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Ross Has Left the Building

Updated on November 26, 2010

What just happened?

After ten years and two months, I have finally moved out of my apartment. It took a job teaching English in South Korea to accomplish this. Work in my field of post-production and editing had been scarce for me so I took on a whole new career. I need a back-up plan that involves a steady income. In December 2009, I took an ESL course (teaching English as a second language) and had been pursuing a job since then. A few job offers came and went as teachers renewed their contracts last minute. Finally, when it was looking like another job offer was going south, I find myself in South Korea. On May 3, 2010, I was on my home phone with my mother suggesting that I might get hired in Koreatown in Los Angeles before landing a teaching job in South Korea. My cell phone rang. “Gotta go, Ma.”

Finding a job in LA was so difficult I had made a decision to move out of my apartment and move back in with my parents. A few days into May 2010, I gave notice to my apartment manager that I would be moving out by June 3rd. A few days later I found out about this job offer in South Korea. So, I was saved from moving back in with my parents. Phew!

For weeks I had been breaking down my apartment and getting rid of things in preparation for moving out. This was not a small task. Having lived in a place for over ten years and being a filmmaker for seventeen years made packing very tough. After holding onto bins of materials such as tapes, scripts and documents for a feature film I was involved in, I let Sean, my producing partner, take over the loot. He can now hold the materials for the next ten years. I don’t know about other filmmakers, but I had collected numerous articles and resources such as books and handouts from various seminars. I’m a screenwriter, director and editor so I had all kinds of resources. Now I had a job to get ready for and only had two and a half weeks to take care of my apartment and all the stuff in it.

Molly is excited to have the last piece of my chocolate cake.
Molly is excited to have the last piece of my chocolate cake.
Ross' stuff that could not fit into his last road trip. Table not included.
Ross' stuff that could not fit into his last road trip. Table not included.
Ross and his nephew, Ethan
Ross and his nephew, Ethan

What to keep?

I discarded so many materials and clothes. I made a bunch of trips to Good Will. A lot of resources can be found on the internet these days so holding onto some resources was no longer necessary. I have friends that are filmmakers so I gave them or let them borrow a TV or TV monitor. Other things I’ve been holding onto for sentimental reasons needed to simply be discarded. Unless I’m going to pay for storage for a year, bigger items just had to be either sold or given away. I didn’t have much time to advertise as I had two and half weeks to move to the other side of the world. Luckily, the apartment manager was showing a potential resident around. Whatever this new male resident didn’t take was going to the Salvation Army. I gave him really cheap prices on my couch, fridge and bed. He was a single father. I also gave him a tall bookcase that a neighbor gave me when he and his girlfriend moved out. I asked nothing for it. I’m just ‘paying it forward.’

Close friends and family members have been saints and angels to me in my challenge of preparing to not only get my stuff squared away, but to be prepared to leave the country for one year’s time. Michael and Molly helped me pack up my car. Molly was thrilled when I presented her with some leftover chocolate cake from my going away party. A shout-out goes to both Sean and Michael for helping me with my computer situation. Even my next-door neighbor, Rory, was kind enough to hold onto some items overnight for friends to pick up. Not everything I intended on fitting into my car fit. Rory helped me carry a few things into my car and a few other items to drop off by the garbage including my old bulky TV set. It hasn’t worked since this passed Winter when the rain flooded LA for a few weeks. I never had cable or Direct TV. I could never afford it. Rory and I placed the TV on two bedside dressers near the garbage. I mentioned the TV to my manager in passing and not a minute later the TV was gone. I think she either gave it away or held it for the new resident. My manager actually requested my microwave as she needed one temporarily.

My brother-in-law brought my little 3 year-old nephew, Ethan, out to me for a proper good-bye. That was not easy. I’ve grown very close to my little buddy and will miss him very much. I’ll miss my niece too of course, but she’s only a few months old and won’t remember me.

Ross and his sister, Jaime, at his going away party
Ross and his sister, Jaime, at his going away party

A Great Send-Off Party

The best way to celebrate your going away is to throw yourself a going away party. My sister came through with a delicious chocolate cake when Vons had forgotten the original order. The Sherman Oaks Volleyball MeetUp group deserves a shout-out as many of them came out to see me off. (Then again they’re up for anything involving drinking & dancing.)

Ross gets down with his Volleyball MeetUp at his going away party.
Ross gets down with his Volleyball MeetUp at his going away party.
Ross' car full of belongings
Ross' car full of belongings

Free at Last! One Last Drive!

Physically driving out of my building complex was the most surreal and freeing moment in a long time…until I looked at my side-view mirror and couldn’t see anything. With more time to think about it I might have rented a UHaul truck, but I really believed everything would somehow fit. Leaving Los Angeles was something like ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ except I was not an alcoholic. I was burnt out on the entertainment industry and my own life that tends to go hand in hand.

Next Stop: Las Vegas

Apparently, LA was not done with me yet. An accident involving a truck that had burned up held me in traffic for a good half hour. In the desert I passed another truck in an accident. This time the truck was currently engulfed with fire.

The recruiting firm and the school I’d be working with said I could fly out of Las Vegas instead of LA if I wanted to. I still had a carload of stuff to drop off to my parents in Vegas so this worked out great. The departure date I was given was May 29th. That’s when I thought I would be leaving so that was also my goal in preparation. I think it was Mon. May 24th when I found out that the flight would actually be May 27th, not May 29th. So my plan over staying over the night I was moving out of my place was over. This gave me one day to hang with my parents before flying out. I spent a good part of that one-day moving my stuff into areas around my parents’ home and re-packing my luggage.

There is no such thing as ‘packing.’ There is only re-packing. I must have re-packed my suitcase, duffel bag and knapsack 50 times. On that last day in Vegas the zipper on my duffel bag broke. Great! So, we purchased a new duffel bag. (After arriving in South Korea and unpacking I discovered the original bag to place the duffel into for storage.)

It was a bittersweet last day and night with my parents. They took me out for lunch at this great Mexican restaurant. And then I had my favorite meal cooked personally by my mom, chicken parmigiana. Mashiseyo! That’s Korean for delicious.

Well, I'm off to South Korea. A new blog site will be coming soon. So, if you want to read about my adventures teaching English in South Korea stay tuned!


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    • myownworld profile image


      8 years ago from uk

      Amazing hub, and such fun read! Having moved from one country to another all my life, I can safely say, it's a very daunting experience, yet when I think of how much I've learnt from different cultures, I know it's one thing I'd never want to change. Best of luck with your future and look forward to reading more about your adventures... :)

    • profile image

      Clara Martin 

      8 years ago

      This was well written, awesome, funny, and useful. Great

      photos! I look forward to viewing more!!


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