I’ll get right to the point: Justin and I are quitting our jobs and leaving Los Angeles.
On January 1, 2009, Justin and I packed my Volkswagen with what was most important to us — a collection of books, a shoebox stuffed with photos, a vintage Olympia typewriter (you know, the essentials) — and began a journey that would take us from a snow-covered Davenport, Iowa to a perpetually sunny Los Angeles, California. We were just kids, 20 and 24 respectively, with big dreams and even bigger insecurities. But thankfully we understood if we wanted more, we had to make it happen.
People always ask, “Why’d you choose Los Angeles?” and I want to reply, “Why not?” Don’t get me wrong, I hated this city for a solid year. As soon as we got here, I was terrified we’d made a huge mistake. Sky-high rent and our low-paying jobs. Hours spent in an unnerving amount of traffic. That thick brown layer of smog hanging overhead, causing my hair to smell like an ashtray. The people. So many fucking people. There were lists of why to hate Los Angeles, and I had them written on the back of my hand.
However, overtime I learned to respect and, dare I say it, love Los Angeles. What changed? The only thing I could control — me. Los Angeles challenged me, and I had the choice to either self-destruct or face the pain. Thankfully, I chose the latter. I strengthened my relationship with Justin. I built a community of supportive friends. I worked hard and moved up in my career. I found a great apartment slash sanctuary. I travelled and gained respect for the natural beauty surrounding me. I navigated freeways and learned the ins and outs (and In-N-Outs) of this city. I realized strength I didn’t know I had and established confidence where there was none. I made Los Angeles work for me.
But our bags were always packed. Even before we arrived, we secretly knew Los Angeles was temporary. It was a matter of time before the urge to face our next challenge would present itself, nagging at our hearts, and that urge has been in full force as of late. And so, in less than a month, we will be on the road in route to our next home. We’re feeling a little like those two crazy kids from Davenport right now, breaking down barriers and molding the lives we want to live, but this time we’ve got the confidence and experience to embrace it. We haven’t put a final destination on the map just yet, but we have lots of dots lined up along the way. Follow @hellobenna to stay up to date on our travels, and I’ll occasionally update the blog with photos.