When you leave the place that you have called home for the past few years, it’s only natural to feel a bit nostalgic and reminisce on your time spent there. Especially when that place played such a big part in shaping you into the person you are now. That what I feel Louisiana did for me. As happy as I am to be back home in the northeast, I will never forget the memories made, the people who made those memories so special, and all the life lessons and experiences that helped me grow. As I think back over the last few years, there are a few things that I learned that I will be forever grateful for.
It taught me to fight for the things that I want
When I first moved to Baton Rouge, I had just left a full-time writing position for a daily newspaper and I’m not going to lie, I thought it would be fairly easy to walk right into a writing position in the south. I thought wrong. It took me six months to get a publication to even email me back. But even though it was a challenge and giving up would have been the easy way out, I knew it was what I wanted to do.Without it, I would never truly be happy in my professional life. So, I kept trying. And you know what? Eventually I reached the right people and began my writing journey down in Baton Rouge.
It taught me my independence
I honestly feel that had I never moved so far away from my hometown, I would not possess even half the amount of independence and strength that I now have. I knew nobody when I arrived, and I had to learn how to do everything completely on my own. I struggled a bit at times, but I am so thankful for those lessons because I think I would be a completely different person without those experiences. It taught me that I had to rely on myself to figure things out, and now I feel as if I could handle anything life throws my way.
It taught me to live in the moment and try new things
Living in a place where it’s a constant party and there is a festival or parade for anything you can imagine, it’s easy to quickly get into the spirit of things. I have never experienced a place fuller of life, culture and excitement than Louisiana in full swing. You feel so alive in those moments. It teaches you to not worry about the little things so much and just enjoy the moment that you’re in. From the Cajun food and culture to new professional opportunities, Louisiana provided me with a plethora of new experiences that I otherwise may not have had.
It taught me Y’all is just as appropriate as You Guys
Lastly, I had to throw this one in for my work friends. As a northern girl, I was the only one in the office saying, “you guys”. Now I wouldn’t say I have completed converted, but I can say I appreciate a good “y’all” now and again. 😉