I’ve recently moved from my home state of the last 15 years to a completely new location. I went from being in the middle-of-nowhere Colorado to the west Los Angeles area. And although I was always a city boy, this has been one hell of a change for me. To start things off, I am virtually alone in this concrete wilderness. But, it is something that needs to be done. Los Angeles is now my new home.
Challenges of Being in a New Home
I left my family behind because I lost myself over the last several years. I forgot how to live and was completely miserable. It was to the point where my 11-year old would look at me with sadness…because she knew that I was slowly slipping away.
Although at times I feel like I am making a mistake, I also know that if I didn’t make this change that I would surely have rotted away on the inside. Everything within me was festering like a diseased corpse. I was a hollow shell of the man I once was.
So, now I am in my new home and facing a wide berth of challenges that are forcing me to reclaim myself. I need to succeed – there is no option for failure here.
Working from an Old Laptop
For the past two weeks, I was working from a laptop that was older than my daughter. Sure, in her time, this laptop was the latest and greatest in business devices. Today, she is just too slow for the fast-paced work I am in.
As a result, I paid to have my ex ship my primary computer to me. Unfortunately, UPS decided to drop it off the plane as they were over Los Angeles. Or at least it looked like it. The front of the case was smashed in and my monitor looks like the scraped it across the cement. Needless to say, I was less than impressed when I opened the box last night.
However, she turns on and everything is still functional. In fact, I am writing this post from the glow of my 22-inch widescreen. I definitely missed this machine.
Uncomfortable Sitting Arrangements
The apartment I am kind of renting is already full of someone’s stuff. Aside from my ex wives, I’ve never really shared a space with anyone else. Although he is gone for the next five months, I still feel that I am not cut out as a roommate.
Anyway, I don’t have a desk. So, my computer is sitting on this small end table and my second monitor is sitting on top of a laundry basket. Because once you’ve worked as a writer with two monitors, it’s really hard to go back to just one. The chair I am using is killing my back and kidneys. And my ass feels like someone beat it with a two-by-four.
But, I can’t really complain. It’s better than being homeless.
An Expensive City
One of the biggest things I needed to work on was self-sufficiency. Before, I always had someone to support me when I didn’t make enough money. There was always someone there willing to fork over the cash I needed to maintain the bills. Now, I don’t have that support structure. I need to do this myself or live on the street.
Los Angeles isn’t the cheapest place in the world to live. Then again, nowhere is really. Even my home of Denver has gone up in price in everything. This means I need to be more vigilant than ever before or starve. In a way, I am forcing myself to be more responsible and produce the work.
The silly thing is that I’ve always been capable of making enough to live virtually anywhere. But when you get lazy and fall back on the generosity of others, you forget that you can do more than just survive.
I came across something ridiculous in my new home recently. The local store, Vons, has Progresso soup on their shelves for $3.50 a can! Seriously?!? In Colorado, they are $1.99 at the most expensive stores. Yeah, so I bought 48 packages of Ramen for $5.
Transportation Around Town
Because I am a freelance writer, I really don’t need to put much effort into traveling to work. My office is six inches from my bed at the moment. However, it is a bit of a chore to go shopping.
In reality, I am overweight and rather enjoy the thought of having to walk about three miles or so to go get food. But there are days when I think it would be so much more convenient if I had a car in my new home. Then I see the traffic on the 405 and think, “Nope!”
I suppose one of my first major purchases will be a bicycle. At least that will cut a great deal of time off of my travels.
Being Without My Daughters
One of the hardest things I’ve been trying to adapt to in my new home is being without my daughters. I miss them more than anything. For the first week and a half I cried myself to sleep every night. I know they are getting to an age when they are wanting to hang out with friends and Dad isn’t as cool as he used to be. But I still wish they were here.
It’s been getting easier to face the day without them. It helps that they call me every night to tell me goodnight. And with technology the way it is, I’m sure we’ll keep in constant contact.
It still hurts, though.
A Lot of Time On My Hands
I haven’t been this alone since 2001. After my work for the day is complete, I find it hard to keep myself occupied some days. I need to get back into seriously blogging and finishing my stories on Wattpad.
Having all this time allows me to figure out who I am and what I am doing with my life. Some think I am going through a midlife crisis. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough money to buy an expensive sports car or take some beautiful young thing out to a nice restaurant. No, instead I am on the exact opposite of that line.
Time isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. As long as I can keep myself occupied and work on rebuilding who I am, I’ll be fine in my new home. It’s just going to take some strong effort from myself to make this work.
What Does This Mean for Writer Sanctuary?
Having a lot of free time is going to let me go deeper into writing and building up my blogs. After all, it is 100% of my income now. So, I expect I will be making a lot of additions and changes. For starters, I am toying with the idea of creating a LA Coffee Lounge addition to Writer Sanctuary. Even though Los Angeles is generally expensive, the coffees are comparable and very good here.
I’m not trying to be a martyr for my family. In fact, I don’t want my family to think less of me when I die – sometime in the far future. I want to be remembered for how I live now. I want my daughters to be proud of what I accomplished, not that I did worse without them. Only time will tell, really.