Jonagolds & Satsuma Citrus

Untangling the mixed emotions of a NY to LA move

Out with it: we’re moving to Los Angeles.

Let’s take a second to unpack that.

“Out with it”

I’ve been grinding my teeth at night. Low-level stress simmering subconsciously as my head hits the pillow. It started seven months ago, roughly around the time we decided that our future lies west.

We shuttered the news away, quashing its bigness into hushed planning sessions. Aside from those who needed to know and a trusted few, we kept it to ourselves. Deflecting, saying, “nothing’s new,” discussing future NY events like we’d be there. Frantically texting Ryan because his latest public post might give it away to those who needed to hear it from me (who might be following him).

Not sharing until recently was the right thing to do, for many reasons. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to tell people—especially my team, who are so supremely important to me. It’s natural to assume that your boss or mentor will be the reassuring constant as others come and go. Now that everything’s out in the open, I give them my confidence in the future stewards of the team, and a promise that I’m always an email, call, and flight away.

It feels great to be able to talk about it openly.

Some (and not all) of the best

“we’re”

Westwood, 2005

Last time I lived in LA, I was a college student, then recent graduate. I had a bellybutton piercing, perpetual tan lines, and baby cheeks attributed to genetics and dining hall soft serve. My resume included one summer at a bakery for dogs, a smattering of PR/advertising internships, and the first agency I had the privilege of joining. I possessed only small hints of who I was, yet was deemed dateable by a select few.

After Ryan proposed, our hypothetical future became real questions we examined with gusto. A hazy, imagined life that included little ones, our families and access to the outdoors quickly morphed into concrete plans after I said yes.

At times, being pulled back to a city I’ve already called home feels like a long-awaited sequel. But nothing—not Los Angeles, nor myself—is the same this time around. I return, ripened by the cultural compost of NY streets and cured by the salt of its winters. And with a man I love—impossibly—just a little bit more each day.

“moving”

The inverse of our news is: we’re leaving New York.

How to fully capture my feelings about this city? Its infinite pieces and as a staggering whole—how they’ve stretched me and what they’ve given me. The clash of excitement for what’s ahead with the ache of leaving a city we love so deeply.

If NY is a Jonagold apple and LA a Satsuma citrus, I know the cravings will come and that comparison is fruitless. All I can do is savor NY while its still mine, and try to bottle some of it for when the hunger hits.

In my best attempt, I’ve been working on a series that I’ll post piecemeal in our last six weeks here. It’s a collection of vignettes written at specific locations that carry splinters of my time here. More soon.

“to Los Angeles”

We’ll drive cross-country to get to LA, winding down the eastern seaboard, across the south and into the mountains. For 15 days, we’ll give ourselves to the randomness of the road and the open skies of states previously unseen.

What’s waiting for us at the end of the road?

  • A familiar city ready to be discovered anew, and the wild of the coast.
  • Our families, an hour’s airtime away.
  • Friends held dear and not yet made.
  • An unknown shift in career.
  • The life we want to create for ourselves.

There’s plenty more to say, but if I don’t push publish now, I never will. The next two months will be swift and emotionally full. While it’s easier to let myself be carried by the ups and downs of uprooting, my aim is to be present for all of it.

Embracing the bitter and the sweet—to get my fill of the fruits of our move.

Follow along as we prep, say goodbye, hit the road, and settle in our new home.