When I first decided to move from Austin, TX to Los Angeles, I was leaving behind my friends, family, two jobs, and cat all in Texas to go finish school in a big, new city. I was freshly single after a relationship of two years, and I felt isolated, alone, but empowered to say the least.
The week before I moved from Austin, I said several goodbyes. To the job I worked for 3 years, to my students who I worked with in an after-school program. I moved everything out of my apartment and picked myself up after long sad nights.
During this transition period, talking about all the swift changes and new rules of the adult world proved difficult. I was only beginning to learn how to navigate my own mental health, and I went through my days carrying the weight of the breakup pain plus the grief of moving while others appeared to function and lead happy, perfect lives. I watched my 4 year old cousin turn 5, and we painted his hair pink. I went to Chicago by myself to visit an old friend. I packed up my belongings and dealt with the process of moving like a grown woman.
I read Joan Didion and wrote. I slept and did yoga and cried, and then I didn’t anymore. Through my grief, I learned so much about the world. I also learned about myself. I also did not cry as much as I thought I would.
It becomes hard to talk about the changes when everything happens so quickly. It feels like searching for solid ground when everything seems to move so fast. Building yourself up and self-love is key. Emotional pain can be hard to speak about because you don’t want to feel like a burden. One thing you learn when enduring pain, is that you must learn to trust your authority. That you must walk, holding your head high, knowing your worth.
Blasting ‘independent woman pt.1’ by Beyoncé on repeat. I know I want to make big moves – like Michelle Obama moves – with my life. Navigating womanhood is confusing and exhilarating. That’s life – that’s growing up.
“Time passes,” Joan Didion says.
Lauren Weik (she/her) is a writer and performer who lives in LA with her cat Lola. She can be found reading bell hooks, dancing to Lizzo, or hanging with her girlfriends. She studied Acting at University of Texas at Austin, and you can find her work in the Women of Venus, Orange magazine, and the Feminist Action Project Zine. You can find her on Instagram at: @la.urenweik
Cover photo credit: Provided by author (Lauren Weik).