So, here’s the thing. If I’m honest, which I realize is imperative when I write my monthly blog, I don’t think I’ve spent much time asking myself the question in the title of this article. Where do I go from here? Maybe it’s because I have lived in LA for 16 years, the land of ‘reinventing yourself,’ and ‘where I go from here’ is up for grabs so long as I have the stamina. I’ve reinvented myself countless times in this city, by way of two marriages, 3 careers (makeup artist, music video production coordinator, and handbag sales director, all true) before becoming an entrepreneur. As a result of all of these changes, I made it a point to enjoy my life now, which in turn, never left much motivation for ‘where do I go from here.’ Instead, I have always tried to build my life on the sentiment that ‘be here now’ is way better than ‘where to next.’
As most of you know, my husband and I welcomed our first child into the world this past August. At the risk of sounding like every other parent on the planet, having Monty in my life has changed my life. And not just in the “I never knew I could love something so much’ kinda way. Or the ‘my life is not my own’ kind of way. Or the ‘my body looks different’ way. For me, the loudest change has come as a result of the perspective that having a child can gift you. To paraphrase, for the first time in 16 years, I’m considering leaving Los Angeles. And while I wish I could say it’s solely because I don’t want to raise a child in LA, the ‘I don’t want to be an adult in LA’ is echoing louder and louder these days.
My husband and I talk about it all of the time. Could we raise a child in LA? Sure. Could we move even further out of the city where the public schools are better? Sure. Could we cut back on certain costs to account for the opportunities and experiences we want to give our child? Sure. Could we DO IT? Final answer: Sure. But would it ultimately be harder and a constant consideration for money and more stressful than either of us want it to be? Absolutely. Not to mention that LA was a hard enough city to mentally go up against at 23 years old, when I moved here after college. I heard someone say recently that living in LA would be a disservice to Monty, should he ever want to ‘move home.’ It stuck with me. ‘Moving home’ isn’t as easy here vs. other places in the world. It’s a hard city to put down roots, even if you’re successful. To be blunt, it would require a high paying occupation or a willingness to have 2-3 roommates. It’s safe to say that what’s ‘normal’ here is not ‘normal’ elsewhere. Driving a BMW as a 15 year old is not normal. Going to private school from middle school on shouldn’t be the only option.
For these reasons and more, LA now has an expiration date. And I, for one, am excited to get out of the LA bubble and see what else is going on in the world. What drove me to LA initially isn’t necessary anymore. What I’m after is a a real sense of community. Kindness. Hiking trails outside my door. A cozy, diverse town vs. a bustling chaotic city. A Seattle vs. a NYC. A Nashville or Raleigh over a London. Or, perhaps a Vancouver, BC? :)
Starting April 23rd, Micah and I, as well as Monkey and Monty are driving up the coast and settling down in Vancouver for 6 weeks. This will be our litmus test to see what we actually miss about LA. So often when you travel, you want to come home because you miss your partner or dog, or bed. But, what happens when everyone comes with you and the bed in your new home is apparently pretty nice? This is the great experiment of 2020.
I am excited to see what life can feel like in a new place. How fresh air and water you can actually drink out of a faucet can change the way you feel. How community can make you feel like you belong. How something different could quite possibly unlock changes in myself. While I will forever love Los Angeles for the friendships, the opportunities, the start of SkinOwl, and gifting me the lessons I needed to learn before meeting my husband, I for the first time, can see life outside of it. I can see my future. And in that future, I’m smiling. So, again I ask, where do I go from here? My answer: anywhere.
With love and leaps of faith,