Life in the Waves.

May 1, 2014

Filed Under: Personal

This post is something that’s been in the back of my mind since late January. I’ve composed it mentally countless times, but each draft has somehow escaped me and now I’m sitting here empty minded and without a sense of direction at all. This is one of those posts where the keys feel like they are pushing themselves and the words are magically tumbling onto the screen.

Well, here it goes – I’m moving. This born and raised Grand Rapids gal has decided to try Los Angeles on for size.

If you’ve been reading along for a little while now, you may remember the post that I did about a year ago titled “The New Plan“, which was about my newfound excitement to embrace the unknown. Over the past year, I’ve watched the life that I built according to my “plan” turn into something completely different and unexpected. I’ve let go of a marriage, a house, a business, and now it’s time to let go of this city as well.

Last summer I spent a weekend up north with Mae and she snapped this photo of me in Lake Michigan. I distinctly remember a conversation that we had the day this picture was taken. As we stood in the waves, I closed my eyes and rested my palms on the surface of the water. I embraced the feeling of my body being lightly pushed while keeping my feet planted in the rippling sand. I told her that that moment felt like a true representation of the new way I had recently decided to approach life … remaining open to the natural ebb and flow of existence – allowing experiences to sway and move me – while remaining rooted. I refuse to close myself off to what the universe may have in store for me but I also firmly insist on keeping a strong sense of self in the process. 

I leave on May 26 and there is no new plan. There are only wide eyes eager to embrace new experiences and open hands ready to catch each opportunity that come their way. I feel both brave and terrified – and sometimes I want to pack my car up and start driving that very second and other times I want to cut myself off from the world and hide in my parents basement for the rest of my life. I’ve been crying more than usual, but smiling even more often as well – And yes, for every voice in my head that says, “you can do this!” there are ten more that say, “maybe you can’t” but I’m listening selectively.

A friend recently referred to me as “limitless”, and while I feel like that’s a big word to live up to, I’m prepared to live like it’s the truth. I intend to stay open, lighthearted, lively, adventurous, passionate, bold, intentional, excitable, optimistic, and probably a little scared … but I’m certainly not going to call that a “plan”.

See you in less than a month, LA. You’re big and beautiful and incredibly intimidating, but I can’t wait to get to know you.

26 Responses to “Life in the Waves.”

  1. Heather P. says:

    Congratulations on taking a huge leap! Can’t wait to see what awaits you in L.A.!

  2. Magooch says:

    Your dad will say that hiding out in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life would be okay with him…haha. But you’ve got to live the life we raised you to live, so go kill it, baby!

  3. Ashleigh says:

    That sounds amazing! I hope it all works out for you Kaylee! Just be very careful, safety-wise, and have fun!

  4. Sam H says:

    You’ll fit in well here in LA – everyone is a transplant from somewhere, the flow of life’s waves culminating in LA’s excitement and diversity. Just make sure to actively pursue people and relationships that interest you; fear and apathy drive many youthful motives (or lack thereof), and so I’ve found it’s hard to build meaningful relationships without animated pursuit. Like the waves – everyone always seems to be either coming or going. Good luck!

  5. Lauren says:

    Congratulations! Tears in my eyes because I can’t wait to make a similar move – and it’s terrifying. Just 7 more months of grad school and I’m off on new adventures! I can’t wait to hear about yours.

  6. Kali says:

    Moving with little to no plan is my specialty! I truly believe moving (especially on your own) is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And (of course) you can do it! Have fun!

  7. Erin says:

    Wow Kayley, we’re gonna be neighbors! Can’t wait to see how you blossom in this young, fast, wild city. I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun out here and find lots of good work too. And maybe I’ll run into you at a farmer’s market or on 3rd St. Promenade sometime. :)

    Congratulations on your big decision and best wishes for a new adventure!

  8. Vanessa says:

    I’m sure you won’t miss Grand Rapids weather! I’ll miss you being in Grand Rapids, though. You’re the only blogger I follow that is almost nearby!

  9. Sarah says:

    What a huge change that will be, but I’m sure that it’s going to bring amazing things for you and I can’t wait to follow along on your journey!

  10. Dani says:

    This is so exciting! New adventure will bring such fresh life into your spirit! I live in Orange County, a mere 20-30 miles from Los Angeles, so please let me know if you want to get together, and know you have a digital pal near! :)

  11. This is awesome! Congratulations, I did this not too long ago when I moved to DC, it is scary but you won’t regret it!

