When I read Mel’s post from last Thursday, it made me quite emotional. I think most folks will agree with me that when thinking back on the first week, month, maybe even year in LA, it floods your brain with so many memories and feelings, it makes you sick to your stomach sometimes. Personally, I try not to dwell back on that first week. It always brings back feelings of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. This post is for all those folks out their questioning their future. What should I do? Should I move? Will it be too hard? Will I be able to handle it? Will it be worth it in the end?
The day I left my tiny town of 5,000 people to pursue my dreams, I remember getting in my car with my dad, pulling out of our driveway, and going down Woods Mill Drive for the last time. I started crying and looked over to find my dad crying too. Before this, I didn’t have one doubt in my mind that making the move to LA was what I should do; this was my fate. Now that it was really happening, my brain was overflowing with emotions on the decision I had made.
“Dad… I’m doing the right thing… Right?” I said in between tears, my stomach turning in knots.
“Yes…. Yes you are…” he said also in between tears.
Now, I try not to think of that moment. It brings me back to a place where I was scared to death of what was going to happen next. Was my Dad right? Was I doing the right thing? If so, why did it all feel so wrong? If only I knew then what I know now.
No one knows what will happen in your future. But how will you ever know if you don’t check it out? What’s wrong with trying new things? Yes, it is extremely hard to move to a new place. Yes, it is extremely hard trying to land your first gig. At some point you have to ask yourself if you can live with the “what ifs”. As the old adage goes, ‘you never know unless you try’.
This last weekend I went to the movie theater to see the first major feature I ever worked. At the end, there was my name in the credits. Even though I was just an Office Production Assistant (pretty much the lowest of the low) I can’t even explain to you that feeling. Squeezing my boyfriends hand so tight, my sweaty palms, my heart beating out of my chest… Not even a year ago I left my first real LA job after over a year of being there. I knew deep down it was not where I wanted to be, that my passion lied somewhere else. I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone. When I left that job, I felt just as I did that day I left home. Once again I was unsure of my decision and afraid of the unknown. I had heard time and again how hard it was going to be for me to break into scripted TV/Film, especially since I had been in reality for so long. But I went with my gut, I was able to make a dream of mine come true.
Photo Credit: Christine Wright
Like I said earlier, this post is to encourage you all to chase your dreams. You are going to fall down and you are going to get hurt, but just make sure you have an amazing support group there to pick you up. We live in a great country where we can do anything we put our minds too. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “A year from now, what are you going to wish you did today?”