I have been thinking, planning, and hoping to start a lifestyle blog for the past two years! So thank YOU for visiting my very first post and coming to this space. Whether we know each other or not, I hope it serves as a place of inspiration as I uncover adulthood, post-graduate life, and starting a brand new chapter! This will also be a space where I share my favorite style-tips. Yes- that means fashion & beauty! So ladies, get ready!
Now if we don’t know each other, let me give you a swift run-down:
This past May I graduated from Indiana University (best school in the world) and thought I had a pretty good picture of what I wanted my life to look like. But-after being a small-town midwesterner nearly my entire life, I was itching for a new experience. I had spent so much time being a planner, living in the comfort of my predictable, safe & comfortable Indiana life, and I needed a change.
Which leads me to the key-topic of this post: starting over.
In about a month’s time, I booked a ticket to Los Angeles, filled two suitcases to the upmost capacity, and tried not to think much about it until the night before my one-way flight. My decision to move was not as spontaneous as it may seem, though. I have always been drawn to the beauty of California, the diversity of LA & the incredible amount of creative talent that lies within this city. Being a dancer, photographer, avid writer, and now.. blogger, I craved being surrounded by like-minded people who desired to create just like me. So here I am, a little over a month in, and I have learned an incredible amount, about myself, this world, and the advice I have for those who are starting a new chapter.
1: Keep looking forward
Life has an interesting way of playing out. When you’re beginning a new chapter, or in my case- starting over- it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In the first couple weeks of my move, I found myself questioning whether or not I was making a mistake. Moving to LA & beginning the whole new process of making friends, finding a job, networking, joining a church and the basics of living, transportation & even groceries is an enormous effort. It was easy to want to let my mind drift back to my life in Indiana, where I had a beautiful home, great friends, an incredible church family, my own family, and where they didn’t charge you for grocery bags.
However. I would remind myself of some words my favorite professor from college said to me once or twice when she’d see my shriveled-up- stressed-out-face (shout-out to you Irene) which was, “Every decision in life can be undone. You can even un-do marriage. Except kids, you can’t undo that.” Somehow the humor of her words would help me relax and turn my situation into a positive. Yes, starting over isn’t easy. It requires effort, an incredible amount of independence, and the willingness to kiss comfort goodbye. But, it is worth it, and when you feel in your heart that it’s time to end one chapter & begin again, I hope you trust it & keep moving towards the future.
2. Reach out!
When I got to Los Angeles, I was forcing myself to reach out to people. Alumni, friends of friends, church members, cousins of cousins…okay maybe the last part doesn’t apply to everyone, but I’m Middle-Eastern and when I say I have a thousand cousins, I mean it. Reaching out for help is NOT in my comfort zone. I take a lot of pride in my independent nature, and always want to look like I’ve got things figured out (even when I clearly don’t). Moving here, without much of a plan, forced me to reach out and be a little vulnerable. I cannot even tell you how many moments I’ve had, where I’ve been left completely dumb-founded by the kindness of the many people I’ve met over the last month.
The alumni community from Indiana University has been so gracious and kind, knowing what it feels like to leave Indiana to a city like LA is an instant connection. I’ve met family members that I didn’t even know I had. I went to church by myself and ended up sitting by a girl from Chicago (also by herself) and we became friends…long story short, she is the reason I am now working at CBS as a part of their Page Program. The list goes on. When you leave comfort and step-out into the world, incredible people will come into your life, and they will change you for the better.
3. Trust your gut
When I look back on my life, the moments that I have trusted my instincts, my gut, my heart (whatever you wanna call it) those have been the moments that have led me to the greatest parts of my life. I believe in God. & I believe that He has put a desire in each one of our hearts. That our passions and interests don’t come from no where– they are planted in each one of us, created– to make us who we are. When you follow that, when you follow Him, then you are living your life to the fullest. You may not know how it will all turn out (that’s me) but what you do know, is that you are being true to who you are and who you were created to be.
4. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
Those that have known me for awhile have heard these words pop out of my mouth in many situations. It’s my favorite quote…and for a good reason. I will admittedly say that I naturally drift towards comfort zones. I like to be comfortable, close to my family & friends & all that’s familiar to me. I’m a fan of routines. I get overly-excited about buying a new planner each year and filling it out & even though I try to embrace change, it’s a struggle for me. This was the first time in my life, where I didn’t have a definite plan. And although it scared every part of me, I had this quiet confidence about my decision to move to California.
Too often, we accept mediocracy. When we’re in the same mundane place for so long, the easiest thing to do is accept it. Staying in the same place is comfortable. It’s safe. But God did not intend for our lives to be mundane. And when that happens, it’s time to readjust and reconsider what it is we want from this life.
5. You are a lot stronger than you think you are
Starting a new chapter, or starting over completely, requires a hold bundle of strength. Whether it be a new job, a new city, a new relationship– or the end to all of these things- the end of a job, the end of a life somewhere, the end of a relationship- these are big life changes and they all require an immense amount of inner-strength. There will be moments where you will surprise yourself as to just how strong you are when life shifts its course. Cherish these moments, embrace them, and celebrate. Personal growth and the knowledge of who you are is something to be celebrated. For instance, the moment I successfully conquered driving on the 405 freeway (the most-dreaded in LA next to the 101), I celebrated with dancing to Beyonce’s latest album. In my car. By myself.
When you put yourself in a place of unfamiliarity, away from the comfort of everything you think defines you, it allows you to look deep within yourself. And as lonely and frightening as it could be, relearning and discovering how to live everyday life, is a brave and bold step to take.
Life is not meant to be lived in mediocracy. Find what you love and go after it, wholeheartedly. And if you’re not quite sure what that is yet, know that there’s an incredible life that awaits you, filled with purpose that only you can fulfill. Allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone, whatever that looks like for you. And let yourself begin living again.