Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Old Aug 15th 2015, 9:57 pm
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Default Keep chasing dreams or move back?

I wouldn't mind some outside perspective on this. I'm driving myself crazy.

Been in Los Angeles for just over 4 years. It was my dream to come here for a long time. If I'm honest, a part of me has been unhappy since I've been here. The place is great, it's the lack of friends. I never really gelled with anyone at work and have tried all the usual meetups, clubs etc. Not sure if it's harder to get good friends here due to it being so spread out or it's that I'm older now.

I decided to work really hard in my spare time to gain a screenwriting qualification and have now been accepted onto a screenwriting masters degree program. I left my career of 18 years (video game programming) and am due to start university next week.

It hit me yesterday as I went to the pub to watch the football (and going back on Facebook after an absence of 2 years) that all I wanted at that moment was to be back in England watching it with mates.

My parents desperately want me to come back, but I'm scared if I do that I'll regret it down the line. I'm still 2 years away from citizenship so I think it would be final if I do move back. Plus I'd have to go back to my old career.

I am swapping a hell of a lot to chase these dreams (becoming successful at screenwriting is a tiny chance), i.e. my nephew was 5 when I left, he's nearly 10 now! Friends have had a lot change in their lives.

The worst part is that if I'd stayed where I was about 10 years ago before traveling the uk and then moving to the US, I'd own a home and have a tidy bank account. At the end of this screenwriting masters degree, I'm going to be down to zero.

I seem to be all about taking risks, but I'm not sure if it's making me happy.
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Old Aug 15th 2015, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

For what it's worth, I think you should go home. That's where your heart is, and honestly, the chances of making a living at screenwriting are very small, as I'm sure you know.

I think you can pursue another career once back home if you wish, and you've got a skills with which to make a living right off the bat.

Home is where the heart is.....
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Old Aug 15th 2015, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

First of all, rest assured that there are many here who will understand what you are going through. I would say that if you are feeling indecisive about staying in the US, ask yourself this question: am I prepared to stay here for the rest of my life? If not, you may want to take a trip home for a couple of weeks at least to see how you feel about being on home turf. Reason I say this is that there have been a few of us who kept staying longer and longer and then were unable to leave in the end due to grandchildren or illness. Much as we all want to have everything, sometimes we cannot have both the ideal job AND all the family and friends we desire. Then it becomes a matter of priorities and what is more important. We have been wanting to leave since 2012, but will only finally leave in 2016, and I have been holding my breath the entire time hoping that nothing gets in the way of a smooth transition home. You just never know. Anyway, the point is, if you are going to go home, better to go before the years add up and circumstances get in the way. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Am I prepared to stay in the U.S. for the rest of my life?
Good question. If I could move my family & friends over here then yes. But as that's not going to happen, I just don't know.

I don't miss the actual place (or weather) of home, just some people. I also feel a little guilty about how much I know my parents miss me.

A sensible plan is probably to give the first semester a go, and then take an extended trip home over Christmas to decide the next step (although I'm rarely sensible )
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 9:25 am
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Originally Posted by dek View Post

A sensible plan is probably to give the first semester a go, and then take an extended trip home over Christmas to decide the next step (although I'm rarely sensible )
As an outsider, I would say that does sound to be a sensible plan - you may also find that the atmosphere at university is more conducive to making friends which might improve your feelings about living there.

With only 2 years to being eligible for citizenship, it might be worth thinking long and hard about sticking things out until then - that would really keep your options open regarding where to live.

Good luck with it all
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
As an outsider, I would say that does sound to be a sensible plan - you may also find that the atmosphere at university is more conducive to making friends which might improve your feelings about living there.

With only 2 years to being eligible for citizenship, it might be worth thinking long and hard about sticking things out until then - that would really keep your options open regarding where to live.

Good luck with it all
What Rebs said.

I think if you go back now, you'll think of the years you spent in the USA as wasted, but if you get the MA and citizenship, even if you decide to come home, you'll have achieved something.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

I think Rebs has nailed it. Hopefully your degree program will help you find more friends to socialize with, but to make that work you will have to be flexible about how/ where you socialize, and not obsess about football and pub culture.

It sounds like some of your issues may be location specific and if you stay, you might consider moving to another state that would be more appealing to you. FWIW if I had tried to stay in NY, which is where I started out in the US, it is likely it would have driven me crazy and I would probably have headed back to the UK. Luckily, and having a USC wife, we left NY and headed south - I love it here and have no intention of going back.

That said I also don't have either a large family in the UK to draw me back, nor any interest in football to miss.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Pulaski has that knack of seeming perfectly sane. As for the football-obsessed OP, maybe he should head back to the Yookay. Or develop an interest in the sports played locally ?
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

First of all, if he stays, he's not likely to move to another state until he's done with the Master's Degree, so he'll still need to deal with the same circumstances in LA. Also, has he not already spent 4 years working and possibly going to school? I'm just saying that he's still going to be dealing with the same stuff, IMO. And as far staying to get citizenship and gaining a Master's in something he may, sorry to say, never find useful, they may be accomplishments, but to what end? And all that money spent....

If he longs for his mates and family, I can't see putting off going home.

I guess I just think that people are so important in a person's life, and he's already been unhappy for 4 years. Why add 2 more? For US citizenship that he may not ever need?

Just my 2 cents.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Also think about regret.. What will you think if you don't get citzenship? What will you think if you don't back to UK for 2 years? How will you feel if you don't get your MA? Just ask yourself if you can live with those decisions because there really is no going back. I have regrets about certain things and it eats me alive at times. I have citizenship and I plan on moving back to UK for good..BUT if it does not work out I have an outlet ie I can come back to US but would choose a bloody different state than Arizona. Good luck.. The fog will clear and you'll know what is best for you.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Originally Posted by fulwood View Post
Also think about regret.. What will you think if you don't get citzenship? What will you think if you don't back to UK for 2 years? How will you feel if you don't get your MA? Just ask yourself if you can live with those decisions because there really is no going back. I have regrets about certain things and it eats me alive at times. I have citizenship and I plan on moving back to UK for good..BUT if it does not work out I have an outlet ie I can come back to US but would choose a bloody different state than Arizona. Good luck.. The fog will clear and you'll know what is best for you.
Just wondering why you say there's no going back?
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Thanks all for the great input.

To clear up a few things: I already have bachelors and masters degrees in my field of games programming. The screenwriting was meant to be a change for me. To make me 'happy' as they say.

Now I can be very stubborn and stick it out for 2 years, then god knows how many years to try and break into the industry. However, I was recently posed a situation which made me stop and think. It was suggested to me that I could always do screenwriting as a hobby. This sounds like an awful idea to me which speaks volumes. I can't be that in love with the writing only the results which sets me up for failure.

Regrets. Now there's the issue. I already regret all the missed time with friends and family. Would I regret moving back in 6 months when scraping ice off my wind screen? I just don't know.

As I can get all my money back if I cancel my course in the next few days, I'm leaning towards just going for it and moving back to the uk. I'm not happy, so something needs to change either way.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

Originally Posted by Downton Gabby View Post
Just wondering why you say there's no going back?
I just know that at 42 now, I wouldn't want to go through the whole visa process again.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

I think you've got your answer then.

At the end of the day, the people in your life are the most important. You're lucky to have them and time is flying by.
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Old Aug 16th 2015, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Keep chasing dreams or move back?

It is something that you can go round in circles analyzing the pros and cons, but in the end, gut instinct is what will give you the answer.
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