From Toronto to Los Angeles: Taking the Leap

I used to envy those women in their 20s who dropped everything and moved to a new country. They took control of their lives and didn’t wait around for an opportunity, they made the opportunity. Up until a few months ago I always wanted to be one of those girls, and now I can say I am.

I grew up in Toronto, ON and I never realized until I left, how incredible the city is. It’s friendly, eventful, safe and a melting pot of cultures. I would like to think I was pretty successful for a 23 year old back home. I was working as an Associate Producer for one of the biggest Canadian Television Networks, I loved my job and the people I was working with. I was living in a beautiful apartment with my boyfriend of 3 years, I had a car, no financial debt and successfully attending weekly yoga classes.

I’m fully aware that I was living a very fortunate life; with the exception of wanting a better salary, I was exactly where I wanted to be. That was the problem. To be in my position at my age is a dream for some, but I wasn’t getting anything out of my career anymore and at my age, that’s terrifying. I always told my friends that I wanted something more but never did anything about it.

Six months ago I told my boyfriend I wanted to move to LA. That was what I wanted. I wanted a new adventure. My boyfriend was incredibly supportive of my decision and a month or two later he found a job in LA. We were on the first flight down for the job interview, we broke the bank flying on a long weekend but it was worth it; he got the job on the spot. We decided that we were going to do this. We ended the lease on our apartment and left both of our jobs. Unfortunately things didn’t follow through on Jake’s end.

We went through a roller coaster of emotions; what do we do? Do we try again? Do I go on my own? Do we stay here? After everything?! I finally said out loud what we were always thinking – I need to go on my own. This was an opportunity I wanted and I’m here and I couldn’t turn it down. A long distance relationship was something I’ve never done and something I didn’t want to do. Not being with Jake was enough to make me forget my dream, but you either know or will learn that A) absence really does make the heart grow fonder. B) You will be more independent than you could ever imagine. C) Someone who really loves you would never hold you back.

Before I knew it I was on a flight to LA with no prospects of a possible job, no money and leaving everything I knew behind. Of course I was scared but that’s what life is about. I could’ve stayed where I was, and happily wake up 10 years from now being comfortable and content with my life but that’s not what I wanted. I want to look back at my life and say “thank god I did that.” No matter what the outcome was.

It’s been almost 2 months and I was able to find an apartment, work, and Jake and I are successfully maintaining a long distance relationship and no, it’s not easy. Every day there is a different obstacle. I’ve had nights where I would cry and scold myself for what I gave up, but if it were easy then everyone would be following their dreams. That’s what sad about following your dreams: everyone has one but not everyone will take that leap and go for it. People can tell me that I had it easy and things ended up falling into place. I may have had it easier than some people but nobody sent me an email saying “If you accept you’ll have the opportunity to move to LA, find an apartment and car and get a new job.” I made that leap on my own, and I made the decision to do this by myself.

I learned that no matter where you are in life, never settle. If you have everything you want, think of what else you don’t have and go for it. Life is about experiences and feelings. Good or bad, each experience makes us who we are.

I have a lot of years ahead of me and I’m sure I’ll look back on this post and groan at how wise I think I am right now. It will change, but this is my situation and I only hope you can use my story as a little inspiration to take the leap on a dream that you’ve been thinking about. Don’t wait for it to be easy or fall into place, be bold and take a risk.

How to make big changes and take scary leaps into the unknown
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