Sunday, May 1, 2022

Surprise: I'm Moving to the Big Easy!


It is surreal that I am even writing this blog post but I'm so ready to make this move! For those of you who are truly confused, let me give you some background. I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. I am so lucky and fortunate to have grown up with most of my family in the same area, with the rest of my family being a quick drive to the suburbs of Milwaukee. Everyone was pretty much located in the midwest except for my grandma's brother. For as long as I can remember, my Uncle Jack has lived in New Orleans. We grew up visiting him and I always loved the city. I loved the atmosphere, the architecture, the people. I pictured living there a lot.

When I was a senior in high school and filling out college applications, I applied to Tulane. I wanted to live in New Orleans. My high school counselor knew I wanted to go away to school, and with the Illinois school system, it wouldn't be too much of a cost difference. She knew I was set on Tulane but offered up LSU to me. And to that, I said, "what's LSU?". This is funny now because it's basically a personality trait of mine. 

I had no idea, went home and asked my mom and brother and Jack told me it was a good football school. My mom said we could visit and away we went. From the moment I stepped onto the campus, I had a gut feeling this was where I was supposed to be. I had not even gone on the school tour when I decided I would be attending LSU. I luckily have a very supportive family, who knew that if there was an emergency I have family and close friends about an hour away from LSU in New Orleans. So I winged it. I personally did not know a single person on campus. I had a few family friends, friends, or friends, but no one I could pal around with. And the first two weeks I cried every day. I called my mom and told her I made a mistake and she told me that if I still hated it by Thanksgiving I could come home. But she tells me now that she knew I would love it once I got settled.

And I did. I met the right people who I bonded with and showed me the ropes. I got involved in activities, and I learned my way around the campus and Baton Rouge. That old saying, you get out of it what you put into it couldn't be more true. My brother ended up joining me there, I found people I loved and I loved Louisiana. 

Louisiana is where I learned about football, unconditional friendships near & far, trusting my gut, taking ownership for my mistakes, and correcting them. I was welcomed into the homes of my friends and fell in love with their families. I tailgated at football games and Mardi Gras parades and fell in love. And I always wanted to move back. And that was my goal.

After college, I moved home and I don't regret the time I've spent in Chicago but I also love Chicago. It's home. My family has lived in the same home for almost 27 years. My whole family is here. My memories are here. My friends from growing up are here. I started Mimosas & Lipstick here. I learned to love myself here. If my family needs me I'm not far from where I grew up or Milwaukee.  I learned to believe in myself across facets of my life and I'm comfortable here. 

But just because you're comfortable doesn't mean you shouldn't try, right? 

That's what I'm telling myself anyway.  

As excited as I am for this new chapter, I'm scared. It's hard because I also love Chicago. But I have a gut feeling that I need to try New Orleans. I need to follow my heart and try. So as excited as I get, I've also cried almost every day since I decided to move in January. Because having two places that you can call home that is so far apart can be tough. But I'm also so lucky.

So I hope you continue to follow along through this next chapter in my life. I'm still me, just about 900 miles south of Chicago. I'm still going to go on adventures, tell stories, share outfits, and crack a few jokes. I'm just going to try it somewhere new. 

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