  12. Jennifer says:

    This was absolutely beautiful. I’m attempting a life move in the next few months and entirely and unshakably terrified. Your words gave me back a glimpse of why I wanted to make this change in the first place. Thank you and good luck :)

  13. Traci says:

    Change is good. Congrats on the decision.

  14. Megan says:

    That is SO exciting! Congrats girl!! You’re brave and strong and full of LIFE. Don’t ever forget that :)

    Can’t wait to see what LA has to offer!!
    You’ll be amazing.

  15. Maddy Mihaly says:

    Huge congrats on deciding to move! I wish you nothing but the best.


  16. It’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time, right? I moved away from my hometown of Washington, DC last year and I was excited and panicked simultaneously. Of course, I had a husband that I was moving to be with (he had already started school down here in Louisiana) and it took ages but I had a job lined up. The scariest part was leaving behind family and friends and everything that was familiar. I was scared I wouldn’t make friends and would feel lost. But you know what, I made friends, I learned my new town, I cried and got homesick, but most importantly I have grown so much as a person. I wish the same to you. Go and grow in LA. Good luck and godspeed! Adventure awaits!

  17. Bethany says:

    Wow, what a big, brave change! I live just a stone’s throw away (or a 45-minute drive. Everything is a 45-minute drive.) from LA in Orange County and would love to meet you sometime.

  18. Amy says:

    Kayley, that’s a huge change! Congratulations to you for deciding to take that leap. I did something similar seven years ago when I decided to move from West Texas to the DC area for graduate school. It changed my life in so many beautiful and unexpected ways. Now, I’m doing the same thing again — and moving to LA myself (in late June)! Here’s to big, tectonic shifts in life and experiences that are bound to change us! If you ever want a coffee shop buddy, let me know!

  19. Christina says:

    As someone who has moved from NY, all the way out west, and from there all the way to Orlando, I definitely understand how intimidating and exhilarating such a change can be. Wishing you all the best as you start your new journey. I hope this experience bring you happiness, inspiring challenges, adventure, and peace. Enjoy every blissful moment, stay strong during the rough ones, and never forget we are all rooting for you!

  20. Owl. says:

    Dear Kayley,

    I am so excited! It think it’s a great step! It doesn’t always have to a big step like moving; small changes and steps are worth it, too! But I feel like people forget about it! I won’t be able to move soon (still 2 more yrs of uni ahead) but you inspired me today to make some smaller changes to my life! Enjoy the excitement (I often feel like that’s the best part of new things :))

    Greetings from Germany!


  21. Chelsea says:

    Packed up my car one day and left Detroit for LA and it was THE most monumental thing I’ve done in my entire life. I loved every minute of being there but ultimately moved back to the mittin for an amazing job opportunity (funny how that works!) So so excited for you and the amount of endless opportunities waiting there for you. Also scared for you because I know how hard of a move it’s going to be as there are always going to be people better, more qualified and know more people than you do but that aside I’m beyond excited for you, hurry up T minus 23 days :)


  22. Lucy says:

    Woohooo for crazy scary life changes!!! I also picked up and moved across the country just because I could. What kept me from freaking out was knowing that if it didn’t work out, I could always go back. I think you’ll love the West coast, but if you don’t, Grand Rapids isn’t going anywhere either…

  23. Jill says:

    Congratulations on your decision. It sounds like it’s time for a change and you can do a lot worse than the sunshine in LA! I also wanted to say that your words have been inspirational to me for the last few months as I’ve struggled through my own divorce. You’re a good example of strength and grace through the process.

  24. Congrats on the big move! I have only visited LA but I LOVED it there. I just quit my stable government job (in Canada)to start my own holistic nutrition business and I’m SO excited. My mantra for the past month was “You can do it!”. It to helped me make the leap and follow my passion. May 23rd is my last day as an engineer, wahoo!

  25. Kat says:

    I recently left a solid place (great job, outstanding peers, wonderful lifestyle) to move to California after my husband took a job. It was exciting and terrifying and two months later I’m happier than I was before- equally great (but different) job, outstanding peers, and a better lifestyle. Good luck on your new adventure. Above all: have fun!

  26. Kimberly says:

    I moved to LA from TX when I was 18 and it was the best experience of my life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. What a great way to turn over a new leaf! Best of luck to you :)

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