was 10 miles from leaving Colorado and entering Utah (I planned to stop and sleep in Cedar City) and I can only describe the sensation that ran through my body as electricity. Maybe it was panic, excitement, or fear, maybe it was all of the above. But I focused intently on the dark road in front of me for the next few miles, knowing that at any moment, the Colorado umbilical cord was about to be severed. I gulped when the "Welcome to colorful Colorado" sign popped up so suddenly because of the speed I was driving with. I braced myself, passed the state line instantly, experienced the electricity in my body and exhaled in Utah, knowing I had just left everything behind.
This is the beginning of a new journey. Know that I might be terrified and vulnerable, but I'm going for it.
Tropical Shirt- Macy's/ Embroidered Jeans- Pacsun/ Checkerboard Belt/Bracelets- H&M/ Chelsea Boots- Nordstrom Rack / Hat- Asos
Photos by Noah Berg