Why I'm Not Moving to Los Angeles
Last week, I talked about a time recently when despite all of the incredible forward motion I was experiencing as a new writer, I felt disconnected from myself and that was having an adverse effect on my ability to produce any work for a television show I had been asked to be a part of. If you haven’t read that post yet, I recommend checking it out before reading on because the content of that post will help this to make more sense. Click HERE to go directly to that post.
Because I had agreed to get on board with the aforementioned television show and decided to seize the opportunities within my reach, I also decided to buy into the idea that in order to be successful in film and/or television, you have to live and work in Los Angeles. Now, I do want to be clear that not everyone who has been encouraging to me and my creative endeavors has touted this idea and those who did, I believe, were well-intentioned. However, I had heard it enough from people around me and the myriad of professionals sharing their knowledge online: “If you really want it, you have to live here.” And I do. I do want it.
So, what did I do? I started planning my life around my near-future relocation to Southern California. I started “living as if” which included driving around neighborhoods when I was in the area, thinking about how easily I could or could not rent a property purchased in Fresno when the time came for me to move, saying out loud “when I live in LA”, and generally dismissing all other possibilities for my life that did not revolve around Los Angeles. I was laser focused. Tunnel vision, one hundred percent. And with each passing day that I forced “living as if” and with every hour I spent sitting at my computer trying to make the blasted cursor move as I mentioned before, I started to feel worse and worse. As I said in my previous post, I came to the realization that it’s because I was out of alignment with my Inner Being.
When I visualize my dream life based solely on feeling amazing, I don’t see me sitting in a writers’ room working for a major network. I don’t see a large home on the outskirts of Los Angeles. I don’t see myself on the cover of magazines or on the red carpet with cameras flashing. I don’t see a crowd of people sitting in velvet covered seats in the audience cheering for me as I held up my umpteenth award celebrating my achievement as a filmmaker. I don’t see the glitz so commonly associated with the entertainment industry nor do I see the not so glamorous behind the scenes. Even though I know I want it, it is not as vivid as I might have expected.
Instead, I see myself marrying the love of my life. I see him by my side in the hospital for the delivery of our children, hearing their laughter and watching them grow up. I see us traveling the world together making memories that strengthen our bond and our understanding of it. I see family dinners with several generations present. I see quiet nights spent home alone in each other’s company. I see bilingual babies speaking Spanish and attending hula classes. I see my nieces and nephews growing up with our kids the way I didn’t get to. I see a home office covered in books and production posters. When I close my eyes and envision my future, the images that come to mind first and bring me to tears of absolute joy are not dependent on any move to Los Angeles. It would actually be further out of reach for me in L.A. because the majority of my family is here in Central California or in the Bay Area.
I’ve said repeatedly how important my family is to me. How my family is not only my support system but my inspiration. It is by no means perfect. My gods, do we drive each other mad sometimes, and there are some painful memories but it is still, by far, the greatest blessing of my life. And I cannot remember a day when I didn’t want one of my own. In a nutshell, if I had to choose which to highlight reel I would prefer - family or fame - I choose family.
I am in no way saying that if you want a career and you want a family, that you cannot have both. You absolutely can. Nor am I saying that if you don’t want a family you are in any way wrong for not wanting one. If anything, our differences in what we want and what we find important proves that not everyone desires the exact same life - so maybe we can all stop standing on each other’s necks to get ahead. What I am saying is that what is true to me and my Inner Being at this point in time was not matching up with where I was putting my attention. Therefore no matter how much momentum I was building up for my career, it was not going to make me happy because I would be disconnected from what is most important to me. That my actions, my living as if being completely conditional to my expected move to Los Angeles kept me from fully living in the moment and effectively prevented any other opportunities and blessings that the Universe was trying to send my way from flowing into my life. One of those could very well be a path of less resistance to success as a writer than if I had moved to Los Angeles!
Please understand: I love to write. I love stories. I love storytelling. I want to tell stories that move people, that speak to them, that encourage others to share theirs. I want those stories to be told on screen because if the recent surge in independent movies and even blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Black Panther have proven anything, it is that change is happening in entertainment creating opportunities for minority and female creatives like myself to have a platform from which to share them. I want to be a part of this unprecedented time in film and television history which is why I was willing to keep speeding towards Los Angeles on the momentum that was building from my “wins”. But in order for me to do so effectively, I have to be honest about and focus on what me happy. Which brings me to my final point:
Be honest with yourself about who you are and what it is that you want.
I understand that sometimes, being honest with ourselves is harder than being open with others but I think that’s because our hearts have a tendency to call bullshit on our brains and our brains are subconsciously wired with the beliefs imposed on us by others. Ask yourself: If everything in your career went exactly as you pictured in your mind, would you be happy in that and all other areas of your life? How would your career impact your other “wants”? Are you willing to make all the sacrifices necessary to achieve your career goals? Depending on your answers, you may find that you need to make adjustments here and there. You may find that the visualization of all your career dreams puts you in such a high vibration that it moves you to tears. Or you may come to the conclusion that what you thought you wanted is not your dream after all. Either way, when time is our most precious currency - something we cannot make more of or get back once it’s been spent - it is much better to know and in that knowing, be better able to go after what it is that sets your soul on fire and be confident in your decision to do so.
There’s an analogy that Abraham-Hick likes to use about a speeding car and a tree likening the car to one’s momentum and the tree to the resistance in their vibration. Abraham advises against slowing down the car and instead, decreasing the size of your resistance so that it is no longer a threat to your momentum. But I want to tell you from experience that even the smallest of debris can cause considerable damage to your vehicle when you're traveling at a high speed. I want to encourage you to take your foot off the accelerator. Slow down. Before you end up at a destination completely different from the one your Inner Being had planned for you.
Have you ever struggled to be honest with yourself? What do you visualize for your dream life? Would you have made a different decision than the one I made? Let me know in the comments below.