Last weekend, I celebrated the fact that I’ve been living in Los Angeles for five years. I took the opportunity to reflect on how moving away from Quebec, and to Los Angeles, has changed me and what I hope for the future.
Celebrating 5 years in Los Angeles- Work:
I went from working a desk job with a 9-to-5 schedule to having no job a year later. Then, I worked as a fitness instructor in a Crossfit box and am now working a job that couldn’t be farther from how I started out when I first moved to LA. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that being a corporate flight attendant was a possible career path. This happened because people took a chance on me, twice, and because I said yes to opportunities outside of my comfort zone. I am paid to travel the world! Of course, this job has its challenges- such as ever-changing schedules- but this is also what keeps me on my toes and wanting more.
Celebrating 5 years in Los Angeles- Friendships:
When I left Quebec, I was concerned I would lose friends because of the distance. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The friendships that meant the most to me have become stronger with time- no matter the number of miles that separate us (thanks to modern technology and a lot of visits). I made a lot of new friends too, mostly due to my love for fitness, colleagues from work, and Quebec connections. I cherish them greatly. I also became a godmother, which has been a wonderful experience. I try to spend as much time as possible with my goddaughter, even though my work schedule and crazy LA traffic make it challenging at times. I have also learned that it is okay to let go of friendships that feel forced, aren’t ‘equal’, or just drain you. I’m a very loyal friend and good at keeping relationships alive, so this realization was hard to accept. But, also a relief. There are people you meet during a specific time of your life that seem to fit but as you continue to grow, you realize they just didn’t evolve the same way you have. That’s okay.
Celebrating 5 years in Los Angeles- Personal Growth:
As previously mentioned, I learned a lot about myself in these past five years. Before and during my first year in Los Angeles, I could have definitely been qualified as a serial planner. My days, evenings, weekends and vacation were all planned very much in advance. Now, I can barely plan anything five days in advance and even then, it can still fall through because of a work trip. I’ve learned to live in the moment and cherish every second of my life not knowing where I’ll be traveling to next.
I’ve also been dating in LA for most of these five years. It hasn’t been easy. I can also confirm all the bad stories you’ve probably heard about dating in LA. I’ve been lucky and have met some great men. I’ve learned to try and see the positive in every dating situation I’ve experienced. I’ve been very open to meeting men from different backgrounds, lifestyles, ethnicities, life philosophies, and this has helped me better focus on what I want. I am ready for my long term relationship but I will not settle for less than what I want and deserve.
Becoming me and being okay with that has also been a challenge. When I moved to Los Angeles, I felt strong and powerful but after a few months in the big city, doubts started to cripple my brain. I started to lack confidence in myself and who I was. I went through a weird phase where I was very uncomfortable and felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I can proudly say that within the last year and a half, I have resurfaced and feel like my fully strong, independent, athletic, focused, and hard-working self.
Lastly, I’ve noticed in the past year that I have a tendency to enjoy and crave ‘me time’. I enjoy being home (or on the road) alone with a book, my computer or just a good cappuccino. I am happier during a chill night at home with friends than going to a crowded bar and doing small talk. Am I becoming an introvert?
Celebrating 5 years in Los Angeles- Lifestyles:
After living for four and a half years in the chaos of Hollywood and moving four times (in 5 years), I can tell you that I am much happier, rested, laid back and enjoying the slow beach vibe! It’s such a luxury not to have to use my car to run errands. I can walk or bike anywhere. I live one block from the beach, and not one day goes by without enjoying it. Sitting on the wall of the strand to watch and listen to the crashing waves puts me in the most relaxing and meditative state. I’ve also become the typical beach bum- always in beach attire or workout clothes. I do notice that I enjoy dressing up more now that I don’t do it as often! I’ve also come to realize that I don’t need much space or things as long as my place feels cozy and homie.
Celebrating 5 years in Los Angeles- Fitness:
I’ve tried multiple new fitness trends such as CrossFit, barre, pilates, TRX, boxing, Barefoot heated bootcamps and dove back into a regular yoga practice. I challenged myself and have definitely been mixing things up in my fitness routine. I feel very lucky to have such a nice running track (the path along the beach) only a few steps from my front door. Throughout all these different workouts, I learned how to become more comfortable with my body (still working on it!). I am athletic, strong, fast and competitive. I am learning to love that about myself and to stop the body shaming. I am also learning to rest more.
Celebrating 5 years in Los Angeles- The Future:
I want to keep traveling. I learn so much about myself and the world on every adventure I go on. I want to get back into playing the cello. I want to grow this website. I want to keep and solidify my valued friendships. I want to find my long-term relationship. I want to start a family. I want to buy a home and start this next chapter of my life.
I want to travel*. I want to love*. I want to be happy. I want to feel accomplished. I want to share it all with my life partner.
*When I first started my blog on Tumblr, my tag line was the following: Live, Love, Travel. Little did I know I’d still be wishing the same thing five years later. We change with time, but how much really?