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Te-Erika Patterson Headshot

I Moved to Los Angeles With Less Than $200

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I moved to Los Angeles from Hollywood, Fla., with less than $200.  So far I've managed to make it here for 11 months. Someone once told me, "If you can make it a year in Los Angeles, you can make it anywhere."

I'm not doing this just for myself although my life is in the process of rebuilding. I'm actually in the midst of an empowerment outreach for women to teach them how to start over in life by allowing them to watch me rebuild my life in real time on videos on my YouTube Channel. I figured that if I made a video series about this while I am going through it, I'd capture the real mental stress and strategies for overcoming obstacles so that women who are going through a similar life transition can gain sincere wisdom from watching my intimate journey. I am an achiever; I push through everything.

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I asked the women of my women's empowerment blog to choose a city for me to move to, just so they'd know that no matter where they need to move in order to jump-start their life, they can use the same skills I used to survive their relocation. After a quick vote, they chose Los Angeles and I made preparations for moving here from South Florida beginning with buying a one-way plane ticket so I'll know it's real.

This journey has been wild. I remember last June 27 when I first landed at LAX. I was surprised by how cold it was, but I braved the weather and managed to maneuver my way around the county, living in seven different parts of town with no car. I've had more than 70 roommates throughout my time in Los Angeles and have experienced the most amazing, crazy, mind-blowing things.

I worked as a waitress at Denny's in North Hollywood until last December. I was living in Hollywood off of Highland when I broke my foot by slipping off the bed. Yeah, that's crazy. I know. It is what it is, and I've had to deal with the fact that I could no longer work as a waitress. I had to figure out how to support myself without getting government assistance.

After a bit of a struggle as I adjusted to being disabled with no income, I broke back into the field of freelance writing and that saved my life. I'm using my mental muscles to support myself instead of my brawn and it's perfect. I can do what I love the most, which is freelance writing, while I work on cultivating my women's empowerment blog, raising money for my grant and exploring the county.

I've lived in Downtown LA, Korea Town, North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Hollywood, back to North Hollywood then to Signal Hill. Now I am in Long Beach and I love it so much!

To be honest, during the entire 10 months I've lived in Los Angeles County I had never remotely considered staying here for more than a year. I wasn't vibing it. It didn't feel like home to me. And then through a series of unfortunate (but necessary) circumstances, I ended up here in Long Beach.

It is amazing here. There's something in the air that I really love. For the first time I'm thinking about staying in California. Every day I walk down the street I feel happier. Long Beach is so diverse. There is so much to do, see and explore. The people here are beautiful. They have fun. I feel cozy here. I really love it.

If you want, I'll share some of my favorite spots around town and quirky stories about my adventures while I'm in LA. If you're moving to LA, you'll find this series handy.

Now that I've caught you up to where I am right now in life, keep reading and I'll take you the rest of the way.

The Rebuild Your Life Project