5 Things I’ve Learned from my Solo Cross Country Move

Yesterday marked my 6 month Californiaversary. Each day that has passed has solidified the fruits of my labor. This is what I have been dreaming of, since I made my AIM screen name calixdreamiin in 2003. I’ve always talked the talk, but actually walking the walk, it’s a scary leap to take!


Here are 5 lessons that have made themselves available throughout my mindful meditations on these past 6 months, and everything that has led me here: 

  1. Fuck your comfort zone

Excuse my sass, but a born and bred New Yorker can’t help but to curse when feeling passionate, and escaping my comfort zone has been an endeavor I’ve passionately pursued as my remedy to overcome a life of anxiety. 

Being a student of psychology has allowed me to open my eyes, and have some cathartic experiences leading me to understand emotions I’ve masked for many years— with anxiety being the band leader.

If anxiety is like praying for what you don’t want, what happens when you focus on what you do want? 

That mindset shift made me stop and think, what is it that I want? If the things that you want scare the living hell out of you— good. This means you need to jump out of your comfort zone to go get ‘em. 

So, little by little, I hopped, I leaped, and then I jumped, landing exactly where I wanted to be. Building my comfortable nest in a world outside of my comfort zone. What seemed so far out of reach is now the life that I’m celebrating today.


2. Those who love you will love you no matter the distance

Want to know who’s cheering for you? Who’s learning from you? Who is inspired by you? Start living for you, and trust the love and friendships that you’ve fostered. 

Being further in distance has allowed my relationships with my friends and family back home to grow stronger in depth. 

I hate the “I’m busy” excuse. We’re all busy. But you prioritize the things that are important to you. 

The people who want to know how things are going. The ones who you’ll text on your good days, and maybe even more importantly, on bad ones. Whether they’re down the block or a 6 hour flight away, those are your true friends. 


3. Don’t take no for an answer 

Last spring I visited San Diego, and had an appointment at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, where I brazenly walked in and said, Hi, I’d like to work here. 

Well… that’s not really how things work. 

Could I have been discouraged that I didn’t so easily get what I wanted? Of course. But rather than getting what I wanted, I got something so much better— an opportunity to dig deeper.

In learning the businesses who were partnered with the center, I found Owaves— the app that not only helps me schedule my life, but through conversation and relationship building, had led to a position that was curated just for me. A position where I can not only bring my research to life, but am able to coach college students about media mindfulness. 

Sometimes no is the best thing someone can tell you. It allows you to think twice about what you really want, why you want it, and how you’re going to get there. 

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4. Surround yourself with the people you want to be like

The owner of my gym has ran 100 mile marathons on every continent. The CEO of the company I work for is an MD/MBA. My landlord is a woman, and my closest friend here is studying for her bar exam.

I came here to level up. In order to do so, you’ve got to surround yourself with others who are leveling up in their own lives. 

They say you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with, so choose your circle wisely. 


5. You are so fucking capable 

I’ve traveled solo more times than I can count, but this is my very first time living by myself. The thought of it kept me up some nights. Am I really going to be able to make it? How will I be able to balance finishing my dissertation, with working, having a social life, and maintaining a fit lifestyle? 

If you want something, you make it happen. 

Physically, emotionally, financially, you are capable. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re a coward, a bully, and are only trying to dull your mf sparkle. 

Six months later, here I am. In love with the life that I’ve created for myself, and the circle I’ve surrounded myself with (near and far). I’m grateful for the hard moments and dark times that have allowed me to shift my focus to the light, leading me to exactly where I needed to be, when I needed to be here. 


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