February 14th, Valentines day, 2018
That was the date I boarded my first one way trip to Los Angeles California. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I can confirm this entry reads exactly like all the other cheesy “All my dreams came true after I stopped running from myself and faced my fears” Facebook posts published by The Odyssey, brought to you by some white 20 something year old girl who decided to be trendy last week. This is only going to get more cliche so if you’re still holding onto your breathe for whatever dramatic twist and turn I have prepared for you that will make THIS blog post different than all those OTHER blog posts… there isn’t. This is it.
I am going to tell you, it’s been about 10 months now that I’ve lived in Silverlake, CA and for those who don’t live in CA, its about 15 mins from the walk of fame, 15mins from DTLA, 30mins from Venice beach (on a good traffic day) (yes the traffic is as bad as they say) and right across the street from a series of cars that never seem to stop getting broken into, or at least it would seem that way from how many car alarms I hear on a regular basis.
I had made the decision to move to L.A. after I was offered a job that seemed to have come out of thin air. of course, I’m no longer with the same company I started with, because after couch hopping for 2 1/2 months and pretending to really love the place I was working at, my employer decided it wasn’t really a “good fit.”
Instead of regaling you with the story of how an incredible group of talented people all the way from Venice and West Hollywood helped and took care of me while things got hard with my job or how my current employer hired me after only a few weeks of being a “self employed freelancer” (and trust me, those two weeks felt like months). I won’t go into detail about how my roommate packed up his life in New York City and found our current apartment to start fresh in a place he’d never been. I’m just going to say that I’m incredibly lucky to have found so many people who were willing to help me and believed I was talented enough to make it on my own. Of course, I didn’t do everything on my own—I had help, almost every step of the way.
After I moved into what’s now a fully furnished apartment, I can’t help but look back and think, how in the blue hell did I manage to do that? My dad always says that—blue hell—which I don’t really get. But whatever, it seems fitting.
To be completely honest, everything happened so fast, and i’m sitting here in my bed writing this in the hopes that whoever’s reading this is also sitting in bed, bored, looking for a sign to start a new chapter in their life… looking for inspiration to go after what they really want.
I’m not writing this because moving to LA was the best decision of my life or that the move put my life back together when things felt like they were falling apart. Moving to LA did teach me, or reminded me rather, that I have never gotten anywhere or started a new chapter without asking for help and that I’m still, in a lot of ways, the same person I was when I was in college and high school.
I remember when I needed to present something in school, I completely winged it (which I don’t recommend… I was a high C/low B type-kid). ANYWAY, the reason I’m telling you this is because as average as I am, or as average as you might think you are, you never know what you can accomplish when you ask for help— or take that random job offer to LA.
By now you’re probably wondering, “Okay, what’s the secret?” The secret to how I started this new chapter, and how I start anything, because of course job offers don’t really come out of thin air. I said it before, I’ll say it again. I can’t stress it enough. The answer is asking for help.
Now, let me explain what I mean. In 2017, I swear I started every conversation with, “I’m looking for a job.” Literally. I applied to every job listing (okay, mom… not all 84 that you sent, but the ones that really interested me).
I’d say, “Hey, how are you, I love your work, I’m looking for a job” to strangers on the internet I thought were cool and interesting, even if they weren’t hiring.
I did this for about a year after graduating college.
“Jack, this post is getting really long.” Listen, I know. I just really want you to take these things away from my ramblings:
1. Speak the things you’d like to happen out loud. You never know who might be listening.
2. Say yes to help.
3. You are going to feel stupid.
A lot. It’s how you grow up.
With the start of the new year in hindsight and the promise of new beginnings in our foresight, I implore anyone who’s still actually reading this to start putting yourself out there. This is your sign.
Contributing Editor: Malena Larsen