6 Months After Starting Over

Here we are, a little over six months from when we officially said goodbye to our friends and families and most of our stuff.

If you’re new to the blog, my husband and I moved from Indianapolis to Los Angeles to seek better work and more sunshine. We got rid of most of our things and packed the rest into a little Honda Civic.

It feels like we’ve been here forever, but recently we got the chance to go back to Indiana and it was strange how much it felt like we never left.

Before I get into the personal updates, I want to give a little general advice.

If you want to move, move.

This phrase can be adjusted for anything you’re aspiring to do. If you want to X, X.

You don’t have to move. It’s not for everyone. But it was for us!

The most rewarding thing that has come out of this whole journey is the confidence. We wanted to do something, so we did it. We are giving ourselves the opportunity to decide what we want from life, rather than waiting for life to decide for us.

The initiative we took for this crazy move will help us in the future. The way we’ve learned to deal with naysayers and critics (although I’m still working through it) will also help us.

Be confident. Go for it.


Our first six months

We’ve been through some big changes, but there hasn’t been a challenge we were unable to overcome. Yet. So, here’s what’s up.

Home sweet home

We were able to dive into apartment searching immediately, and we were able to spend our fourth night in LA in our own new IKEA bed.

Since then, we’ve furnished the apartment very intentionally. I think we’ve done well getting furnishings that are really useful and beautiful – this is the loveliest apartment I’ve ever lived in.

My husband and I agree that we don’t really miss what we got rid of. In fact, it’s funny how little of it we actually remember. There’s not a single sweater or book that I want back.

We started fresh and uncluttered, and we’re still (mostly) fresh and uncluttered.

The daily grind 

This has been a good move career-wise for both of us. I’ve had more opportunities pop up with my work from home jobs, and my husband was able to quickly jump back into more meaningful employment.

When we arrived, he was able to transfer to a Trader Joe’s not far from our new home while he waited on a call from a company more relevant to his interest. He got the call earlier than expected and now he’s working closer to the heart of the television and film industry.

Going back to what I said earlier, we made this change to help get us both working more on what we love. We’re not 100% there yet, but we’re taking steps in the right direction.

States of mind

While I personally have some tough days (working from home can drive you crazy), I realize that I’d rather have tough days in California than in Indiana.

The difference between the two is that by moving, we actually seized an opportunity that was in front of us. We took the 2,000 mile risk instead of letting it pass us by.

Having a tough day is bad, but having a tough day and dwelling on missed opportunities is worse.

This city requires an active lifestyle and we find ourselves wandering new streets, beaches and mountains each week. We’re busy and tired like most Millennials, but it’s nice to have a little tan while doing it all.

Friend requests – 0

To make sure I don’t paint too rosy of a picture for you, I’ll let you in on a bit of a downside to the move. Since I work from home, I don’t know too many people out here.

The new friends I have made are all through my husband’s coworkers, so I don’t always get to see them. But when I do, I cherish that social time.

I tend to prioritize work over play, so meeting new people has been difficult (not that I’ve tried that hard).

The next step is to take some sort of class to get me interacting with other humans on a regular basis. Have you moved to a new city without a lot of avenues for meeting people? I’d love to hear what you did.

Because it can make a person crazy.

Moving forward

Since we’re already halfway through our lease, we’re starting to look into re-signing or moving somewhere nearby.

Some people doubted that we would make it past a year out here, so I’m excited to start into year two and show them what we’re made of.

We’ve been tossing around some big ideas for 3-5 years down the road that will impact this blog and I’m excited to share those plans when they become more concrete.

In the meantime, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, so expect more posts soon.

How was the first half of your 2015?


24 thoughts on “6 Months After Starting Over

  1. Hi Emily, I moved from New Zealand to Canada with my husband so feel your pain trying to set-up in a new place, I also find it a even trickier when you move and live with a significant other as you have a built in comfort zone/best friend, and also miss a lot of those random connections you can make through roommates etc. clubs and classes are the way to go! have you taken a look at meet-up? – it’s basically blind dating for friends! also if you’re interested in books check out The Girly Book Club (don’t be put off by the name it was set up by an ex-pat in the UK who was in a similar situation to yours)

    • Wow, what a move! You’re so right – it’s easy to just fall back on your spouse. However, for the good of both spouses it’s nice to get out and speak to other people 🙂 I have heard of Meet-Up but I haven’t used it…it sounds great! I’ll also check out The Girly Book Club, there’s one in LA that meets near me which is great.

      Thanks for reading and sharing some tips!

  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying your new(ish) location. I’ve moved overseas several times and each time, finding new friends was always the most difficult task. It is one thing to have friends online and another to find local friends to go and grab a coffee with. The first couple of times I just waited and expected friendships to naturally evolve… They didn’t, much. After that I began actively seeking friendships. I took gym classes, hobby classes, looked up events on in city guides, found coffee dates via expat & meetup forums and facebook groups, and once I had kids, organised play dates as part of achieving a social life of my own. Oh, and volunteer work – I must have met a good portion of my friends through volunteering part time for different bits and pieces. I think as adults in Western societies we often have a weird neurosis about being proactive towards forming friendships, as if it makes us a bit desperate. But that really makes no sense – of course you don’t arrive somewhere new with a ready-to-go crew! Anyway, I found I needed to really put some effort into getting the ball rolling, but it was worth it when I did.

