On: The West Coast

Note: I started writing this post about three weeks ago when I was feeling really crappy. But then I decided not to share it because it was boring and depressing. I’m also a pretty private person, and even though I have been sharing the events of my life on the internet, sharing my feelings about those events was harder. And my friends had been saying really nice things about my blog like how “perfect” my life seemed and how in love I looked. Well, I am in love, with my boy, but not my [entire] life, and my life certainly isn’t perfect. But I had to let my feelings calm down a bit before I put them out there. So here are my honest feelings about living here.

I have a confession to make: I don’t love it here. And it’s really hard for me to admit that.

When I first announced to family and friends that I was making the leap and moving 3000 miles away, I was met with mixed feelings. Obviously I didn’t really expect my mom and dad to be super pumped about me moving so far away from them, but I did expect excitement and support from my friends. Most of my friends were incredibly supportive, but some weren’t. And I was shocked. When I told one friend that I was thinking about moving to California, she said, “Oh.” And that was it. So this obviously fueled my desire to make things work and not admit that I made a mistake.

Mistake is probably not the best word, though. I do feel that I did the right thing for myself and my relationship. M moved away from his home and his family five years ago for school, something that is very tempting for a lot of eighteen-year-olds (myself included). But he always knew that he wanted to move back after graduation, and I knew that. It was actually a stumbling block for us when we first started dating (remember: Chandler and Monica?). But I really couldn’t justify staying in Massachusetts. Despite having a job that I loved, it wasn’t a career, and I couldn’t have survived on $12/hr for long. I wanted to start grad school the following year and would be taking a year off, regardless of where I was living. I was used to being away from my family, having lived more than 300 miles away from them for the past five years. And who wouldn’t like living at the beach? It was kind of an easy decision.

When I first left, I was overwhelmed and sad. When the Joplin, Missouri Sonic gave me grilled chicken instead of crispy and the hotel check-in desk lady took half an hour to check us in, I cried myself to sleep. But we got here and started settling in and throwing ourselves into projects, and we were both unemployed and got to spend lots of time together, so it was kind of like a fun little vacation. Then I got a job and it was something new to concentrate on and keep me busy, but kind of disappointing because it didn’t really give me the opportunity to make new friends like I had hoped. Then Marcus got a job and all of a sudden, I was left with alone time. When I drove home at lunch time, he wasn’t there waiting for me to make him a sandwich or share a frozen pizza. It was just me and my thoughts. I knew that I should have been using that free time to work on projects I had pushed aside or explore my new city, but I couldn’t make myself do anything but sit on the couch and absentmindedly watch tv. I hinted here and there to different people that I wasn’t entirely happy here, but I felt like I couldn’t talk to Marcus about how I was feeling because he would feel bad for “making me” move here (even though he didn’t), I couldn’t talk to my “old” friends/family because they would know that I had made a “mistake,” and I couldn’t talk to my “new” friends because I didn’t have any.

I was finally able to “come clean” to pretty much all of the major players in my life, including some new friendly figures in my life here. What I have learned is that many people feel the same way I do now upon moving to LA. It is a huge city with a much different feel from pretty much anywhere else. It’s hard to find your place and feel like you “belong” here. I have also learned that the people who truly care about me never judged me for the decision I made in the first place, and certainly don’t judge me for feeling sad about it now. I have also learned (though I of course always knew this), that being here isn’t permanent and there’s no reason why I can’t move at any time, but there’s also no reason why I can’t make the best of my time here.

So, based on a suggestion of my mom’s, I’m going to create a sort-of “West Coast Bucket List” of things I want to do while I’m here. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Visit San Francisco – I have heard so many good things about this city and I really want to see it in person. It’s not exactly local to LA but I’m closer now than I may ever be again.
  2. See a [real] celebrity – I have seen a few minor stars around town that I probably wouldn’t have recognized if I wasn’t so obsessed with tv, but I want to see a real, A-list celebrity by chance.
  3. Be in the studio audience of a tv show – Now that my boyfriend is in “the biz,” I know that most sitcoms aren’t filmed in front of live audiences anymore, but you can watch a screening of a show and become part of the laugh track.
  4. See Ellen – Related to number 3, but I also desperately want to see the Ellen show.
  5. Go to a wine tasting at a vineyard – I know there are vineyards other places in the world, but I want to go to a Californian one.
  6. Try surfing – I took a lesson once in North Carolina as a teenager and nearly froze to death before ever standing up on a wave.

So there you have it. My honest feelings, out there, for the world to read. I really am much happier than I was when I first started writing this post, and I have learned that talking about feelings, even if they aren’t always good ones, is a good thing. I have also learned that my friends, family, and boyfriend are the greatest.

<#

Have you ever moved to a faraway, new place? Any suggestions for my “bucket list”? Any volunteers to add to or join me in my “bucket list” tasks?

xoxo

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21 Responses to On: The West Coast

  1. Keelonce says:

    I remember the 3 day road trip from Virginia to Texas with Ryan this past summer. When we finally made it to San Antonio and checked into our hotel, I cried. Just completely lost it because it was so different from everything I was used to. I called my mom (obvi) and she comforted me from afar. After being long distance for so long I should have been excited to be with Ry but in that moment a wave of disappointment came across. But it quickly left! We did the same thing, a Texas Bucket List I guess. We didn’t accomplish everything this summer but now it is one reason to go back and visit. So you are allowed to have those Debbie Downer moments from time to time as long as you get back up and enjoy what CA has to offer! You’ll also appreciate your visits back home so much more.
    Miss you!
    And now back to the homework that I was procrastinating…(some things never change.)

