Leaving the Life and Career I’ve Been Building for 11 Years

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dtown

It’s been 11 years since I packed up my Ford Ranger and headed west to the City of Angels.

 

I had just finished 4 years of college getting a Fine Arts degree in Costume Design and was ready to get my career started. Life was exciting! My adult years were just beginning, and I saw big changes coming my way!

 

1 Month after walking across that stage and getting my diploma I was stepping foot in my new home in LA. I didn’t know how I was going to make it all work, but my determination kept me going.

me jacket

 

Leaving my career

 

My first year living in LA was a hard one to say the least. My boyfriend, who had also moved to LA after graduating college, and I quickly broke up 2 weeks after becoming Angelinos. This I soon found out was a common occurrence with LA transplants.

 

Finding a job in costuming was more difficult than I thought it would be. There were lots of jobs that couldn’t pay and many others that took advantage of young people trying to get their start. I ended up doing background work for the first few months to make ends meet.

me set

 

I didn’t enjoy doing background work at all, but it kept me close to the film industry and allowed me to have an open schedule if a job in costumes did come along.

 

I knew how to sew thanks to my mother and fashion classes in college, so I was able to land a job as a stitcher at a small costume house. I learned a lot of great skills at that job and fabricated costumes from all eras. I didn’t want to sew for a living, but I had fun doing it.

 

After a year and a half of calling a particular costume house every 2 weeks, I was the lucky girl chosen to work in the warehouse and get my union days. I was elated when I got the call. My dream was finally happening!

 

I worked in the warehouse for a year before I left to begin my career in television and film. I got on a popular TV show working part time and quickly moved my way up in the department. The rest is history. It’s been an incredible opportunity for me. I’ve worked on some amazing productions and with wonderful talent. Never in a thousand years did I think I would have ended up working in Hollywood, but that’s where my path lead.

 

t chong

 

As much as I have enjoyed working in the film industry, there are things about it that have been weighing on me. Things that have been on my mind for a while now. I don’t want my life to be so controlled by work, but the long hours working on set can easily do just that.

 

I see life passing by so quickly. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize 20 years have flown by. Those years should be filled with exciting adventures and wonderful memories.

 

It scares me to leave something that I have worked so hard for, but my calling has changed, and  I am ready to start a new path!

racks

 

Leaving the city I love so much

 

Even though my start in LA was a little rocky, I really have grown to love this city. It has so much to offer. There is hiking, beaches, and desert all no more than a couple hours drive from the city.

sunset

 

My love for the outdoors has grown tremendously since I moved to LA. I’ve hiked in some of the most beautiful areas on the west coast. Yosemite. Sequoia National Park. Angeles National Forest. I’ve seen abandoned gold mines and some of the oldest trees in the world. Hiking the mountains surrounding LA has been my favorite escape when I need a break from the busy city.

 

vasquez

 

LA also has plenty adventures below sea level too. After getting my dive license in Koh Tao, I was prepared to explore some of the spots I had heard so much about in southern California. The Channel islands, Catalina Island, beach diving in the OC. I’ve watched sea lions glide through the open blue water and searched for hidden underwater caves below Catalina Island. LA really is an outdoorsman’s dream.

 

I’ve also become a more aware person thanks to the City of Angels. Yes the it’s congested, and yes there is smog, but there is also a large population of people who want to help fix it. I cared about the environment before moving here, but I didn’t know nearly as much as I do now. I am more aware of my impact and how I can help because of the people I met in LA.

strawberry peak

 

Living in any big city, you can find many volunteer programs, but LA’s close proximity to nature gave me the opportunities I was looking for, which have helped me grow my love for volunteering.

 

Sometimes I get sad thinking of leaving this city that I love so much…..until I get into traffic, then I am more than ready to go! But I know there are plenty of other places out there that I will love just the same or possibly even more, and I feel the need for a change right now.

palm trees

 

Who knows. Maybe I’ll get out there and realize I love LA too much and it’s the place for me. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…..

 

Have you lived in different cities? What was your favorite?

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