You did read that right.
I actually moved to Los Angeles a week after I graduated high school.
Growing up in Oklahoma, 6 years of grade school, 2 years of Junior High and 4 years of high school I spent most of my time worrying about who was going to show up in the cutest prom dress, wondering where I what I was going to eat for lunch during finals because we had an hour to eat ( which at the time felt like an eternity), getting ready with my friends for football games, trying to squeeze my entire social life and its many different “requirements” into Friday night and Saturday night and simply worrying about and stressing over these things that truly didn’t even matter.
So here I am, sitting in Starbucks by myself on a Saturday writing about my experience moving to Los Angeles.
So I think we should start with a brief explanation and a little bit of background history prior to my recent move.
I have grown up always wanting to pursue a career in dance. I have always had an interest in the arts, whether that is music, dance, fashion, etc. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of creating something from scratch and turning it into something that can truly change someones life. When I was 8 years old my mom took me to New York for dance and I really do believe the minute I stepped off that plane I knew I wanted to call that place home. For the next 10 years I preached and preached about how amazing New York City is and how I was going to move there to become a dancer.
So at this point you are probably questioning how I ended up on the complete opposite side of the country, and the answer is… I really do not know.
Back in January, I was faced with many different challenges and problems that I wish I was more prepared to face at the time. Many different obstacles were thrown my way and I will be the first to admit that I didn’t handle them the right way. I found myself angry and upset 90% of the time, which eventually lead me to wanting to move away the second a graduated high school. So I eventually found the Dance Program, applied to it and booked a flight exactly a week after May 27th which was when I graduated high school.
* So a little disclaimer before I start talking about my experience here. There is nothing wrong with LA or the people that live here. I am extremely blessed to have friends and family who support me in what I love to do and especially my dad for making everything possible for me.*
So here we go.
On June 3rd, I literally packed up my things and came out to this place honestly having no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t have my car, I didn’t have my dad come out here with me, I just packed two suitcases and hoped for the best. I ended up getting into LAX around 7 and didn’t make it back to the apartment until around 11 that Saturday. It took me about 14 hours from then to realize I wanted to go back home.
YES. 14 HOURS FOR ME TO BECOME HOMESICK.
I’m honestly pretty impressed with myself because I thought it would’ve been at least a week before I would call home crying… but nope, 14 hours.
So there I am, sitting in this tiny hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant, on the phone with my dad crying into my food ( which cost me like $13 dollars because I also never realized how expensive everything is out here ). At this point I hadn’t even started the dance program yet and I just wanted to be back home in Oklahoma with my family.
So after talking to my Dad, Brother, Michael, Daylee, Elly, Trevor, basically anyone who was my friend at home, I decided to press forward and stay here and really focus on the dance program. Which I am so glad I did.
So the next day was my first day dancing and by the end of it I was loving life again. The dancers in LA are phenomenal. The way the carry themselves with such confidence and passion for the art is truly inspiring. I met a few girls who are also doing the same program and things were definitely getting better. From there on out, I was dancing everyday for hours and spending most of my time at the studio. The program offers a variety of classes everyday being taught by different instructors. I also went to Venice Beach one day, I met a friend from home for dinner one night and I even managed to eat at a total of 5 different sushi bars since I have been out here, which I think is pretty good for only three weeks.
So now you are probably confused on why I’m complaining. I’m an 18 year old girl who is living in LA, dancing at an amazing studio and living ” the American dream”.
Well, its not necessarily LA itself. It me. Its what I didn’t do when I had the chance to. I feel like using the classic breakup saying “its not you, its me” but its so relevant to my situation right now! Its not Los Angeles, its not the people, its not the weather, its me!
I spent 18 years of my life in Oklahoma worrying about getting out of there so bad that I didn’t stop and take a second to appreciate what I had at the time. Which was a wonderful, happy family that I could come home to at any time and feel their love and comfort. I had a cozy home, where I had my own bed and endless amounts of poptarts… haha kidding (not really). I had my friends down the street from me, who I could call at 6 AM to go get breakfast with me or call them at 10:30 PM to get ice cream with me. I had Michael as well, who I could always count on to hold my hand and to make me smile anytime I was with him. I had this small little town that I thought I hated so much because everything closes at 8 o’clock and there wasn’t anything to do, but now… I think of it so much differently. I truly regret spending 18 years of my life complaining about Oklahoma and the ” southerness” of it because it means so much more to me now that I don’t have it anymore. Its my home and when I do end up going back, I know I will never look at it the same way I did.
So again, referring back to my time here in Los Angeles, I’m still sitting here alone writing this exactly 3 weeks from when I left. I can honestly say that I have learned everything the hard way here. I have learned to never take bottled water, dish-washing machines or even plates for granted because my roommate and I are living that broke girl life and those are luxuries to us. I learned how to use a public washer and dryer and that you have to check first to see if its working before you put in your clothes. I have learned that I cant have Starbucks everyday, which I know is ironic because Im literally sitting in Starbucks writing this but that is because of the WIFI, which leads me to learning to be grateful for the small things such as WIFI! I think I have becomes Ubers #1 customer due to the fact that I didn’t bring my car with me and the studio is not walking distance. I am for sure the poster child in ” learning new things” but its not a bad thing, just sometimes a little bit of a struggle.
So wrapping this entire and extremely long blog post up, its safe to say that I have been out here 3 weeks and I have grown so much as a person. I have learned to be more grateful for what I have as opposed to what I do not have, I have become more aware of my surroundings and I have been so inspired through dance here and genuinely cannot imagine my life without it. I’m ready to see where the wind takes me in the future, and although I do believe that LA is not the place for me, I’m still glad I came out here and have the opportunity to learn and gain experience from this place.
So yes, I know I am not writing about shoes, or how to get natural heat-less beach waves but I knew I had to put this out there and just be as honest and raw as I could be. I do apologize if that is what you were looking forward to, or thought I was going to write about how I ran into Selena Gomez at the mall (which still hasn’t happened) but again, I just wanted to be real.
On the bright side, I have capture beautiful pictures of this place and have also found a handful of songs I fell in love with.
While We’re Young- Jhene Aiko
By your side- The 1975
The Book of Love- Gavin James
Fly (Acoustic)- Meadowlark