    • Obv you say “Debbie Downer,” I almost used that phrase myself when writing this, lol. Thanks for posting this and I miss you! I hope you’re not sharing your Chex Mix with anyone else in grad school..

  2. Lori says:

    Awww, you are so smart. I knew you’d figure it out. πŸ™‚

  3. Franjessica says:

    This is a lovely, lovely post to read. You eloquently and whinelessly (I made up a new word), articulate your feelings.I think with a change as drastic as moving across the country, most people would feel similarly at some or most points. I mostly, just wanted to say, in reference to people judging you for following your heart, (something my dad told me once and I think it is pretty true most of the time…) when people judge you, they’re really judging themselves.

  4. monica says:

    Your list of 6 things are awesome! great idea Lori! i love California, and i think it’s great that you went- but i can understand how everyone misses you.
    when i left NJ to live in GA i was very homesick, but i had the best time of my life living there!

  5. Bex says:

    the day i first arrived in london for the second time was one of the worst days of my life. i almost jumped right back on a plane to go home for good. i had no phone, my taxi never showed, i had no money. it was bad, i cried a lot. and remember i had already done this once.
    anyway once i covered the practical bits of settling in (bank, phone, job, house) i started on the better stuff (actually having fun and making new friends). remember all the things you love doing and find groups that do that. not only will you enjoy the activity but you’ll meet other people who do too so you already have something in common πŸ™‚
    i think you should add a mexican road trip to your bucket list, which will definitely require tequila. san deigo zoo? hawaii? vegas? i’ve heard that portland is really cool for art and music. and vancouver is apparently gorgeous and super fun. japan is 6 hours less flying time now that you’re on the west side??
    i’m glad you’re sticking it out. soak up some rays and smile a lot. i know you’ll be happy as long as marcus is by your side. πŸ˜€

  6. Greg says:

    Well Kir, I’m not sure if I know anyone who’s in love with their “entire life,” but you’ll find that out sooner or later. Just enjoy all the cool, little things. I’m sure if you think back over the four months you’ve been in L.A., that you’ll remember a good amount of smiles. Now’s the time to make the best of it. Just think of all the little adventures you can go on, even if it’s just a few blocks away to a new restaurant.

    Enjoy your time there. You don’t want to look back in 10 years wishing you had done this and that. And believe me, after coming back home and being in 45 degree weather for a week, you’ll be ready to head back west.

    Can’t wait to see you guys on Thursday!

  7. Evey says:

    Ugh I still feel this way. A lot. We need to visit so we don’t feel so alone anymore.

  8. Meg says:

    aww Kira, I totally understand. When I moved here I HATED it, literally, it took me over a year to start enjoying LA and finding my place here. It’s so hard to move to a new place and make friends and adjust, especially in this city. You guys are good people and so I know you will draw other good people to you as time goes on and you will find a part of LA that you like πŸ™‚
    AS far as your list, that’s a great idea!
    1. you HAVE to go to SF, ideally when we are there so we can show you around! THE best chocolate chip cookies are there, along with the bushman who will scare the shit out of you!
    2. I have only seen a few “real” celebrity’s over the past 4 years of living here, Matt saw the govenator at starbucks in Brentwood. You will have to spend more time in Hollywood I guess πŸ™‚
    3. I really want to be in a studio audience too! ideally Conan!
    4. Let’s go see Ellen!
    5. There’s wineries down here but, if you can, while you are up in SF you should go north an hour to sonoma and visit some there, it’s so beautiful!
    6. Surfing is AWESOME! I took a lesson up in Malibu, I got a discount on that Groupon site. I also have a friend with extra boards and wetsuits so if you want to go sometime let me know!

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Marcus sees the cast of How I Met Your Mother at work every day, I so want to see a screening of it! But they film on the lot, with no audience. And yes, freaking Ellen! I really don’t know how you’re supposed to get tickets though, her website always says there are none currently available..

  9. Courtney says:

    I miss you, I wish you were still my lab partner…

  10. Suz says:

    See, Kir! You have LOTS of friends! Just stick with them, especially the ones in CA, until you gather some new ones. And you will…
    Love you bunches and know you will be fine! πŸ™‚

  11. rc1001 says:

    Just found your blog from the wedding bee November blog list. We went as Pebbles and Bamm Bamm this year for Halloween! Flinstone FTW.

  12. joanne says:

    culture shock-it’s a bitch!! and i should know. imagine moving to rural tennessee from new jersey when you are just 19! oh, yeah, i was lonely and bored and couldn’t understand anybody here and did i mention lonely?! i cried and cried and wrote bad poetry. then i ran off to CALIFORNIA, of all places and got married to my sailor. and life just kinda took over from there.
    hang on and keep the tissues handy, it will be okay, you’ll see!

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  14. Jessica Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this link on my post todayβ€”it’s always comforting knowing you’re not the only crazy one who can cry at the drop of a hat during those first few days of moving! I love that you made a bucket list of things to doβ€”have you accomplished any of them yet? I need to make a list ASAP. I was so weary of posting my woe-is-me story when I know people would jump at the chance to be in my shoes out here, but I love being honest and real with myself and it’s something to look back on and be proud of where you’ve been. Thanks again πŸ™‚

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