You Survived: Tips on Survival in Los Angeles
I was at an event recently, where someone asked where I was from and how long I had been in LA, I quickly responded Texas, and added up the time to be a little over 6 years. They responded with a big smile, and said, "Wow, you survived! Most people are done after a year."
Survived? Isn't it funny, that term is even used. Survived, as if we are out in the wilderness, when we are just in a hustling, bustling city? But, honestly, survived isn't misused, because it's easy to lose yourself out here.
You know LA and I, we're in it together. It's been of the most challenging and inspiring decisions I've ever made 6 years ago. I learned more about myself, and I think when you step out from your comfort zone, you grow. When the things, people, you are used to, have to call on, are gone, you learn to be dependent and faithful in ways you've never had to.
So, here are my tips for surviving in the City Of Angels.
Stay Faithful. Stay Grounded
Having faith is important to me, not only in God but also that his plan will play out. It's been a key to how I got acquainted and plugged in at first in LA. I found a great church, and from there an awesome community of people.
Stay grounded. LA has a lot of glitz, glamour and "fame." Everyone is "somebody." Don't get caught up in the names, the who's who, and the key events to be at each week. A marathon of that, leads you circling your tail, comparing, and It's just empty, and I see so many people burn out so fast. The ones I look up to, are the ones who have kept their values, have kept their head down, and just cranked their work and dream out.
2. Find One to Two Friends Who Are Like Minded
I think the biggest misconception with friendships is the thought that you need a ton. In reality you can have a million friends, but it's just essential that you have one or two that are like minded. It's important to have those core group of friends to call when you need help, are struggling, or just need a sushi date to unplug.
LA is unlike any other place. For that reason it's inspiring, captivating, and sometimes can be discouraging all at once. Don't forget to leave. The beauty of LA is that you are so close to so many incredible destinations; Malibu, San Diego, Laguna Beach, Big Bear, etc. Get out, walk around, clear your head, adventure.
4. Draw Your Boundaries Early
Hugely important. Stick to your values. Decide early on what you will and won't do. Draw those lines in the sand. Make things black and white for yourself, so when you are faced with those temptations or challenges, it will make it easier for you to make the decision that you will be proud of.
5. Call Home
My Mom always jokes, "don't forget the little people," referring to herself. My family/friends aren't little whatsoever, and neither are yours. When you're discouraged, having a challenging time, many times it's those people who help your engine keep going. No matter if you're having a great or horrible day, call home, check in. Don't let your dream get in place of people, especially people you love. If you do, when you reach that "dream" there will be no one on that mountain top except you.
Lastly, LA isn't for everyone, and I'll never know where life will take me, but LA and I we're together for now. I think another key of "surviving" the City of Angels is being honest with yourself. If it's not for you, don't feel like you have to be miserable. It's dynamic, energizing, discouraging, and inspiring all at once. LA, you and I we're survivors :).