So you’re thinking about moving to a new place to pursue your dreams. You’ve entertained the idea once, twice, maybe even a hundred times. But you’re scared, even terrified to say it out loud. Or maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re one of those creatives who are blessed with an unwavering belief in themselves, has had a plan since Day 1 and nothing can deter you from it. Good for you! For real, I’m happy for you cause that shit is rare! But let me tell you, I wasn’t one of those people. My name is Julia. I’m a 26 year- old singer-songwriter from Toronto who’s been living in Los Angeles for the last year and four months. It is everything and nothing I imagined it would be.
I’ve always known music was my path in life. I worked professionally in the Toronto music scene for several years, made a good income and a solid reputation for myself. I was starting to become reaaaaally comfortable and didn’t like it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to recognize that when I become complacent, I know it’s time to move on. I didn’t feel challenged anymore and knew if I wanted to grow, something needed to change. LA had always been in the back of my mind but started to become a reality in 2017.
I’ll be the first to admit, I was very fortunate with my situation. I knew the right people who knew the right people. Everything seemed to fall perfectly into place, almost as if I was being handed a life in LA on a silver platter – because I was. And although I was grateful, the Shitty Committee in my head kept saying, “Julia, this is way too easy. You haven’t earned it. Are you sure you deserve this?” It took me a long time to quiet that voice but eventually I did. Because I had earned it and if the Universe didn’t want me to have this, it wouldn’t have given it to me so effortlessly. I packed up my life and moved to Los Angeles on December 30th, 2017.
My first year in LA was difficult. Mentally and emotionally, it challenged me in ways I hadn’t been challenged before. I was lonely. Like, really lonely. I try not to throw around the word ‘depression’ loosely, but if I wasn’t depressed I was probably very close. My life in LA wasn’t unfolding like I expected it to. I didn’t realize how long it takes to make friends when you move to a new city. How could I? I’d never moved to a new city before. I would gig on Saturdays (for those unfamiliar with US visas, you can’t legally do anything else outside of your visa to make money) and then have to fill up my time in the other six days of the week. To put it simply, I got bored realfast. You can only practice and be creative for so many hours every day. On top of that, I couldn’t afford to live outside of my means, which made solitude feel like my only option.
Four months into my second year and it’s slowly but surely getting better. I’m still not where I want to be but I feel like I’ve definitely made it to the other side of that dark place. Let me be clear – although it’s been hard, I’ve never once thought to myself, “This was a mistake. I should go home”, because LA is my home now. I am home. This was the change in pace and energy that I needed, that I was longing for back in Toronto. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be and despite the challenges, I’m grateful every day that I’m here.
So if you’re thinking about moving to a new place to pursue your dreams, it’s totally worth it. I promise you that your journey will differ from mine. Maybe you’ll get a silver platter and maybe you won’t. It doesn’t matter. Remember that your path is uniquely yours and no one can take what is meant for you. You can literally do anything you want in this world and I hope after reading this, you jump in with both feet.