Making Some Major Changes in Life

Over the past month or two now, I’ve been reflecting on where I am at in life and where I had initially envisioned myself during this time of year–which was New York City. Back in January, I had made the mental decision that I would be moving to Manhattan in late June after my current lease ended.

As we all know and have experienced…absolutely nothing this year went as planned. Some for the better and some for…well perhaps a learning experience.

As I’ve been reflecting, I realized that I have been living in Orange County, CA for precisely five years now, ever since I moved here in 2015 for my first semester of college. For a small hometown girl, this was the perfect “small city” to start in, especially being away from home and all of that.

But after these five years and realizing I was mentally preparing myself to live in a big metro city by this point, I started to re-evaluate what I would gain by staying in the same apartment and area for another year. After all…I’m only 23. Isn’t this the most ideal time to go learn, explore, and experience everything life has to offer?

With the impact of the pandemic, I knew Manhattan was not exactly in the cards for this year, especially with Winter being a few months away and not knowing how the city would handle the cold months with indoor openings. But, I knew deep down that I really needed to be in a big metro city, to be in a place that has more energy, hustle and bustle, and more to do. 

I realize that a place I’ve explored consistently and absolutely adore is Venice, CA–particularly around Abbot Kinney. Something about the art, culture, and lifestyle really attracts me and makes me feel at home. Plus, it’s only about 45 minutes from where I live right now.

So, guess where I decided I would be moving to? Ha, you guessed it. I’m moving to the Venice/Marina Del Ray area in Los Angeles on the westside! 

It is interesting how it all happened, since I pretty much thought of the idea back in early July and then finally decided I would tour some apartments a few weeks later. After the tours, I remember having that gut feeling that this was the right change and the best push for myself to get out of my comfort zone and be in a bigger metro city, while also still being very accustomed to the city’s culture.

Sometimes, the timing feels right and everything feels aligned. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel right yet. Honestly, I’m not really sure if there is such thing as the “right time”, because life is always changing and surprising us by the minute. So truthfully, we can’t plan or strategize for everything that is to come with a decision that changes the course of our life like a physical move. But, these kinds of changes will always help you grow, learn, and better understand how to navigate this unique world we live in.

For me personally? The timing feels right in a some sort of way. Something about the idea and how quick I was on planning out the timeline feels right to me in my gut. And if anything, I know that living in Orange County for six years consecutively is definitely not meant for me.

It’s time to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you’re out of college and you’ve been working your normal job and feeling stagnant and complacent with your environment, perhaps it’s worth considering a physical move to a new city. Or new town.

Like my move, it doesn’t have to be too drastic or far. It could literally just be neighboring city that you’re already familiar with. At the end of the day, if you’re in your early 20s…this is the perfect time.

What’s your next move?


Emily Duong

Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, but currently residing in Orange County, California. Emily Elizabeth is an entrepreneur, athlete, and lifestyle blogger sharing her everyday lifestyle and healthy mindset.



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