Lessons in LA Part II: Making a Home Wherever You Go

Sometimes in order to make your dream a reality, you have to move.  It can be a small move to a new job, or a different department or it can be a huge move like one across the country, or the world.  For me and my aspirations of making it as a writer, it will most likely mean I’ll have to make a big move myself.

I have said it time and time again, but as long as I can write in my career I will be one happy person.  So I have spent my timefinding opportunities throughout many different platforms to practice and polish my skills.  But there is one form of writing that has captured my spirit and hasn’t let go: screenwriting.  I have been, for all my life, enthralled with the world of television. Anything that came across the TV screen seemed to captivate me and I knew I wanted to play a part in creating something that other people could be captivated by. So with those hopes and dreams I began to think, “What better place than LA to make my dreams of screenwriting a reality?”

So I trekked out to the west coast on what happened to be the rainiest weekend possible. It just so happens that Los Angeles is greeted by rain a handful of times throughout the year and I picked a weekend that was just about drenched with rainfall. While most would be upset about a weekend of rain, it turned out to be a wrench that made our plans very interesting and even more unforgettable. 

The nice part about LA is that the weather 90% of the time is gorgeous – an added benefit of making a move there a strong possibility. But there’s just one problem with moving to LA to pursue my writing dreams – I hate big cities. Hate is a strong word, but I definitely don’t see myself living in a huge city, after all it is so easy to feel lost, claustrophobic and alienated. Big cities have always been great places to visit allowing me to know that at the end of an allotted vacation I could go back to the comfort of my own home.

In a few of the big cities I have visited – New York, San Francisco, Toronto – I have felt this way. But I was so surprised by Los Angeles.  There are people everywhere and the city is huge, but it isn’t condensed like other cities I’ve been to.  I felt that I could keep my head above water and if I play my cards right, I could thrive in LA.  But of course with any possibility of a move there comes some reservations. My biggest one is that this place wouldn’t be home.  I’d be in an entirely new place, with virtually no one that I know.  I’d be hundreds of miles and three times zones away from my family and friends.

That was until my epiphany came, on the bluff of the Loyola Marymount Campus, with my friend Katie next to me.  At that moment as I overlooked Los Angeles from the Pacific Ocean to Downtown LA and took in the vastness, the complete and utter complexity of it all, I was told the one thing I needed to hear.

You can make a home wherever you go.

Those few words Katie said to me were life changing because in those eight little words I finally realized that I could have a life outside my comfort zone. I didn’t look at this city that I fell in love with as a foreign land that would make me feel as a complete stranger.  Instead, her advice made me look at this city, its vastness and complexity as the ultimate city for me to take my plunge into the world.  It is the perfect place to make my dreams a reality, and it is the place I need to go to make sure that happens.

In fact, she assured me that I can make a home wherever I go, whether it be LA or some other city.  Anyone can find places within a city that they fall in love with, that remind them of home or simply allow them to expand their horizons.  For me, I had a few snap shots of the places that made me feel at ease and throughout the course of the weekend I didn’t feel claustrophobic, lonely, or alienated.

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It was a perfect moment as I looked out over the city of LA and took Katie’s advice and really looked at this city for the first time as a possible future home.  It was beautiful.  It was a moment that was scary, but usually embarking on something scary just means it is an important and needed milestone in your life. Wherever I end up – God knows it can be anywhere, a place I even don’t expect to be – I will know that I can make a home wherever I go because I will carry the people, the lessons, the laughs, the memories and the love with me.

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