What It's Really Like To Move Away- Part 2 (Los Angeles)



When we got off the plane in LA, I had a similar sinking feeling in my stomach that I did the night my dad left NY my first day of NYU. This time, however, I wasn't alone. We got a rental car, got a map (we didn't have phones in the US yet and had stupidly canceled our phones in Montreal), and made our way to a small hotel/motel down the street from our apartment. Did I mention we found an apartment on Craiglist, the building next to the Four Seasons we had stayed at 3 years earlier? Yup, we literally manifested the life we wanted in LA and it came true. We couldn't move in yet since it wasn't the 1st of the month, but we were able to go visit it that afternoon. It was a bit shabby, with rugs from the 70s and mirrored walls everywhere (I kid you not). But it was our new LA home.

I remember taking a taxi (Ubers weren't really a popular thing yet) to Target, buying toilet paper and shampoo (we had nothing) and then trying to figure out where we were to head back. We then made our way to T-Mobile to try and get cellphones, not realizing it would be incredibly difficult since we didn't have social security numbers yet. That was just a little sign of what was to come. I really think it was the biggest blessing that we didn't know how challenging the move would be, otherwise, I'm not sure we would have done it.

That summer I spent the majority of my time studying for the California bar and spinning at Cycle House. Did I mention I was also planning a wedding that was to take place two weeks after the Bar? Oy. We were learning our favorite restaurants, favorite walks with Luca, favorite coffee shops, exercise classes and the like. It was becoming home.

While LA is farther from Montreal than NY is, moving this time around was much easier because I had Ray. I also got really lucky with my job. A few months after passing the bar I found my dream law job. Ray had a bit harder time, primarily because our visas required that he stay with the same employer. While I'm not going to get into details about our jobs and financial situations in the first few years living in LA, I will say it wasn't easy. I started off making $300/week as a secretary (after passing two bars) in order to get my foot in the door in a field I was dying to practice in. Ray wasn't happy in his job. And together we didn't make nearly enough money to live comfortably in LA. Let's just say the stress of it all wasn't easy on our new marriage. Honeymoon stage? Ha! And yet, every time we talked about the possibility of moving back, we both agreed LA was worth fighting for (cliche but true). We were willing to work hard to make it work. And we did.

Fast forward 5 years and several visas later, I'm still in the same law job but now have my own office and making a bit more than $300/week ;). She Went West is in its third year and a great outlet for me and a nice source of extra money. Ray is doing well. And we live in a beautiful condo we rent in Beverly Hills. Let's just say we no longer face the same struggles we did when we first moved here. From the outside, it seems pretty perfect and glamorous. Most of the time I count my blessings because it really is pretty amazing. And yet, there are days I'm sure I want to move home. That's the truth. Those days are few and far between, but they do happen.

To be continued in Part 3


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