In October 2017, my husband and I moved across the country to California. It was a big change for us, especially because we had just started to settle our roots in Michigan and uplifted them to start something new in another state. It would be our first time making a big move since we’d been together and it was a little scary to be honest (ok, it was really scary for me!).
I grew up in the Mid-West and spent most of my life there. Though I’ve travelled, Michigan (and briefly Ohio) had always been home. I had my small circle of friends, my family and my familiarity. When it was suddenly snatched away from me, it was a bit of a shock.
My husband landed a new job opportunity that would be life-changing for us and because of that, we packed our clothes and said good-bye to the Great Lakes state. We drove across country for 4 days to start a new journey in sunny California.
It was so bitter-sweet for me because my entire family lives in Michigan so it was a very personal experience for me. I especially missed my mom and I saw her crying in the driveway as she pulled away as we were preparing to leave our home and begin our drive. I felt a bit numb and a bit unhappy because I wasn’t ready for change. I was happy for my husband’s sake but I felt I wasn’t ready to leave just yet.
When we arrived in October, it was literally a few days before Halloween and I remember everyone dressed up and walking the streets to celebrate. Immediately I felt a different vibe. People were nice and kind and smiling and saying hello. This may seem normal but people aren’t particularly this nice to strangers. I’d walk into a grocery store and everyone would greet me with a smile and a hello. Even walking down the street, people were extremely friendly – like you ran into an old friend.
I felt the energy of Los Angeles and it was overwhelming. Both good and slightly uncomfortable as I am an introvert at heart. The sheer number of people made me want to hide and run for cover. I’ve never seen so many people at one place and time in my life. The drive-thru’s to Starbucks and most other chains were few and far between as it would be a nightmare in traffic with people lined up around the corner to get serviced.
The wonderful things I do enjoy about L.A. are the sunsets. Never have I seen a more beautiful setting – especially over the ocean in Malibu. It’s just absolutely breathtaking. It took me awhile to get used to Los Angeles; over a year to be exact, to finally embrace this place as my new home. Thinking back and looking back at everything I’ve accomplished, California has been good to me and I’m happy to call this place home.
I absolutely love the state and how I can drive to the mountains to catch the snow or drive 2 hours south and catch the waves. It really does have the best of both worlds in this state.
I also began to realize that I have to make the best of my situation and that I am the only one that can make me happy. A lot of people would probably think, “you live in L.A., what’s there not to like?” But it has taken a bit of time for me to adjust.
One thing I really missed was being able to connect with my family and friends. I used to see my mom every week when I lived in Michigan and that quickly changed to once a quarter once we relocated, which was a difficult transition for me. I used to go to brunch with my mom, grandma and aunt every weekend and missing out on that tradition made me miss my old life back in Michigan even more.
I also really missed hanging out with my friends. I just made a wonderful group of friends before leaving and it was sad to part with them before really getting to know them well. We’re still close and we chat virtually everyday but I miss that face time, you know?
Making friends in L.A. has been somewhat of a challenge for me, especially because I work from home and a lot of people who are transplants are in L.A. for one of two reasons: (1) to make it, or (2) to make connections and leverage those connections. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone but I’ve found a lot of ambitious women who are really into growing their careers. That’s totally something to pursue but I’m always searching for a genuine friendship with someone who wants that as well as the thriving business.
My search continues 🙂
We initially thought we’d be in L.A. for 1 year and that has turned into 3 years. We’re nomads (sort of) and we pretty much go where ever we want to go. L.A. is home for now and so far, I’m taking it all in.
I adjusted to knowing the right times to run errands to avoid traffic and the best secret hidden gems to hang out at along the beach to work or read a book. I’ve totally fallen in love with where we live. My husband and I are super grateful for the opportunities presented before us and we’re living our best lives out here.
Have you moved to a new place that you’re getting adjusted to? I’d love to know more all about it!