From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

Story time! A few years ago I left my native Los Angeles to move to New York. Most people would probably love that opportunity; in fact, most people would likely jump on that boat in a heartbeat. I however, reluctantly accepted a job in Manhattan, took a one-way flight, and started a new life in the East Coast.

Upon arriving in the city that never sleeps, I quickly realized that I hated it. Not to sound ungrateful for the opportunity, but it is known that Angelinos tend to hate New York, and New Yorkers tend to hate Los Angeles. Having had lived long enough in both cities, I can absolutely understand why, the lifestyles are vastly different. But that’s a story for another time.

So there I was, a young urban professional in the city that people would kill to be in — and all I wanted to do was leave. Sure, I wanted to make things work, but I was also ready to move back to LA in an instant. With that in mind, I sat down to think, why do people want to move to New York?

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It was a serious question. I had never had any desire to even visit New York, let alone move there. So why then, are so many people obsessed with that city? I thought that if I could answer that question, I could take advantage of my stay for as long as it lasted. Google search after google search, I began to learn just how much New York had to offer. That’s when I realized how ignorant I really was. Museums, parks, landmarks, cuisine, and of course, Broadway. New York had it all — except for Walmart.

Equipped with a new mindset, I set out to make the most of my time in New York. It was challenging at first, specially given my socioeconomic status at the time — I did not know anyone and I could barely afford to eat. But with perseverance and some resourcefulness, I quickly turned things around. I could write a book about my years in New York, but for now I’ll just say that: I set myself the goal of going to Broadway once a month for as long as I lived in New York (after all, I thought I may only be there for a month or two); I saw over 40 Broadway musicals and plays.

I loved New York. I still do! I just don’t live there anymore. But that mentality of taking advantage of my stay because it may not last forever, truly enabled me to make the most of my time in New York.

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By contrast, at some point along the way I realized that prior to New York, I had missed out on all of the fun things to do in LA — because I took it for granted. At the time, I thought that since I was not a tourist, I would always have access to everything LA has to offer. But then suddenly, I didn’t.

Thankfully, the love of my life brought me back to the best coast, I mean, West Coast. Now, I intend to utilize the lesson I learned in New York here in Los Angeles, which effectively boils down to one thing — to live my best life. As such, I look forward to all of the touristy LA things that people come to the city of angels for and more.

Tell me, would you be interested in learning what are the best things to do in LA? Perhaps the best things to do in LA for couples? Or maybe even the best things to do in LA for locals?

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(Featured Image by: Igorelick)

Comfortable With Change

Comfortable With Change

Said no one ever — not truthful at least. I hear you in the front row, yes, you with the unwavering confidence of youth. I see the refutation in your eyes, and I politely ask you to hear me out first.

I know what you’re thinking, “I can take on any challenge. Nothing can stop me. Bring it!” And maybe that’s true, but it does not mean it will be smooth sailing. In fact, it more than likely won’t be, and that’s because of the unfamiliar, the unforeseeable, and the curve balls that come out of nowhere — change.

As humans, we yearn for homeostasis, our bodies literally react to our environments (against our wills) to reach a state of comfort. This is one of the few things I remember from my science courses in undergrad, but it does not take a degree to acknowledge that if it’s too hot we seek shade, it it’s too cold we seek shelter, and if it’s too different, we seek the known. That is to say, as humans, we reject change.

We naturally gravitate to the comfortable, that which does not challenge us, but rather keeps us in a metaphorical room from which stepping out of is tedious at best, and nearly impossible at worst. This is our comfort zone.

“Change is the only constant in life.”

Heraclitus

For all that we do, consciously and subconsciously to remain in this comfort zone by avoiding change, our efforts are futile. That is because, if there is one guarantee in this life besides death, it is that sooner or later we will face some degree of change — ironically, it is the only constant in life.

Think about it. Growing up every year you experienced different teachers, different subjects, and likely different classmates. If your family moved, you had different homes. Eventually you move out of your parents’ home, join the workforce, and if you’re lucky, you find someone who you get to build a family with — your life is filled with changes.

So why then, resist it? Why not expect it and welcome it with open arms? Why not embrace it? To that end, returning to the young soul in the front row, I am here to tell you that you’re right. You can accomplish your goals. You can overcome that adversity. You can do it. I just want you to know one thing.

It won’t be easy, nothing in life worth doing ever has been. Whatever goal you may have, whether it be getting in shape, climbing out of a hole, or even meeting new people, it will require change — and thus discomfort. And there may be times when it will feel like too much, when you will want to give up, when you will want to return to your comfort zone. It is then, when you will need to remember that, there will always be change, and it may not be comfortable, but it will be worth it.

Tell me, how do you feel about change? Do you resist it, or do you embrace it? When was the last time you faced it, and how did you approach it?

(Featured Image by: Kristian Design)

Getting (Back) In Shape

Getting (Back) In Shape

Once upon a time in my days of youth, I had all the time in the world to run cross country, track & field, and play tennis — I was in shape. Like most people in their teens, I also had a metabolism that allowed me to eat that extra fry free of guilt. Heck, I had a metabolism that allowed me to eat fries. Nowadays, not so much.

With time, and for one reason or another (mine was trading the gym for Netflix), we let go and put our health at risk. It happens, but I am not here to complain. I am here to do something about it; in fact, I have been in order to get (back) in shape in time for my wedding.

That said, my goal is simple: To lose the 50 pounds that I gained since moving back to California in 2017. It may sound like a lot, but when you do the math, it was only gaining 1.09 ounces every day for 2 years, or approximately 220 additional calories a day — or you know, a side of fries.

While my strategy consists of moving more, eating healthier, and trying to get more sleep, the following factors have been in my opinion more influential in my journey to fitness:

Mindset: Perhaps one of the most difficult thresholds to cross, is that of getting in the right mindset, that “I can do it mindset” where you actually believe you can. This, like most first steps, is admittedly easier said than done. But trust me, you can.

Goals: You may have a dream or a vision, but without goals, there is no certifiable way to measure your progress, and without these measurements, you can never know if you’re on the right track or if you need to re-calibrate.

Motivation: Summoning the will to do what is necessary to make your dreams come true, has to be by far the main reason why people fail, because it is hard. You will not always have the same fire in you that you had on Day 1, and that is exactly when you will need the right motivation to keep going.

Perseverance: For those days when you lack even the slightest trace of motivation, just keep going. Even when going to the gym or saying no to happy hour is the last thing you want to do and you feel the pain of doing so, do it. You will be happy you did.

Rewards: Last but not least, it is important to reward yourself along the way, to celebrate the small milestones and recognize your progress. It will re-energize you and make you feel better about your sacrifices.

With these tools under my increasingly less tight belt, in just over a month I have slimmed down 11 pounds, but this is only the beginning. Trust me, if I can do it, you most certainly can. So in the words of every motivational speaker ever: Do it!

Tell me, what does your journey to fitness look like? What is your strategy to getting in shape? What do you find to be more challenging, diet and exercise or the intangible hurdles listed above?

(Featured Image by: RawPixel)