Lo and behold, upon graduating from BYU, I finally had the opportunity to fulfill my adolescent dream of living in California. I moved to the City of Angels in September 2007 to begin an internship at a very prestigious PR firm. I moved out here not knowing a soul, but with the hope of finding my place and building a career and a life in the city. I will admit that I had a very romanticized view of LA - an obscene amount of movies, books, TV shows and magazines facilitated this preconceived idea of how my life would be living in Los Angeles. I had always pictured myself living in a big city, going to work in a downtown office in chic pant suits from J.Crew, enjoying the fast-pace atmosphere and city life. For as long as I can remember, that was my dream, my goal, what I aspired to, what I thought I wanted. Of course I wanted a family, but first I wanted to have my big city adventure.
My internship experience was extremely beneficial in that it made me realize exactly what I did NOT want to do in the way of a career. I now know that Corporate America is not for me - I do not do well sitting at a computer for eight hours a day and I do not enjoy the pace and pressure of working for a large, international organization. After six months at my internship, I decided it was time to part ways and try something different. My original plan was to explore career options in the LA area with other PR firms and/or event planning companies.
During and after my internship it became very apparent that something was not right - I was not happy with the way things were going in my life and I couldn't figure out why or how I could fix them. I knew quitting the internship was the first step, but the thought of staying in LA to find a full-time job was becoming less and less appealing. It took several heart-to-heart conversations with my parents and wonderful older sisters to come to the conclusion that maybe it was time to leave LA and start over somewhere new. But where?
The answer was easy: TEXAS. I am a proud native Texan and have always considered it to be home. I have lived in several different states (OH, UT, CA), even lived outside the USA for awhile (Spain), but I have always felt that Texas is my home. Yes, that is where my family lives, so of course I associate it with "home", but more than that it is the feeling I get when I go back to visit - the feeling of returning and belonging. I love the wide open spaces. I love the suburban cities with their quaint town centers. I love the hometown camaraderie and school traditions (Go Dragons!). I love the sun and the Texas summers. I love the Texas drawl and the "hey y'all"-s.
Not that I have disliked California and Los Angeles entirely - it has been great living here and I am appreciative of all that this experience has taught me. But after having now lived here and made the effort to live my big city adventure, I can now say that California is not the state for me. Maybe to visit and vacation - but not to live.
Texas is, and will probably always be, my home; and I am so excited to move back to start a brand new adventure!
So, sing it with me now (and don't forget the claps!):
"The stars at night are big and bright,
Deep in the heart of Texas..."