What It’s Like Moving Half-Way Across the Country At 18

I remember my mom telling me stories about how she would come home from work only to hear the sound of a six-year-old me stomping around the kitchen in her high heels that barely fit around my feet. Ever since I was a little girl, I was always trying to grow up too fast. I mean for goodness sake, at five years old I had already been talking about how I would meet my prince soon and get married! And I meant it too. Needless to say, my head was always in the clouds, and my heels were going in whichever direction they pleased.

Leaving a familiar, comfortable place and venturing out into the great unknown is something I’m very accustomed to – and something I actually enjoy! It’s funny because I’ve lived in the same house all of these years growing up, yet I was moving all of the time! For example – I’ve been to two different grade schools, and three different high schools all because I was either curious or bored. The first was a private school, the other a school for performing arts, and lastly a good old public school. The ability I had to adapt easily to new changes and circumstances played a very pivotal role in preparing me for what was coming my way.

Minnesota is my home state, but I knew ever since fifth grade what I would do after high school, and exactly where I would be. I told all of my elementary buddies that I was moving to California to study fashion design. Not a single one of them believed me, until the summer of 2016! I had just turned 18 a couple of months prior, and I was beyond ready to get the heck out of that place and be on my own! I graduated High School on June 8th, and moved to Los Angeles June 24th.

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I found it absolutely hysterical when people were shocked and appalled that nobody in my family was moving with me, because I was “way too young and naive to be on my own.” To their surprise, I survived. I arrived knowing absolutely nobody in Los Angeles, and I loved it! Even my roommates were randomly assigned to me by the school I was attending, so I didn’t even have a choice to be with someone whether I knew them or not!

I remember taking hours of walks in places where I had no idea where I was going, let alone how I would get back to my own apartment! From wealthy neighborhoods to skid row, ocean to mountain, you can believe that I saw a great deal of it! I would take random train rides to cities and beaches I never knew existed – and to my surprise I always found my way back home without a GPS! Can I get an award or something?

Needless to say, It was one of the most beautiful, nerve-wracking, and exhilarating experiences I’ve had. Yes, I missed my friends and family like crazy, but I did manage to make new members on my own as well! Were there times I felt alone? Of course! But I’ve never been afraid of just me, myself, and I. Sometimes you need to travel to new places to find out what you really want in this life, and sometimes it’s best if you do it alone.

~ Xo, Rachel.

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