On moving to LA and the solidarity I found in Brooklyn

This one is for the dreamers who are out chasing their dream, whatever and where ever it is. In December, I fell in love with Brooklyn. Not the city, but the Saoirse Ronan movie. It is excellent.

Brooklyn (2015)

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Director: John Crowley
Screenplay by : Nick HornbyColm Tóibín (Novel)
Starring :Saoirse RonanDomhnall Gleeson Fiona GlascottEmory Cohen

I happened upon it while home visiting my family for Christmas. It was exactly the movie I needed. To put my life in perspective for you, I moved from the Boston area to Los Angeles in fall of 2015.

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I packed myself and my boyfriend into my little car and across the country we went to start a new life in a place where I could get a job.

Here is a picture of me and aforementioned boyfriend doing our best impression of Mount Rushmore during our drive across the country.
I watched Brooklyn and felt solidarity with Eilis. Moving is hard. It’s exciting and amazing, but it is really freaking hard. I know that moving to LA in the era of Facetime and smart phones is incomparable to moving to Brooklyn from Ireland in the 50’s, where a long distance phone call was a luxury saved for the most dire occasions, but starting a new life far away from everything you’ve ever known isn’t all sunshine and roses.

It was almost therapeutic to see a young woman my age on the screen and watch her feel the same things that I have felt. The longing to be with your people, but at the same time the joy that comes from living a life you created.

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Having a place to call your own, a job that you excel at are somehow even more special when you are far away from family and  friends.

It is really strange to have an apartment and pets that some of my closest friends and family have never seen.  The life I am living is not one that I would have imagined for myself even five years ago. But now, I can’t imagine what else I would have done.

Unlike Eilis, I brought my boy with me to my new world instead of meeting him there, but it is special and exciting all the same. He is brave and wonderful. He has made this move better than I thought possible. I am thankful every day that he came.

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Whenever I get homesick, I try to remind myself to be thankful for the amazing new experiences that I am only getting to have because I left my comfort zone.

Also, unlike Eilis when I want to go home, most times I can. It’s only a 6 hour flight. Very much like Eilis, when I come home to visit, it is hard to leave. I find myself wishing I could stay longer. I find myself wondering what my life would have been like if I stayed. I know that it would not be as fulfilling. That is hard to admit to people, especially the people I love. It is hard to explain that not having a career I am passionate about and interaction with people who share those same passions is something I need.

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I don’t always feel worldly or successful when I come home. That is the truth. But when I come home for a visit, it makes me feel brave to go back. I use visits home as a break to recharge. It makes me appreciate my life in LA in a new way every time. It isn’t that home is bad, it is just not where I need to be right now.

 

I know plenty of people from high school who have stayed in our town and are happy. I also know people who regret staying around and not trying something new.  My own mother has told me that she wishes she had done something like this when she was my age. She didn’t live outside of her hometown until she was almost 30.  I am lucky that when I decided to move, I had tons of support and comforting technological advances on my side. I don’t know if I could have moved across an ocean and relied on letters.

My point of this long rant, is to extend some solidarity to those women (and men) out there who have taken the leap and moved far away. My suggestion is to watch Brooklyn when you are homesick. Even if you are home when you are homesick.

You’ll feel so homesick that you’ll want to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won’t kill you… and one day the sun will come out and you’ll realize that this is where your life is.

Eilis – Brooklyn, 2015

There should be a word that describes the feeling of sadness when you are anticipating leaving a place you love.

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