Moving to Los Angeles

I’m moving to LA.

I wanted to write about that choice.

It started with a business conference— SIGGRAPH was in town. My usual route with business conference is to take 12 hours of nonstop meetings and basically be consumed in work— this is unlike my usual schedule, but I just feel there are too many people to meet and there’s such limited time. The problem is I’m a wreck after that.

So this trip was a new plan. I was going to stay in Santa Monica and go to Downtown LA for the conference. It’d force me to be really thoughtful about how I spent the time, and I adore the ocean— I knew I’d want to work as little as possible around it and it’d help me resist the urge to throw myself in endless meetings.

So much trauma happened to me in Seattle, and it all boils down to the feeling of happiness I felt while on this trip.

I’m a very logic-minded person most of the time. I knew logically California made me happy— I used to live in San Diego and loved it. But I moved back for lots of good reasons. Seattle felt… practical. It was much easier to build business there, I knew people there, I knew the city like the back of my hand. It… made sense.

And that feeling of happiness was just so much greater than I expected. In Seattle I was basically constantly depressed and in emotional pain because there were triggers everywhere. LA not only lacks those, but it has memories of good times, and I also just really get along with the culture here, and it’s SO much easier to make friends, and there’s still lots of companies here for business building!

I laid in bed one night in my hotel, about 3 days in, and just let myself entertain the idea and watched how I felt. Didn’t mean I needed to act on it, just wanted to feel that inspiration and joy. Then I spent the next couple days talking it over with people, working out logistics, figuring out if it was going to all go wrong. And after a few days, I started slowly closing down mailing lists and accounts in Seattle, I cancelled my plane ticket back and got an Airbnb, and then a couple weeks later officially gave notice to my apartment.

I can’t run from myself, but I can run from external triggers into happier places, and my external environment does impact me. I always search internally, but that’s not always where the issues lie. Now that I think of it, that’s been a recurring issue in my life— blaming my environment on myself when I really could just switch up the environment to solve my problems. I need to focus more externally.

I switched up my hair, clothes, location, and now I feel the outside matches the inside much better. I longed for a move to Seattle when I was 18 years old. I’m 30. I’m not that person anymore.

Not The Exception