**Don’t miss the video at the end of this post**
If I had a dime for every time someone has responded with “WOW, that must have been a HUGE cultural shock” or “OMG, that must have been SUCH a big change for you!” when I tell them that I moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to Los Angeles, California, I would be a …well not millionaire, but pretty damn close. Listen, Indianapolis has a current population of nearly 1 million people. I didn’t grow up shucking corn on a farm (although my Mom did)…I grew up in the suburbs of a metropolitan city. Yes, Los Angeles is a much larger, more diverse, and more liberal city (which are exactly the reasons why I love it), but c’mon, I was not a country bumpkin that moved all wide eyed and “well, GOLL-Y” to the first big city that I ever visited.
Where everyone thinks I grew up when I say “Indiana:”
Where I actually grew up:
I’m a city girl at heart. The sounds of sirens are like music to my ears. OK, that might be a little aggressive, but I love everything about living in a big city. Diversity, sightseeing, restaurants, lesbians, events, etc….just STUFF to do! That being said, moving to LA was one of the most empowering and life changing events in my life. This August will be my 5 year anniversary with the City of Angels and we are still going strong.
In 2012, after over a year of applying for countless jobs all over California, I finally landed an incredible medical sales job in LA. If you want to know more of the background about why and how I got a job in LA, check out my other post: Saying Yes; My Catalyst to Manifesting
But here’s the thing, I had never actually been to LA. In fact, I had never been to Southern California at all. I had always been in love with the San Francisco bay area and had visited there over a dozen times but had never ventured south. This was mostly because I didn’t know anyone there! So there I was, 27 years old, and about to move to a city that I had never visited and where I didn’t know anyone. I had three weeks to find an apartment and move my entire life (including two exceptionally large cats) across the country.
Yep, exceptionally large:
During a quick weekend trip to LA and a whopping 2 days of apartment hunting, I found a super cute one bed/one bath in the gayborhood, West Hollywood. And, lucky for me, my younger brother’s common sense had not yet fully developed and he offered to drive my car with his girlfriend at the time (now wife) and my chunky fur babies on a 4 day cross country road trip. My bad ass sister in law, Katie, who is a much better writer that I, wrote this amazing PUBLISHED short story about her experience on this adventure: What Cheeseburgers Look Like in Kansas. I don’t want to give too much away but as it turns out, cats do not make ideal road trip companions. I also now know how to purchase a new car in the state of Utah over the phone. Fun times. Read the story, thank me later.
Starting from scratch in a new city is both terrifying and exciting. Have you ever dreamed about dropping everything, moving away and just starting over in a new city, state, or country? Samsies. Well, I did it, and it was incredible. I feel like everyone at some point in their life should CREATE the opportunity to reinvent themselves in a new environment. Not become someone new, but be in a situation where you are vulnerable and introduce yourself to people intentionally as the most true version of you. It is in those vulnerable situations where you learn so much about yourself. There were definitely moments of loneliness and pang of homesickness. Many bottles of wine and pints of ice cream were consumed while “netflixing and chilling” with my cats before I developed a support system in my new city.
Take a trip alone, do that one thing you have always been wanting to do. Start working on that bucket list that you keep adding to but never cross anything off. Stop making excuses to yourself about why now isn’t a good time. You just need to save up a little money. Just stop. If I had allowed myself to do this…I would still be sitting in a cubicle in Indiana, hating my life. Not because my life would actually be terrible but because I would KNOW on the inside that I was destined for something different but that I was too scared to make the leap and go for it. You Know what I mean.. That feeling on the inside that you would just MEANT to be.
Los Angeles is my home now. I feel grateful every single day for the amazing people I have met and the incredible experiences this city has provided. This Indiana girl won’t be moving home anytime soon.
XO Liz Baxter – Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbian
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