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Moving Out and Moving On
That’s a wrap.
I meant to post something here on Substack in June but things just got really busy. My dad flew out to help me finish up with the apartment and then I was on a plane back to the Midwest. Both me and my cat ended up being affected by the United shenanigans, but luckily we only had to stay over night at the LAX Hilton (free of charge, of course). It wasn’t easy moving to LA, so I guess it’s only fitting that it wasn’t easy moving out, either.
I thought now was a good time to kinda look back and reflect a bit on the experience (also I need to post something here). I was a little taken aback by how bittersweet it would be. If you knew me in person for the last 6 years, you’d know that I did not like living in Los Angeles. I used to joke that I only moved there to work in animation so I could pay off my student loans. I was only half joking. I hoped for the day I would be able to finally move out and find that place I was really meant to live. But when the time finally came, I was really sad. Like walking-around-my-apartment-sighing sad. More so for the people, the friends and loved ones, I would be leaving behind. It wasn’t a hard decision when I finally got the sign that it’s time to move on, but it still hurt.
I did attempted to search for somewhere to go before this. I went up to the Bay Area, and though it was fun and interesting with some nice scenery, the vibes there weren’t exactly hitting for me. I tried down South in Georgia and North and South Carolina. Atlanta was fun and it was amazing seeing the Blue Ridge mountains and more small town living in Greenville, but nothing really made me think, “Yeah, I’m definitely packing up my things and moving here as soon as possible.” Just more places to come back and visit.
Eventually, I did get that pull. But it’s for an entirely different reason that I’m sure I’ll talk about on here one day. What’s more important is that I have a plan. I realized that I had no plan while I was seeking out new places to move to. My hope was just to move somewhere, out of LA….and then what? What about my animation career? Would I even know anyone in the new place? Even when moving to LA, after I secured my job on Infinity Train, I actually had a reason to move there. It never crossed my mind to just pick up my things and move there and hope I would land a job in an animation studio off the bat (it took a year and a half for that to happen in the end). I’m spontaneous, but not that spontaneous.
So why move back home? And what about my career? What are my plans going forward?
Well, I’m moving back home to stay with my folks for the next four-ish months to save up for my next move. And I’ll still be working remotely, thankfully, in animation on an upcoming project (I’m very excited to work on this show probably not for the reasons you think). At first, when I had zero plans, moving back home seemed like I was going in the wrong direction in life. I dreaded having to move back in with my parents. But now, I really do feel like I’m finally moving forwards again in life. Because I finally know what my next move, my next goal is. I was freaking relieved and felt no hesitation to move back home because I know what my next move is. So, I hope I get to share my plans with you all soon!
All in all, I think I’ll always look back kinda fondly on my time in LA county. It really is a cool place, with so many things and events I wouldn’t have back here in Detroit. People tend to only look at the bad, and I was one of those people for a while. But coming from a city that always gets shit on, I know how it is to see people who aren’t from your town make passing judgements on it and never get to know the real city, so I tried not to be too harsh. There’s a lot of LA that I still haven’t seen yet, but I’ve officially put it in the “fun to visit, less fun to live there (for me)” cities category, so I’ll be back I’m sure.
High highs and low lows aside, I made a lot of good memories. I had career experiences I never thought I’d have (I got to work for my dream studio, Tonko House and then subsequently have to leave there 3 months later due to extreme burn out, haha 🥲). Health issues and two (2) surgeries! Friends that I hope to still have in my life until I’m old and gray. The majority of my twenties belongs to LA. I’m not the same person I was when I moved there, but I’m proud of the person I’ve left as.
My only regret is that I didn’t take enough pictures! Running around Little Tokyo. Getting to be in a gallery show at Gallery Nucleus. Seeing Hollywood for the first time. Going to El Matador Beach in Malibu. Skating on the Chandler bike path during Covid. The dinners and hangouts with friends that I wish I did more of while I was there.
It feels like I barely even took pictures of myself! Years 26-28 I didn’t really want to be seen online (that’s a post for another day) at all, in any capacity. Not my art, not my face. I hope I can change that before I turn 30.
Here’s some photos I did find.
Los Angeles!!! Thanks for the memories, I wish you well, and see ya later!✌🏾 ☀️ 😎
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