Whether you’re from Japan or Northern California, once you move to Los Angeles the differences you’ll notice here may send your brain into overload.
It’s okay. You moved away from your former location because you wanted things to be different…right? Yes. You did. You may be wondering how to handle all of these new emotions you’re having, mainly fear that you’re never going to find anyone to relate to.
Yes, the people are so diverse here in the way they look and the activities they participate in. You’ve probably never seen a few dozen BMX bike riders whizzing down Wilshire or the homeless elite hanging around Hollywood Boulevard. You’re wondering if it is a requirement to dress in Converse and clothes that don’t match and how everyone manages to be so calm all the time.
Don’t worry. What you are experiencing is natural and normal. Everyone who has moved here was in a bit of a shock too. There is a tempo in this city that isn’t hard to miss if you pay attention. You grind. You smile. You nod. You wave. You accept invitations to hang out. You go home. You do it all again.
It’s not that much different from where you came from but there are so many different types of people here that you might just think you were thrown off stage into a pulsing crowd. You weren’t. Just because the people look differently doesn’t mean they are. At the core, all of us humans want the same things. If you remember to do these 3 things you’ll be over your culture shock in no time.
1. Stop thinking about how people will perceive you and focus on them. People in LA love to talk about themselves. Just ask a question and ask another. Be curious about their lifestyle and they will explain it to you and probably invite you to try it out. Most people you meet here will be transplants so they’ll understand what you are going through as you try to figure things out.
2. Be open to the differences. In fact, count them. Try to find at least 3 things that are different about Los Angeles every single day. With each difference you find, celebrate one more way your life could be better. Differences aren’t necessarily BAD, they’re just different and could lead to a new and exciting beginning.
3. Become a new version of you. You know that person you think of when you think about the person you wish you could be? Yes. That person. Amazing, right? Well, what type of people does that person hang around? What hobbies does that person engage in? Instead of being petrified by the number of ways Los Angeles is nothing like your hometown, decide that by the time you go home for a visit you will shock your family by how much LA has transformed you.
Get into fitness. Buy a skateboard. Take a rollerblading lesson. It’s time to kiss your past goodbye and be fully immersed in your new environment. You may be shocked by all of the newness around you but everything you see is a part of YOU now so inhale it and engage with it.