When I was a little girl growing up in Jamaica, I used to look at the mountains and wonder what lied beyond them. I had heard so many stories about “foreign,” specifically about America. Those stories birthed a desire within me to experience “foreign.” The movies and music videos I watched on t.v. further ignited my desire to travel. I would imagine myself walking in snow, shopping in New York City in my frequent daydreams about a life outside of my beautiful island home.
At 12 years old I moved to Long Island, NY, and life became an adjustment for this small town island girl. I had dreamt of a different America. Yet, while the dream was not what I expected initially, and though the adjustments were sometimes too difficult to bear, my life beyond those mountains had began. I was in the foreign of my dreams, the foreign I had heard so much about.
Five years later, I relocated an hour away to New York City to begin college, and I fell in love. My beloved New York! The city where I became of age and blossomed into early adulthood. New York is where I first fell in love, had my heart broken, cried soul-aching tears, laughed heartfelt belly-aching laughter, form strong bonds of friendship, started many a natural hair journeys, developed my sense of style and taste for sophistication and created lasting memories. New York, the city that has my heart.
When I Relocated to D.C. to attend law school in 2009, I sought a change of environment. I needed a break from things and people in my life that no longer served me, so a new city represented turning a new leaf that I desperately needed to turn. Three years later after a lot of growth and lessons learned, I was happy to move back to my beloved New York a wiser woman, and move I did.
Yet six months later, I was packing my bags and booking a one-way ticket to Los Angeles for my first post law school job. I didn’t plan it, and I didn’t see it coming. The bleak job market for law school graduates meant that I went with the job offer even though it was 3,000 miles away. I can still remember staying up late at night wondering if I made the right choice and feeling a little bit afraid of moving away from everyone and everything I knew to a city I had never even visited.
Fifteen months later, I am still in Los Angeles. The first few months were tough. I did not know anyone, and I often felt alone. Yet I resolved that I would get out and meet people, and in this City of Angels, God sent people in my life that have blessed me in unexpected ways. In L.A. I learned to drive and got my drivers' license, moved into a chic apartment of my own and started the first job of my legal career. I am thankful. I have also grown in so many other ways, leaned on God more than I have ever done before, and learned lessons I needed to learn. Tough days came, but with and through Him I overcame them.
Oh Los Angeles! You grew on me, and you too will have a special place in my heart. I don’t know if and when I will move back to my beloved New York City, but I am thankful for the growth I needed and the lessons I learned from this City of Angels.
Here’s to celebrating 15 months in L.A.