Well, the honeymoons over. I find myself daydreaming while sitting in traffic on the 101, wondering if the west coast is truly the best coast for me and how many years I’ll be living here. It’s been about one year that I’ve been in LA and honestly California has begun to lose it’s new glow. Much like the start of a new relationship or job, I’ve been feeling that 1-year itch and struggling to keep the love alive for this sunny city. Palm trees are just basic trees nowadays and while the weather is nice I could honestly go for a snow day every now and then. It doesn’t help that I can’t answer everyone’s question, “so, when do you think you’re moving back?” If only I knew. In desperate need for a road map of where my life is heading, I decided to seek therapy. While I thought it would be much harder to find someone local who accepts my insurance, having a therapist in Los Angeles is more common than having a pet or lip injections so no big problems there.
I hardly came up for air during my first session. I felt the need to fill her in on the past year as quickly as possible so we could get down to business on building my future ASAP and she could tell me if I should move back to NY or not. After taking her through my move, the breakup and new job within 60 minutes I’m positive the poor thing had to schedule her own therapy sesh that evening. It’s been about 3 months now and the cool shit my therapist says has helped me tremendously and I’ve become less concerned about seeing the final destination on my road map and instead have been working on figuring out how I can enjoy this ride no matter how many twists and turns come along the way. Here’s some free advice straight my therapist, you’re welcome.
“It’s normal to crave the chaos.” In June of 2016 I remember telling my coworker how I was ready for the next big change—BRING IT ON! She urged me to sit the fuck down and to enjoy the moment and absorb everything that had just happened. Truth is, I became used to using my fight-or-flight responses and being on my toes that when it finally came time that I could stand still I didn’t know how to keep both feet on the ground. My therapist said it’s normal to crave chaos, of course we’d rather keeping moving than focus on fixing the present. I know now craving that chaos doesn’t suddenly make me spontaneous or fearless, in fact, there’s courage and strength in practicing stillness and fighting your demons and deep-rooted issues head on.
“A little anxiety is good for you. It’s how you use that anxiety that matters.” Anxiety will have me doing all kinds of unhealthy things sometimes. It will cause me to lose sleep, stress eat and randomly download Bumble again (I call that stress swiping). I would write a dedicated post about it if the internet wasn’t already flooded with anxiety focused articles as if it was the new kale. Now, when I get anxious I will make a to-do list which will include anything from projects at work to chores at home that might be causing me stress. Surprisingly enough I’ve become thankful to experience spurts of anxiousness because it pushes me to get shit done, as long as I take it one thing at a time.
“Continue to trust your gut.” I know that if something seems off it probably is. Whether it’s boys, friends or work-related, I always had a strong intuition that never failed me but I’ve found it to be harder to trust my gut after it allowed me to make some life changing “mistakes”. I hated that I started to second guess everything I was doing. My therapist reminded me that mistakes are inevitable—it builds character and resilience. I’ve become more comfortable in trusting my gut instincts again… even if that means it won’t result in a happy ending. It’s less about what’s going to result in happiness, but rather what feels right at the time and staying true to myself that matters most. I’d rather look back at my “mistakes”, knowing I wouldn’t have done it any other way, than choose an easier, more convenient path.
When I first walked in the door all I wanted my therapist to do was tell me that I needed to move back to NYC tomorrow… or that the idea of moving home was crazy and that I should settle down here in LA. She didn’t do either. Instead, she taught me to be myself while I’m here so that maybe one day I take that sense of self back to NYC. Or maybe not.