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Why I Moved from South Carolina to California as an Artist in 2021

by Cole
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In May 2020, I found myself driving back to South Carolina with everything I own, barely any money, and a shattered life. Disguising my getaway as a pandemic issue, the real reason I came back home was leaving a toxic relationship and business that I didn’t truly believe in.

Fast forward to over a year later, I sit in the same city I’ve feared and loved for years. Up until earlier this year, I didn’t think this would have for a while if ever again. I had given up hope. Lost the sparkle.

But then, my girlfriend Ngoc-Linh said the words… “I think we should move soon. Really soon.” Those words ignited a little fire that has only grown and grown since she said them.

So then began the journey of moving back to Los Angeles. A few days chatting about which city to move to — because after already attempting a move to LA, I wasn’t going to force it a second time. LA seemed like the best move for the both of us, together.

Ngoc and I sat down to determine how much to save, our timeline, and everything else… then we made it happen.

Fast forward to today. We have officially packed our bags, drove cross country with our two cats (Ollie & Babygirl) and two carloads of stuff. We made it!!!!

Leaving LA in 2020 was a huge failure to me. I wasn’t, and I’m still not used to failing. It wasn’t easy to admit defeat, but this whole past year has been humbling in more ways than one. From August 2020-August 2021, I met someone that allows me to be myself and loves me for it. I built a business from scratch to consistently making over 6–7k a month. I rekindled relationships with my family and friends, and I think most of all I reconnected with myself.

I didn’t get as far as I wanted to get this past year, but I’ve made so many strides in the right direction. I see it as the calm before the next stage of my journey.

I lived in Beaufort, South Carolina right next to my mama. I lived alone for over 6 months. I started to drink wine. I danced alone. I sang. I loved. I fell in love with myself and gained confidence. These wins made it all worth it. These wins made the HUGE fail not so bad after all. I learned that I can bounce back, and everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now with that out the way, I’d like to talk about WHY I moved to Los Angeles, California.

In Beaufort, I was surrounded by people who were like WHY ARE YOU LEAVING? I left a booming business that was growing every month. I left family and friends. I left cheap housing and more opportunity than most could dream for honestly. I left comfort. To go to CALIFORNIA, WITH THE HIGH TAXES, FIRES, HOMELESS PEOPLE ETC.

I left because:

CREATIVITY & INSPIRATION

When I visited Los Angeles last year and the year before, I felt the energy of so many creatives as soon as I entered the city. You can see it in the street art, fashion, architecture, businesses, signs, etc. Literally everywhere you go and everything you do is steeped in inspiration. I’ve gained a lot of inspiration from the places I’ve lived over the past 10 years, but at a certain point, I wanted more. I wanted to go out and see what some of the most creative people in the world are doing.

RESOURCES = MORE OPPORTUNITY

I’m born and raised in the backwoods of South Carolina. Being an actor or artist of almost any kind is very few and far between. A successful one is even rarer. There just aren’t the right opportunities to get to a certain level. Even if you make it to the top around there, it’s nothing to build a career off of. In order to grow and expand, we need more opportunities, relationships, and resources. I’ve learned a lot online, but I want to take what I’ve learned and combine it with all the resources and opportunities I can ask for.

I want NO excuse for my dreams not to come true. I will never say that I didn’t take the chance. Because I did.

COMMUNITY

I’ve had the pleasure of building multiple communities through music and business. I’ve seen friends come and go. I’ve learned and grown from others just as they’ve learned from me. And it’s just time to connect with new people and build some more. They say to surround yourself with the people you want to be like. I think at a certain point I stopped finding the people I really wanted to be like. So to me, that says I need to go out and find my tribe. Or keep trying to attract them.

Maybe I find that in Cali, maybe I don’t. Either way, I’ll keep searching.

THINGS TO DO

On a surface level, there just wasn’t enough to do where I lived. I want lots of options any night. I want beaches and mountains. I want different types of people doing lots of different things. That excites me even as an introvert. I want the opportunity to DO MORE.

GUT

Lastly, I just feel in my gut this is the right move. And above all else, I follow my gut. So yeah.

Anyways, I am here now. We just locked in an apartment in Silver Lake starting September 1st. More on that to come. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of work to do.

If you have any questions etc. about the moving process, please let me know. Today is not the day to just wait for your dreams to COME TRUE. Go out and make them come true! Thanks for tuning in!

You can watch the video version here.

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