So you’ve finally made it. You’re awkwardly standing amongst a room full of bubbly, loud individuals. Beside a trestle table makeshift-bar are a group of women guzzling wine. Underneath the disco ball centre-stage are a few fellas cackling with laughter after hearing another one of Barry's sexist jokes. And on a spare chair in the corner of the room sits that distant family friend of yours, Denise, chowing down on a tray of entrees which happen to be microwaved party pies (because in this bizarre party scenario the budget was very low. Furniture from Bunnings, catering by Coles).
First of all, congrats on stepping out from the comforts of your home to attend this event – whomever it may be celebrating (God forbid it be sexist Barry).
Second of all, how are you coping right now? I can only imagine how uncomfortable you must be feeling, with all these people, all this terrible food, and all those hard-hitting questions coming from family members asking ‘where have you been all these years?’
The first few months living in a Los Angeles share house with twenty-four house mates was a blessing and a curse. The plus side? There was always someone around to vent my frustrations to, ask for support, or even collaborate with on projects (shout out to Upstart Creative Living). I was quickly taken out of my comfort zone and thrown into a pool of extroverts with big egos who had even bigger hearts.
However, as time went on I needed my own space, and that seemed to be the hardest thing to find since I was sharing a room with six other girls. At first, it was all fun and games, kind of like those first few days of school camp where you bond over meaningless similarities such as owning the same duvet or pillow slip. But having deep conversations, with what felt like a hundred people walking in and out of the front door each day, was difficult to maintain for this introvert.
Moving away from home or out of home can be daunting so I’ve decided to write about my own experiences moving across the Pacific to Los Angeles, hoping to spread ways in which us introverts or anxious-prone peoples can safely navigate the land of extroverts.
Nothing appealed to me more than moving to Los Angeles. As a young girl I remember wanting to work on big film sets within even bigger studios, all with the intent that I’d be pointing out directions to the cast and crew whilst scoffing my face with free donuts from the on-set catering. What can I say, I was young and clueless. As I grew up it was clear that time, effort, and determination would be required if I did ever hope to work on one of those Hollywood sets, even if it meant being the one behind the catering stand feeding donuts to whimsical actresses and eccentric directors.
Many years later, with a degree in film and television and a repertoire of production experience and unproduced screenplays, I finally decided to follow the pipe dream and move to that eclectic city full of artists, a-listers, and abs.