I didn’t want to be a person with small life goals whose story isn’t worth telling. So, I decided to dream bigger and expand my life goals. Here is my story…
Life Goals: Moving From A Small Town
First, here is a fun fact: Atlanta isn’t the only city in Georgia. I was born just outside of Atlanta in the city of Decatur (where it’s greater), but when I was 3 years old I moved to my dad’s hometown, Thomaston, GA. It’s a one-high-school-town with less than 9,000 people. For most of us rural Georgians, moving to Atlanta means you have arrived and that was my plan. However, life took me to Howard University for graduate school. After living in Washington, DC for two years, I returned to Georgia to find that Atlanta had lost its allure for me. When a work trip brought me to Los Angeles for the first time in 2016, I knew this was where I wanted to be. Here are my 3 reasons for moving from Georgia to Los Angeles.
My first trip to LA was for a work event at the LA Taste of Soul. It was one of the best days of my life and the most black people I had ever seen. Yes, Atlanta has a lot of black folks, especially compared to other Georgia cities, but this was different. There were so many types of black people. I thought to myself, “even the diversity is diverse here.” I fell in love with the idea of this place where you can be whoever you are and whatever you want to be. More importantly for me, I could see myself building a tribe of people who share my common interests and also look like me.
As a kid, I had a knack for writing and would jump at the opportunity to engulf myself in creative projects at school. When it was time to choose a career, I went with something safe and “normal” because I had no idea that people had “real jobs” being creative. Los Angeles is a place where some of the most creative people in the world congregate and build their careers. It sounds cliche, but I can feel that the energy of optimism and possibility in this city. Seeing people who are living my dreams is such a great motivation for me. Some people are bold and can set out to do things that they have never seen done before. But people like me need to see proof that it’s possible. If I were a baby bird, I wouldn’t be the first to jump from the nest but once I see another bird fly, it’s on. LA is full of people doing amazing things and it’s a constant reminder that I’m here to be one of them.
It’s not enough to be inspired to create. Ideally, that creativity can be harnessed in a way that allows you to earn money. The opportunity to be paid for your talent is just as important as being talented. If you’re a tailor, you don’t open up a shop in a nudist colony- you go where people are wearing clothes. In Los Angeles, I now have access to any creative arena that I may want to explore. I’ve found not only job opportunities, but also ways to sharpen my skills. Eventbrite has free classes on everything from grant writing to theatre. So many experiences that seemed impossible are now a car-ride away. And this is LA so there is going to be some traffic along the journey, both figuratively and literally.
My life goals so far…
I only recently started to understand that a happy life isn’t just a thing that is handed to you because you’re lucky or blessed. It’s a thing that you can build with intention. Some people build what they can, using what’s around them. But other people go seeking the materials that they need to build what they want. Most of us are living lives made up of things and people that we collected along the way and we never feel the freedom to remodel. Moving across the country is an opportunity for me to deconstruct the life that built itself around me like misplaced Tetris blocks and rebuild it any way I’d like.