Welcome to California …now what?!?

My move to California has prompted the need for a lot of inner work involving vision boarding, mission mapping while cultivating sense, purpose and honing my talents. Most importantly, it’s forcing me to tackle fears and doubts for why I chose to move from DC.

Welcome to California
My first two months in California involved major couch surfing in North and West Hollywood with a couple of old friends from childhood and college, and a short stint with a seemingly sweet but totally psycho lady for a week. Amidst my new nomadic millennial lifestyle (read: homeless), I also quickly was forced to face a looming fact — my now independent contractor lifestyle (read: unbooked and unemployed) also meant I now needed health insurance, and cash flow fast to cover mounting bills and creditors (read: sis is broke).

Why did I move here anyways?
The lure of wanting to first and only stay in West Hollywood (i.e. Boystown) was both appealing but also quickly helped me to move away from my true purpose for why I moved to California. 

If anything, these first two months have pushed me to re-evaluate how, and why I do things.

I initially chose to move to support with a family matter in Long Beach. Of course, I’d be lying to say this alone was my only reason. The opportunity to professionally re-brand into a more creative and community-driven entrepreneur — while pursuing new career opportunities in a new part of the country, away from a place and people who to me for various reasons grew cold and enamored with trivial pursuits. The “escape” to California was the fix I needed, but little would I know getting up and leaving i.e. relocating did not mean my problems would automatically disappear and magically be fixed. 

Two months deep…now what?!?
If anything, these first two months have pushed me to re-evaluate how, and why I do things. It’s forced me to be to rethink existing relationships and my approach to cultivating more meaningful reciprocal ones. Also, while facing what I run from the most, my own role in allowing light and also dysfunction and hardship into my life. 

All this, in the first two months of my time in California, came storming in with a quickly depleting bank account and a long list of overdue bills. Thoughts of, what have I done — choosing to leave stability despite feelings and thoughts of uncertainty — you could have stuck it out but look at you now struggling to figure out where the next paycheck will come from, or better where will you be sleeping next? Will living with family in Long Beach truly mean the end of the world as I know it?!? This all whilst Mercury retrograded in peak summer — was and has been a bit much to say the least.

As two months, quickly turns to three and soon four (I’m not counting — you’re counting!), my figurative chickens I borrowed as loans from friends and family are also now coming home to roost. From a stint as a server/host with a Tunisian restaurant, to working retail chasing sales commission at a Men’s contemporary store — considered a West Hollywood institution that’s now closing its doors after 36 years in business — and most recently supporting LA’s leading bikes and hikes ecotourism company staff operations and now tailor proposals for expansion, no one day or week has been like the other.

So many times we plan with good intentions as society tells us that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Some times life does it’s own thing, causing out beautifully crafted plans to fall by the wayside.

Important lessons learned along my journey
But as with every twist in our story, challenge we face, and obstacle we overcome — it is crucial to remember this too is an important part of our story. These are the difficulties that make us stronger and wiser and prepare us for what’s ahead. As we grow and succeed we may imagine that soon the challenges will fade away, but if I’ve learned anything so far in my life journey and conversations with successful professionals, creatives, mentors and others, is that challenges never go away – instead they get more complex as we grow and succeed.

The most important thing I’ve learned on my journey so far is the importance of flexibility. So many times we plan with good intentions as society tells us that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Some times life does it’s own thing, causing out beautifully crafted plans to fall by the wayside. Learning to be flexible has allowed me to be more forgiving of myself and others when things don’t go as I had hoped.

You are going to have some negative experiences…We cannot let those experiences define us. Most importantly, do not let them become setbacks. Keep pushing forward.

Our ability to thrive therefore depends heavily on our ability to learn from our experiences and so here are three additional important lessons I’ve learned along my journey towards manifesting my own unique path:

  • The process is more important than the prize — because the process itself is the prize. Having a dream to change lives all over the world begins with taking advantage of every hour and disciplining ourselves to be competitive for those who need us most. I must live for the PROCESS.
  • You are going to have some negative experiences. It could be as simple as someone not liking your work or being denied an application to that seemingly ideal job. We cannot let those experiences define us. Most importantly, do not let them become setbacks. Keep pushing forward.
  • The harder you work, the less you worry. When our work ethic is at a high level, that eliminates any doubt we may experience because we know how hard we’re working and that gives us an unwavering amount of confidence.

What my welcome to California sounds like
If you know me, then you know, that my song playlists tends to be about more than music — they can reflect my mind, where it’s traveled, my perspective, what it’s come to imagine, and when words exhaust expression, streams of melodic poetry fill the void. This playlist is no different and sets the tone for me as I welcome my new chapter in California. Turn your sound on and hit play. 🙂

Have a song I should hear? Email me with your suggestion!

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About the Author
Mariel Kanene is Founder and Editor of TheArtOfPersptive.co and lead storyteller with a focus on people, place and purpose. His passion for storytelling was born in Kinshasa, Congo, groomed in Dallas, Texas, and cultivated in Washington, DC where he now resides. By day, Mariel spends his days slowly trying to change the world—one meaningful interaction at a time. When Mariel is not in the office, he spends his free time in athletic pursuits from weightlifting to yoga, swimming, and martial arts.  He loves good conversations over good coffee and even better rum. He hates talking about himself in third person. Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciated. Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin .
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