    • You’re totally right about being proactive when it comes to friendship – there’s an expectation that if it works, it works. I think in school, it was easier for friends to just “happen” but it’s different without a structured environment.

      You have so many good ideas! Volunteer work really hadn’t crossed my mind, but that’s a WONDERFUL idea. It would double as getting out of the house and making a positive difference too.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Happend to land on your website via becoming minimalist. I am on path to minimalism myself and I find your blog interesting.
    To answer your question about making friends:
    I have moved a lot with in united states. I know the feeling of working remote. I do not enjoy it myself. So, when ever I move, I quickly join meetup.com and find the activities that interest me and join. They have wide range of activities, you name it they a have it. LA has more out door activities as well. I also look for some experimentative work out or fun classes – be it painting, sports, music, yoga, salsa, martial arts, or what ever that peeks you interest and join them, they are nice people to hang out with. Volunteering will also be an good avenue.
    Enjoy your sunny days in LA. I have visited several times and I enjoy the climate. It is my get-away place for winter in east-coast.

    • Thanks so much! It’s a lovely place for outdoor activities. I’m hearing about Meetup from a lot of people and I think it’s definitely going to be a good choice for me. I’ve even found a couple meetups really close to where I live, so I won’t even need to hop in the car!

      Thanks for reading & commenting!

  4. “If you want to X, X.” Such good advice! Action leads to learning, and I think that makes it worthwhile even if the “X” in question doesn’t turn out the way we expect. Thanks for the reminder! And welcome to California. 😉

    • Thanks Melissa! I’ve just heard so many people complaining about things they want to do, but so often fear holds them back.

      Thanks for the welcome, I’m loving the sunshine and beaches – so different from Indiana!

  5. Hi Emily,
    I’m so happy to have just found your blog – we have quite a bit in common. I’m from Ohio and now live in NorCal, with a bunny (and newly adopted kitty), vegan (sounds like you may be vegetarian?) and aspiring minimalist. I deactivated my FB a few months ago and have been decluttering my closets what seems like forever…now I’m not buying more stuff to replace what’s gone. It feels great! I look forward to reading through more, as I’m already feeling so inspired by your posts.


    • Hi Kristen! Wow, we do have a lot in common. I’m mostly vegetarian! I’ve definitely thought more lately about being exclusively vegetarian, so we will see.

      Decluttering never seems to end! I’m still finding things that I have no need for, and I wonder how they even made their way out to California with us.

      Glad to hear from you!

  6. I recently just moved from Connecticut to Boise, ID. No family, no friends, no work. We just had come here a couple of years ago and loved it and bought a house in hopes to raise a family here. We moved the last week of December not knowing I was just pregnant, now 7.5 months! I love it here!
    I go to all kinds of meet ups and joined a Mom’s Club ahead of time, also since I teach pole dancing I found an all female fitness studio nearby and dropped in and got hired immediately to teach a few classes which equals automatic friends. Close friends are still hard to find, but you will never find them if you are not out there looking!

    • Wow! What a big and exciting change. Congrats on the upcoming baby!

      That’s so inspiring – you wanted to move somewhere and so you did. Fear holds so many people back, which leads to regret so often.

      I’ve absolutely loved hearing from you and other readers about meeting new people. It’s so motivating! Thanks for your comment, and best wishes for you and your family 🙂

  7. Hi Emily
    This is another blog that I found from Joshua’s becoming Minimalist and I am so glad I did.
    You said one thing, ‘Be confident. Go for it’ that really resonates with me and if only more people did that, took a chance and I’m sure they wouldn’t regret it.

    The friends issue is always going to be a problem in a new town but at least you are getting out there, even if at first it is via your husbands circle.
    When we moved, we got a dog and joined a few dog classes. We figured that even if we didn’t hit it off with people at the class that at least we would have our dog to talk to! It worked a treat!
    Best wishes

    • Hey Mark! It sounds so simple, but it’s such a necessary reminder.

      Hah! Pets are great, aren’t they? I have two rabbits that I can always count on to lend an ear.

      Thanks for the comment and best wishes to you as well!

  8. So exciting! I think the first year in a new place is usually the hardest. I moved to Denver from North Carolina just over a year ago and it felt so good. I just seem to “fit” here and the mountains are awesome.

    May you find a good friend soon!

    • Wow, what a move! I’m always happy to hear from others who decided to take the risk in moving too. Congrats (a little late) on the move and for following your calling.

  9. I have moved many times and learned that it usually takes about a year to feel totally settled. You are ahead of the curve. You will make friends. Hang in there.

  10. It usually takes about a year to settle in and find friends. Hang in there. Love Los Angeles. Lived in Manhattan Beach for 9 years and loved it! Now living in Cincinnati and love it too. Have made many friends at each new place we have lived.

    • Thanks Susan! Oh how wonderful. You know, I haven’t spent a lot of time in Cincinnati but I’ve heard some wonderful things about it. I’ll have to check it out someday when I’m in the midwest again!

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m certainly excited to meet new people!

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