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Nina Monique – The Sassy Classy Sophisticated Dream Chaser

Have you ever wished you were Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz and possessed the ability to click your heels three times to be transported to someplace else? Well, I have been doing that since 2014 after visiting Los Angeles, California. After wishing and clicking my heels more than three times everything came together and aligned itself just right so I could relocate to the west coast even in the midst of a pandemic. 

Originally, my intention was to fly out to LA for a couple months since I was working remotely for an insurance company at the time. However, my gut told me to change my address to that of a friend in California on various job sites. After changing my address, someone reached out to me the very next day regarding an AML Analyst role for a brokerage firm in L.A.. Honestly, I was hesitant because I wasn’t expecting this to happen. But like the saying goes “what you ask for comes in a way and time that you least expect it to.” At first, I planned on turning down the interview. However, I followed my heart that said “you’re going to LA. It is finally your time. Do not be afraid. This is what you wanted for so long.” I accepted the invitation to interview with the Chief Compliance Officer and two others. The next thing I knew, I was offered the job. My heart fell because I could not believe what was happening. After learning about the job offer, I called my friend Karla who I planned to stay with for a few months while in LA. When I shared the news with her, Karla offered me her spare room to help me get settled, while I learned my way around LA and the surrounding cities. She has been a great support system and friend, she showed me all around LA so I can become more acquainted with my new home.

Within a month and a half I got on my feet as well as found my own apartment and I have not stopped smiling since I’ve been in Los Angeles. When I began looking for my own place, I stumbled across one in Inglewood that perfectly fit my personality and vibe on the very first day. I mean this apartment really spoke to my heart. It was nice and a good fit for me. Initially I was looking to reside in Long Beach near the ocean, but I had to consider my commute to work, as my job is in downtown LA. After looking at a few places I decided to go with the apartment in Inglewood and I am looking forward to finally getting my hands on the keys and moving in.

Signing the lease was a huge deal to me as it solidified that I have my own apartment in LA, which is something I daydreamed about for a long time. While reviewing my lease, I felt so empowered and excited, as I was finally the grown woman that I wanted to be for a long time. For a long time I was afraid of experiencing life on my own because I was under the misconception that I wouldn’t survive the challenges and obstacles that it could throw at me. I wrongly believed I wasn’t smart enough to untie the knots that life may create, and I felt unprepared, as every day, I watch the world change and technology advance. I guess, to sum it all up, I didn’t have much confidence in myself. Stepping out of my comfort zone and relying on my faith has helped me grow and realize that I can do anything I put my mind and heart to. If I don’t believe in myself, who else will?

This move has really helped me mentally and the change of environment positively affected my mood. When I boarded my plane at Newark Airport , I was relieved as I was headed towards someplace new with a clean slate and an opportunity to start building my life the way I want it. There will obviously always be challenges and obstacles wherever you go. However, for the most part, this shift involves the excitement of experiencing change and an opportunity to do something different on a daily basis such as meet new people, explore and get to know myself even more on a new level. Honestly, I have never been on my own and it was now at 39 years old that I decided to take a chance and experience it. As I stated before, I wanted to do this for a while but was afraid to try. My blog is called A Sassy Classy Sophisticated Woman and the women I had previously interviewed took chances and followed their heart. I wanted to follow their footsteps and do something daring and exciting; something that will help me grow as a person and a woman. This is why I packed my bags and headed to Los Angeles.

I love New Jersey and New York because both places are home. However, I needed a different experience- a change was pertinent at that point. Once the world began to slowly reopen after the pandemic, I told myself that travelling for almost 2.5 hours to and from work in NYC on NJ Transit was no longer an option. Paying $175.00 to $200.00 or more for a train or bus pass and using a MetroCard in the subways while in the city was no longer something I was willing to do. Deep down, I was ready to immerse myself in another city and experience new sites, as I worked hard to do just that. Why should I remain affixed to one spot? There was so much more to experience and LA was the place for me to do just that. The first time I came to LA was in 2014. When I walked outside of LAX, I fell in love with the vibes of the west coast. That is when I told myself “this is some place I would love to live in and raise a family”. I mean while they do have earthquakes and huge forest fires, I am willing to deal with that over cold weather and shoveling snow at this point of my life. I am aware that not everyone feels the same way as I do about California and that’s okay, because as humans, we weren’t born to like or feel the same way about everything.

Since I’ve arrived in California, I have had the opportunity to visit Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica Beach, Playa Del Rey Beach and Dockweiler Beach. Each beach is beautiful and serene, and seeing the sun set on Long Beach while listening to the sound of the ocean and letting the water touch your feet is a divine feeling. When my feet blended with the sand at Long Beach, I instantly felt a rush of excitement as I realized that this was going to be my life henceforth and that I am actually living in California. It is particularly exciting for me to know that I will have complete access to the beaches all year round. This will be great for when it’s time to return to the office because after work, I will have some place where I can unwind and gather my thoughts. On June 15th, 2021, California opened up to full capacity and I am definitely looking forward to seeing Los Angeles up and running again. 

Now let’s talk about the job. The new job is challenging but at the same time I like it because I can utilize my years of experience as a KYC (Know Your Customer) Officer and roll it over to a different type of compliance role. In this role, I get to work alongside the Chief Compliance Officer and AVP. I am learning more and more about trading securities, stocks, and how money moves, along with many things that I always wanted to learn. I am blessed with the opportunity to see things from a different perspective because previously my brain was not being challenged and I felt stuck. For once I feel appreciated and even though some days tend to be a little overwhelming I really like what I am doing, learning and I feel like I’m part of a productive team. Since I am learning new things, getting along with my coworkers, and feeling appreciated, I am motivated to log in every day (along with the fact I now have rent to pay lol). 

I know I haven’t been posting much, but I will get back to interviewing more Sassy Classy Sophisticated Women soon and writing more blog posts. Currently, I am still adjusting and getting acquainted with my new life and enjoying this experience. So please bear with me. Moreover, I just want to encourage all of you- male or female- to go after what sets your soul on fire. Fear may get the best of us at times or situations may arise that could affect us drastically, but never stop dreaming and never give up. Life is just too short to stay in one spot. So you must experience life and do the things that make you happy. Close your ears and move away from negative people. Protect your space, energy, and dreams and always know that no dream is too far-fetched to accomplish.

Yours Truly,

Ms. Nina Monique

CEO –  A Sassy Classy Sophisticated Woman

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