Coast To Coast
To those whose dreams keep them awake at night.
To those who are curious about my journey.
To my younger self.
This post is for you.
After spending a life changing summer interning at E! Entertainment in Los Angeles I couldn’t shake the gut feeling that I belonged in the City of Angels. I wasn’t sure how or when it would happen, all I knew was that one day I would call LA home. When the summer came to an end and my senior year of college began, I jumped into a bartending job and after each shift I would put my cash tips into a generic white envelope with Hollywood written across the front of it. The school year flew by and shortly after receiving my diploma I went through a breakup that turned my world upside down. Before I could blink I found myself back under my parent’s roof with nothing to my name but a broken heart. Once my woe is me pity party came to an end I decided that this was the time to pack up and go for it. That this was the time to shove my life into a suitcase and chase a dream. Fast forward two weeks and there I was standing in the Miami airport security line unable to control the tears flowing down my cheeks. Moving across the country with no job, family or friends waiting for me on the other side was the craziest thing I had ever done.
On February 23, 2013 I landed at LAX and took my first steps into a whole new world. I made arrangements with a college acquaintance to sleep on her couch until “I got on my feet.” Her studio apartment was located in Downtown LA and to my disbelief it was the opposite of what I had seen in the movies. The couch served as my bed for the first 3 months of my LA story. Shortly after accepting a job offer at People Magazine I moved my boxes to my very first apartment and haven’t slept on a couch since.
With a year experience of the magazine world under my belt, it was time for a change of scenery. I dominated an extensive interview process and landed a coveted Hollywood assistant position. I quickly found out that I was a living example of the phrase ignorance is bliss because I had no idea what I was getting into. Due to a signed NDA that will forever be held over my head my lips are sealed shut however I will say this; it was the best job I have ever had purely due to pedal to the metal mentality. I was thrown into the lion’s den and the only way to survive was to figure it out, despite the task at hand, without overlooking the tiniest detail.
In full transparency, I hit a wall shortly after leaving that job. I had completely lost sense of myself since all hours of my days were previously consumed by making sure someone else’s needs were met. I had gone up two jean sizes, had no social life and the question of “what are you doing with your life?” was loudly banging at my door. I wasn’t sure where to turn or who to lean on so I picked up a pen and resorted to an old hobby; writing. Emotions and experience flowed from my finger tips onto the blank piece of paper and I was quickly reminded how therapeutic writing was for me. Right then and there I promised myself that I would never put that passion of mine on the back burner again.
Since I was out of a job and needed some TLC I flew back home to Florida to clear my head. After a few home cooked meals and life chats with my mom I headed back to Los Angeles to begin a new job, in HR technology. I sat in a cubicle from 8:30AM until 5PM and loathed every single second of it. It was crystal clear that I held zero interest within that space but I was at a point where I was craving a steady paycheck along with set hours and vacation time so, I settled. The silver lining was that I walked into my apartment at 5:35PM like clockwork and would spend the rest of the night hustling on my blog. Writing. Researching. Brainstorming. The Millennial Miss was my side hustle for well over a year and a half until last October when I took the leap to make it my full time gig. I’ll be happy to share further insight into the world of blogging full time but for the purpose of this post, let’s keep it at that.
Beyond the business side of my LA chapter, it’s been one hell of a ride. I’ve made friends. I’ve lost friends. I became my own best friend. I gave my heart to the wrong guys. I’ve eaten the freshest foods I will ever consume. I’ve stumbled. I’ve learned. I’ve fallen on my face. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed until I’ve cried. I’ve felt the epitome of loneliness. I’ve been scared shitless. I’ve turned fear into motivation. I’ve been homesick. I’ve bombed auditions. I’ve nailed auditions. I’ve seen my name in the credits. I’ve learned what genuine happiness feels like. I’ve made memories that will last a life time. I’ve experienced views that will take your breath away. I’ve shaken hands with my idols. I’ve felt proud. I’ve seen Hollywood through a different lens. Most importantly, I’ve grown into the woman who I am proud to be today.
And despite it all, I never gave up. Not once. I’m not saying that I’m Beyoncé or a success story in the flesh but I am a young woman who decided to go for it and cleared every hurdle placed in her path. I have had to pinch myself at times to make sure that my life was real and if you ask me, that feeling alone is worth going for it. People have a lot of opinions on Los Angeles and even though, for the most part, the stereotypes are true I owe this city ... everything. It has broken me and rebuilt me and for that I am eternally grateful.
Whatever, wherever or whoever gives you those undeniable fluttering butterflies – go get it. Wouldn’t you rather go through life knowing as opposed to laying your head on your pillow wondering what if? There is no excuse. Do not use money as an excuse. Trust me, it wasn’t exactly a confidence boost for me to consistently babysit at the age of 27 but guess what, I did what I had to do. Do not use location as an excuse. Airplanes were invited for a reason, get on one. Do not use your relationship as an excuse. If they are the one, you two will find a way to make your relationship work without stepping on each other’s dreams. Work 3 jobs to pay your rent check. Send 100 emails in hopes that you get one response. Go to the audition. Schedule the meeting. Call your classmate from middle school and ask if there is a couch you can crash on. Whatever piece of the puzzle you are missing, find it because at the end of the day you are the only one that can make it happen.
Until next time LA, thank you.