Nola, Nawlins, The Big Easy, whatever you prefer to call it, I fell in love with it. And what a wonderful place to celebrate another year of life completed. I have been somewhat dreading, somewhat looking forward to my quarter of the century mark. I can’t quite come to the conclusion if I’m happy to turn 25. It sounds sort of ludicrous reading that on the page, “am I happy” because of course I should be happy, I’ve lived another glorious year! However I’ve come to realize how much pressure I’ve internally put on myself about reaching this age. As an adolescent I viewed 25 as the age of “becoming an adult.” At this point, in my teenage brain, I should’ve be married, have tons of babies (well not tons, more like..one) be running my own business etc. My expectations are far from met, but my expectations weren’t really realistic in the first place. Who knows where we will be in the future, and not only that, who knows how our views have changed by the time we reach a certain age.
But anyway, this post was more supposed to be about how amazing my time in New Orleans was..not my constant neurosis. The Big Easy has a magical quality to it once you cross its threshold. Perhaps it’s the humidity in the air, the slighty weird smells, or the old houses and buildings that reek history (or mold..)..or the incredible hospitiality that you approach around every corner (or the road rage if you are in a car) ..or perhaps it’s the live music that wafts on a warm Lousiana breeze..I could go on and on. Also, I don’t know how anyone could maintain a thin figure in a town that makes some of the most delicious, heavest, anti-vegetarian food I’ve ever experienced. All I know is my stomache is still trying to recover from all the beignets at Cafe Du Monde and oysters at the Royal Oyster House on Royal Street.
I’m back from New Orleans now and regular life has returned. On my 25th birthday I did alot of soul searching regarding if I’m happy about where I am in life at the moment. (Some of these reflections occured on a airboat in the Louisiana Bayou funnily enough.) I wouldn’t say I’m necesarilly unhappy. I would call it more a feeling of not being totally complete. I’m still yearning for my dream career to take off..and the scary truth is it is up to me, and only me to make that career happen. It’s easy to get distracted by your day job and meaningless trivial problems. It’s very easy to pay close attention to the negative, self-defeating thoughts..but being in New Orleans brought a happiness back to me that I haven’t felt in a long minute. It returned a hunger for life that I felt so often when in school. Joie de vivre is what they like to call it.. and it’s contagious in New Orleans. Gorging yourself on good food and amazing music will do that. I’m hoping my visit to the Big Easy was the perfect kick in the pants that I need to enjoy life a little more. I’m hoping that joy will propel me towards action that is not fear based. Kind of like this wild alligator named Woodrow I met in the Bayou. Doesn’t he look like he’s pursuing me (aka “lunch”) without fear?