Thursday, July 18, 2013

Not so different

I'm finally in New Orleans for good. It's a completely different experience than I had the first time I arrived when I was much younger. In some ways.

For one thing, I am older. That translates to: I'm more of a chicken. Having a kid made me more cautious than I was when I was in my twenties. That's normal. I worry more. Panic more. I am not the care-free girl I used to be. I've spent a few afternoons in tears feeling completely overwhelmed and out of place.

On the other hand, that girl still has a pretty firm grip on the reins or I wouldn't be here at all. A year ago, I would've laughed if someone had told me I'd be marrying my old buddy Jack and packing everything up to move to New Orleans. In fact, I'm pretty sure I told Jack he could forget it. I wasn't going anywhere. I was perfectly happy where I was. So there.

But he's so darn cute.

Enough gushing. I guess the only way I'm really different after all is that I'm older and more cautious, but clearly not that much more cautious.

And maybe for all that the experience isn't so different either. I still feel giddy when I'm walking in the shade of live oaks and peeking into walled in gardens. I still salivate over the smells of percolating coffee and French bread fresh out of a bakery oven and roast beef marinating in garlic...mmmmm. I still get excited when I hear someone walking down the street blowing into a horn or strumming a guitar or setting up a keyboard and sitting down to play a tune. I still feel inspired to get out paint brushes and paints when I pass all the art on the streets.

It just took a week or so to start to feel at home again. To get through that spell that felt like the current reality may or may not be actually real.