So, by the way...I'm moving to New York.
I'm from Seattle, and when I went down to Los Angeles for college, it was a tremendous ordeal. I was the first person from my family to ever leave the area - they're all still up there. I, however, had lofty goals set for myself in the entertainment industry, and I knew what I had to do. So I went anyway.
Eight years later, I've been through film school, written screenplays for a living, and had plenty of LA adventures - parties, premieres, run-ins with celebrities. I've met a lot of great people (and a slightly lower number of awful people) and I feel at home here. So I'm moving to New York.
I've done LA. That's not to say I'm done with it, because I like it here, and I know I'll be back. I love year-round summer and the beach, I love being so close to so much that has to do with movies. I love sitting next to Al Pacino at lunch sometimes. (Okay, once.) My career will probably keep me coming back here for most of my life, assuming I do in fact have a career in Hollywood. But I have a pretty good idea what the next year or two of my life will bring me if I stay here. New York? Not so much.
I've always planned to live in Manhattan for "a year or two, at least." I've only been there once, in 2004, and even before that I knew just visiting would never do. I needed to have the experience of actually being a New Yorker. (Some will scoff that one would dare call himself a New Yorker after a year or two. Suck it.) However, I also had that plan with Paris, Sydney, Venice...and it all sounds very exotic and faraway. Moving to New York was like that. Something I'd do someday, when my career and personal life and financial means beckoned me to.
Well, none of those things have lined up. At all. So you can imagine my surprise that "someday" is now. I decided on a whim. I don't have any idea what I'll do for work when I get there and I do not yet have a place to live. Is this daring? Oh my, yes. Reckless? Probably. Completely inane and destined for failure? It's a possibility.
I have two weeks left in LA. I'll be in Manhattan the first week of October. I'm not bringing much with me; I'm leaving a lot behind. Actually, scratch that - I'm leaving everything. Moving to a new city for college is one thing: it's set up to allow incoming freshman to ease into a new life. Moving later, for no particular reason, is something else entirely. There will be no welcome orientation, no mixers for me to meet new friends. There is only me - and this decision I've made. It goes completely against what I "saw" happening, my plans and expectations. That's what makes it so exciting! ...And possibly the stupidest thing I've ever done.
But I'm going anyway.
Los Angeles is engulfed in flames at the moment. California is in financial ruin and unemployment is ridiculously high. Things in the film industry are moving at a snail's pace for anyone who isn't already established. And personally...well, I've taken a few hits myself this year. It feels like a good time to abandon ship, escape from a burning house with only what I can carry. I'm ready to see what else is out there for me. As a writer, I think it's important to take in new environments and experiences. As a human being, I think it's important to keep challenging ourselves and step out of our comfort zones every once in awhile. When I look into the immediate future - in, say, three months' time - I don't know where I'll live, what I'll do for a living, or who I'll be spending my time with. I don't have any specific expectations. That's thrilling and terrifying and definitely out of the box for me. I'm trading in everything I got for a big fat question mark...and so I know, even if it doesn't work out, it's worth it.
So Manhattanites, beware! I'm coming your way. If anyone knows of any fantastic jobs or living situations out there, let me know. Otherwise I am seriously looking forward to making new friends, having new adventures, living at an entirely different pace, and experiencing all that New York has to offer. Whether my reinvention turns out to be more Woody Allen or Roland Emmerich, I guess we'll see....
One month and counting.