Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Day 55- My Move to LA

I was at the beach a few days ago before an appointment. I just sat there and thought how amazing and strange my life is compared to where I was 7 years ago.
In 2008, my life was in a bad place. For those of you that don't know, I was married before (more on that later). My marriage had been in shambles for a good year and finally in July we called it quits for good. The previous year I had undergone two heart surgeries and it had given me a new perspective on life. I was clinically dead for just under a minute after my first surgery and it really made me realize that it can all be gone in a flash. If I died tomorrow, what did I have to show for it? Almost nothing.
At the end of 2008 I graduated college, had discovered my freedom, and was looking to make some changes. I loved Portland, but I felt that it had offered me all of the experiences and opportunities that it could and I was ready for something bigger. I had a good friend that had moved to LA a few years before and I went to visit her that summer. I also met a boy... and although he wasn't the love of my life, he did give me hope that boys could actually be nice and genuine and not make me cry. I had never had any real desire to move to LA, but it just seemed like something different and new and exciting and I really had nothing to lose. After 4 years of being tied down and seeing my future dwindling, I decided to just hold my breath and make the leap.
I had about $1000 total in my bank and about $30k in student loan debt. I had no job. I had 1 friend and a boyfriend. I had no plans to speak of. But I did it. And Jesus, was it scary. I left on December 18, 2008. My boyfriend flew up and then we drove down in a UHaul that had every last thing I owned crammed in the back. We had to drive through one of the worst winter storms the northwest had seen in a decade and I had white knuckles all the way through the mountains. I remember pulling into LA just as the sun was coming up, exhausted and scared and cold.
I found a minimum wage job at a tattoo shop. I got a few small modeling jobs here and there. The boyfriend and I parted ways. I met a small handful of really genuine people that helped keep me smiling through the tough days. I met Trevor.
I can't say that it was easy. It wasn't. At all. The first year and a half I spent in LA was one of the hardest of my life. I missed my friend and family. I missed familiarity. I struggled to find work and pay my bills. I was dead broke and living off of pantry crumbs. My car broke down about 8 times. I made it through a whole summer with no AC in my apartment or my car. At one point I remember sitting in Trevors van, wrenching my hands and crying knowing that if I didn't find a real job within a few months, I would have to move to Denver to live with my mom. I was 26 and felt like an utter failure. I cried... A LOT.
But I made it through. And 7 years later, I am happier than I have ever been. By 1,000 times. I have a cute little house with all of my creature comforts. I have a new car that is reliable. I have a car AND a house that have AC. My dealings with sweaty armpits are minimal. I feed myself regularly and healthfully. I have health insurance. I have a job that I absolutely love and that allows me to travel the world meeting hot babes. I have a steadfast group of friends that have taken me on all kinds of adventures. Most importantly, I have a stupendous husband who loves me more and better than any other human ever has or ever could. And I have his incredible
family to love too.
Sometimes it takes those scary leaps to make you realize that life is waiting for you. The universe always catches you.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post! As an actress I know that moving to LA is one of the best ways to help my career and as much as I love the idea of LA it is scary to think about moving across the country with no one that you already know. I'm glad to see that it's possible to actually come up from next to nothing.
    -Stephanie

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    1. LA is a beast of a city. Probably 75% of people that move here don't make it. But if you get lucky like I did, it is awesome!!

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  2. THANK YOU. I needed this. I'm strongly considering moving out there (from the other Portland in Maine) and I'm terrified. I have nothing tying me down and there's family out there. So if you could do it with not much more than courage, why can't I? I'm proud of you for doing something scary. I'm proud of you for being so good and real. I appreciate what you do ❤

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  3. This was so touching Cherry. I really needed this. I moved far away from my family and anything familair about a year and a half ago and it's so hard sometimes. But this gives me hope! Love you!

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  4. Thank you for posting this!! I just moved from OC CA to Portland OR and I love it up here but it's terrifying. I made a leap and moved with my boyfriend and working on making it on our own in a new state away from family and friends has been scary. It's nice to know I'm not alone and this post brought me comfort and hope.

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