According to the movies, falling in love is grand act that happens in as little as 3 days. Love comes easy and fast and both parties are enthusiastic participants. The is no question about wants, or needs. Fear may linger but it doesn’t stop love from growing and developing. According to the movies, falling in love is easy.
Maybe falling in love with another person is that easy, but falling in love with a new city is harder and scarier.
Six months ago, I decided to move. I had virtually no plans and I was not excited about Los Angeles. It was a safe choice. It felt like I couldn’t fail in a safe place and a new place made me feel like I was doing something for me. Los Angeles is warm and sunny, how could I not love it there?
By my second week in LA I was hit with reality. I wanted to love LA, but I didn’t. I actually resented it. I was alone. Sure, I had people around me and support in LA, but overall I was alone.I couldn’t rely on my people being a few miles away, or drown myself in work or meetings. For the first time, I had to deal with me in a new city. Like falling in love with another person, it doesn’t work well if you don’t have self love.
In the beginning, I was full of self doubt. Things weren’t happening the way I expected and I felt inadequate. It felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone because it was supposed to be this big adventure and it wasn’t. Everyone told me how lucky I was because I was in such a fun beautiful place, but it’s hard to love something when you don’t fully love yourself. So I resisted LA. I found everything imperfect thing and complained about it.
Just when I was seriously considering going back to Detroit, things started to make sense. It wasn’t LA I didn’t like, it was me. For the first time in years, I didn’t have stability. I couldn’t lean on comfort and safety. My move seemed like a safe choice, but it ended up being the most risky decision I ever made.
When I came to grips that the real issue was my self doubt I cut LA some slack. If I was unhappy with myself, it really didn’t matter where I lived. The more I worked on self love the more I fell for my new city. I showed myself that I was deserving of goodness. I spent less time complaining and more time showing gratitude. I explored, embraced the imperfections, and built connections. I marveled in the fact that LA was my new home and chose happiness.
It took 6 months for me to fall in love, and that journey is not over. Everyday, I fall for the city and myself a little bit more.