Morgan, you aren’t in Texas anymore.
Moving halfway across the country can be terrifying. Like getting up to do karaoke when you can’t sing and haven’t had a glass of wine type of terrifying. But I’m a firm believer in stepping outside of your comfort zone and chasing your dreams. I’ve wanted to live in California since I was three years old. I remember wearing heart sunglasses, snapping my fingers (in a Z for-ma-tion!) and telling my mom I am mad at her and leaving for California. Yes, my dramatic tendencies started at a young age.
And come on, it can’t be that different from the South. Right? RIGHT?
Before you stop reading, this is not going to be an inspirational “follow your heart” type post. I’m just taking a hot minute to tell you what I have learned, wise or not, while living in the great city of Los Angeles.
I have been in LA for a little over a year and a half. I have had some really fun times, and some really hard, slap-you-in-the-face, tough times. I’m going to share what I have learned and I truly hope this can comfort some other newcomers. Or any young female. Or just anyone looking for a good laugh at my expense.
1. Everyone in California is freakishly beautiful.
Yo. But seriously.
Is there some unwritten rule that in order to live in Los Angeles, you must resemble a Victoria’s Secret Model? Or a walking Ken doll in extremely tight pants? (Seriously can someone explain how men fit into jeans that are skinnier than mine?)
I’m used to Texas where you can feel at home with the other Average Joe’s – no offense Texans, you have beautiful souls. I have come to the conclusion that everyone is a model. Or they want others to think they are a model. Or they use Instagram to claim to everyone they are in fact, a model.
At first I was DE-PRESSED thinking that there was no way for me to keep up with the beauty, fashion and trends in Los Angeles. How am I going to afford premature botox?! What does that even mean?!
Then I realized… jokes on me. This isn’t real life and I am wasting my time making comparisons to the C-list celebs out here who have stylists, trainers and an excessive amount of fillers and fake booties. As intimidating as it can be, I try and keep in mind that 95% of these people probably look like Frankenstein when they wake up in the morning. Just like the rest of us.
2. Dating is impossible.
I’m not kidding. I have given up. Mom, if you are reading this… I will not be married until I move my happy little self back home and find a nice, Southern salesman to accept my lack of cooking skills.
But in all honestly, when people say dating in LA is hard, they aren’t kidding. Everyone is seemingly a model, an actor, or just looking for another one night stand. HEY, WHAT HAPPENED TO CHIVALRY. Am I the only one who thinks old fashioned dating should still exist? Can we not meet on a dating app and force conversation in an overly crowded bar while I am secretly starving?
I won’t bore you with my dating life (I’ll save it for another time when I really feel like digging deep while stuffing my face into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s) but this story should sum up what I am trying to say.
I went on a lovely date with a guy and we ate dinner on the beach… cute, right? Yeah, think again. On his way to drive me home, he asked me to get out of his car and pump his gas for him.
Dating in Los Angeles. Impossible.
3. Everything is expensive and strangely healthy.
Happy hour should mean cheap, right? HAAAA. I have learned happy hour in Los Angeles just means the same price as it would be in any other state. I’m also learning that it is normal to drop twenty bucks on a cocktail or God forbid 80 dollars on a couple of shots. Rough night. Pretty sure I asked the bartender to pour them out and give me Svedka. Girls gotta save!
This is why I need to try swiping right more.
Also if you haven’t been to Texas, know it is the land of queso, grease and servings as big as yo face. A massive burrito that could feed four people but is actually just for you? A dream.
Well in Los Angeles, they apparently believe in portion control. Ew, gross. I have sadly had to say goodbye to Mexican feasts and leftovers for days, but ugh, fine. I guess I will stay in shape. Also, everything here is healthy. Or vegan. Or covered in avocado. Which I actually thoroughly enjoy because avocados are LIFEEEE.
But seriously I asked a friend to suggest a good Mexican food place to me. I was expecting a good Uncle Julio’s but instead got sent to a VEGAN MEXICAN RESTAURANT. You heard me. Meatless fajitas. Is that even legal? I was in shock, but apparently people here love stuff like that. P.S. – It is called Gracias Madre. They don’t have meat, but they have fabulous cocktails. And I’m sure they’re healthy.
4. People take photos. Everywhere.
Los Angeles hands down must be the most Instagram friendly place on the planet.
Want to go get coffee? Cool, there’s a giant mural for you to pose with your overpriced latte. Want to go hiking? Better get in line behind all the other girls waiting to take a photo with the Hollywood Sign behind them.
I think I realized how serious this was when I drove down Melrose Avenue at 9 in the morning and saw a squad of girls posing in front of a neon pink wall. Like… why aren’t y’all asleep right now? And why is a pink wall SO special?! Then I took a photo by the epic pink wall… and I get it. It’s cute.
I bet you think I am now about to say how annoying this aspect of LA is. Think again. I love it! I have always been rather… dedicated… about taking photos and in Texas you can really only snap a couple before everyone gets annoyed with you. Here, that ain’t the case. Y’all, they have whole museums dedicated to selfies.
5. Don’t like fitness? Well you better start to like it!
Before moving to California, I worked out a couple times a week at a local gym. I did my own thing. I hated hiking because well, in 105 degree weather… you just can’t. I also had never heard of anything like Barry’s Bootcamp, SoulCycle, Rumble, PureBarre. What is boutique fitness? What are workout classes? You mean they aren’t taught at the YMCA? WHAT!
In Los Angeles, everyone works out. Like everyday. Or to my dismay, multiple times a day. Because on every corner is a new, Instagram worthy fitness studio begging you to come in and spend 30 bucks on a class and possibly workout next to David Beckham. Yet to happen to me, BTW.
I’m not going to lie, when I started working at SoulCycle I immediately fell under the cult spell. Fitness in California is more than just sweating and feeling healthy, it’s like social hour. It’s where you can meet up with friends, hike Runyon Canyon with your pup, wear all the cutest gear and feel like you basically are on top of the world.
When in reality, it’s just the endorphins flowing. And that’ll wear off once you get hangry.
But hey, I get it now. Everyone here works out. Just do it.
6. Celebrities are everywhere. JUST ACT NORMAL.
YO BUT HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ACT NORMAL WHEN JUSTIN BIEBER WALKS INTO MY WORK AND I AM WEARING NO MAKEUP AND HAVE NOT WASHED MY HAIR IN A WEEK AND HE SOMEHOW ADDRESSES ME LIKE HE KNOWS I EXIST.
But seriously, my inner Texas still freaks out when I stroll past someone famous. I have now learned that it’s extremely common in LaLa Land. They are people just like me and quite honestly, look a lot better on Instagram.
7. Life crisis’ and emotional breakdowns. Embrace them.
This is just a personal life lesson for myself. But maybe it’ll help you too.
I moved to California with not a clue what I wanted to do. I knew I had a degree in broadcast journalism and I knew I loved being on camera interviewing people. And that’s about it. I truly thought I would move to Los Angeles, snap my fingers, send out my resume and somehow be better than the other 10 million blonde girls wanting to make it just like myself. HA, THINK AGAIN.
It took me a few hard months of adjustments to realize it is okay to not have a clue about where your life is headed. It’s okay to not have a perfect game plan. And it’s okay to call your mom once a week and freak out that you’re having a life crisis and have no clue what to do with your life and have no idea how your Pinterest wedding board will ever come into fruition. I’ve learned that you just have to roll with the punches of life, take every opportunity and know that things will work out in the long run.
And emotional breakdowns will happen. Go to the nearest store and buy a bottle of cheap Chardonnay, cry a little bit and move on.