Recently on Insta stories, I confessed that it’s been a challenging time for me. Well, that’s an understatement. Life has hit me hard recently, both personally and professionally. I’ve never faced so many challenges at once, that it’s literally put this uber organized, master planner in commission, as I try to muster up the energy to think or plan past next week.
If it weren’t for my best friend, my soul mate, my sister, who has earned a doctorate in phycology by just listening to me vent, cry, stress out, and analyze my life from every angle possible (on a daily basis), I don’t know where I’d be. While I could sit here and tell you about all the challenges that I’ve been navigating through for the past few months – but I think I’m better served at reflecting on what I’ve come to realize about myself through these moments of heartbreak and disappointment.
I don’t like change.
Part of moving to LA was an attempt to overcome this. To break out of my comfort zone and experience an evolution in myself that would be life changing. In many ways it did this, but it also made me hold on tighter to the things I loved and the routines that made me feel secure.
LA brought on many firsts…
- First time I moved away from home — Moving into the city, a 40-minute drive from home doesn’t count! This was a for real move.
- First time truly independent from family and friends – I knew NO ONE in LA!! NO ONE!!!! I was so lonely. It was heartbreaking.
- First time travelling across the USA alone – When I accepted the offer to move to LA it came with a caveat – I had to take a step down in my role and become a merchandiser for the West Coast for a year. Tough pill to swallow, when you were successfully running PR and Marketing for all of Canada. But as a merchandiser, I got to travel and see to all the nooks and hidden gems of places like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Texas, Miami and Chicago. I got real familiar with the West Coast and some of the East, very quickly. And my reward after the year was a significant bump in salary and title of Director of Marketing for Pentand Brands USA.
- First time in a long distance relationship, and last – Boy there’s nothing like distance to tell you the true measure of a relationship. It brings to light all of the good and all of the bad. For me, it killed my relationship, and unearthed qualities that I don’t think I would have ever seen without moving miles and miles away.
- First time enjoying the luxuries of that US paper!! – Coming home to TO was like Christmas!! That exchange rate was finally working in my favor!! YASSSS MAMA…
If you asked me 3 years ago if I’d be living in LA LA LAND I would have told you – “You’ve got the wrong person”. But exactly 3 years ago I packed up my life in Toronto, left my family and friends, and set out to start this next chapter that I really hadn’t anticipated, planned for or visualized. . . I fell in love with LA, with all of California. From the cotton candy skies to the food, each city has its own vibe and flow. There’s very little I didn’t love about my life in LA. It spoke to my fresh pressed juice obsession, fed my hunger for avocados with a pinch of salt and supported my decision to go dairy free! LOL. . . Stepping out of my comfort zone propelled me to experiences I thought I would never have. It forced me face and overcome my fears, reminding daily fear is a construct of your mind. I got comfortable in my skin, in who I am and what I have to offer. . . I also met some of the dopest people who each inspired and motivated me to be better each day. Thank you to all those I met along the way and all my friends who celebrated this next step – your support made this really difficult move so much easier. . . I can’t wait to show you what’s next… XO, Les . . . . #blackgirlmagic #curlygirl #trusttheuniverse #nofear #lookforward #bossbabe #deserving #adventure #nextchapter #seeyousoon #madeinla #losangeles #california #caligirl #neverstoplearning #neverstopdreaming
I definitely grew in ways that would have never been possible had I stayed in Toronto. I have a deeper understanding of oneself and deeper love and appreciation for being Canadian. I look forward to applying all of the things that I learned in business and in life that I’ve accumulated over these three years (almost) to whatever comes next for me.
However, old habits die hard. And while I’ve been cataloging and documenting my experiences and growth here in the US, I have also done a great job at creating a beautiful nest here in LA, my comfort zone. Which brings me to this quote and to my initial observation of myself.
If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards and back
I’m currently stuck in another comfort zone. What I’ve only come to accept and embrace right at this moment is that my blind spot in life is created by my desire to not move out of my comfort zone. And as a result, it’s the reason for the chaos that is afflicting my life right now. My desire to fight against change and the unknown has silenced my gut feeling. Causing me to sink deeper into relationships that have run their course, careers that no longer ignite passion, and overall making misguided decisions that no longer encourage growth.
I have to pause for a moment. Because I’ve never confessed that to myself before, and now that I have, I have to hold myself accountable for every decision that follows. CRAP!!
Change is hard for me. But change is inevitable, and better on your terms then on theirs. To all those who are stuck in their comfort zones, I encourage you to step out of it. Because when you do, you’ll be surprised just how prepared you were for the very change you were hiding from.
I’m excited for 2018 and what it holds for me. If nothing else, I hope that I have helped to show you that although change is hard, without it, we cannot hope to grow into the people we are meant to be. The new year is waiting for us.
Make sure to come along on my adventures by following my Instagram Account. See something you’d like me to write about? Tag me! I can’t wait for you to join in on my #DoTheDaniel adventures in 2018.
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Photos by Lesli Fairweather