I moved to Los Angeles in January 2015 in the middle of a Chicago winter, so in my mind, Southern California was sunny temperate paradise. I was riding on a high of what I thought L.A. life would be like and in a lot of ways, I was let down. It was hard. Not everyone was nice. I was going through a breakup and it felt like I just couldn't catch a break. I encountered shitty craigslist roommates (more than once), I got in a car accident, I wasn't making enough money, my dog got sick, family members passed away, etc. I faced setback after setback and my dreams of immediate success were completely squashed. I remember going to a friend's apartment (who was also freshly post break up) for a girl's night and was surrounded by a bunch of badass Texas women who had all been there before me. One of them (shout out to Tara Jayn!) gave me the best advice:
"It will take you at least a YEAR to get your head straight after moving."
I've ended up repeating this to fresh LA transplants a million times. I've repeated them to myself a million times. There is a damn good reason moving is included in the 5 most stressful experiences in life. It is a long drawn out process of being ripped out by the roots and replanting. Just ask any plants I've bought from Home Depot. Shit's TOUGH! (RIP like 5 succulents).
There is no timeline you "need" to be on when it comes to getting your shit together. The more patience you have with yourself the less frustrated you'll be when the next obstacle pops up, 'cause it probably will. When people ask you what you're working on, it is totally acceptable to say, "I'm figuring it out". People get it. If they don't get it, they're shitty people. It's also completely normal to redefine what success looks like to you. I turn 30 this year and my idea of success is COMPLETELY different than what it was at 28, or 22, or 10 years.
Thanks to a whole bunch of self care and patience, I feel somewhat settled and I'm *pretty sure* my head is pointed in the right direction. That certainly isn't to say I always feel that way. I still question myself and have bad days and feel lost, but that's okay!
I guess if you're going through a break up, a move, a job transition, a crisis, a loss (or all of them at once) the best advice I can impart is to give yourself time. I mean, you've already heard that. It's like the most unhelpful helpful advice ever- but damn- it's so true.
The most tactical tip I can give for what worked for ME was finding a way to reconnect to myself by revisiting things I've enjoyed over the years- which happened to be playlists I made years ago, pictures I saved, stories I enjoyed. Saying what's up to "Past Hannah" reminds me that I somehow made it through that shitty year that one time so I can get through this now- so I'm 100% confident that you can too. To quote Kelly Clarkson, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".
You got this!
Here are a few things that remind me of the big transition that was 2015: