Just wanted to post a little update on my time so far in Baton Rouge for those I haven't gotten to talk with much lately. I have been living in temporary housing for the last two months since I moved here, and it's been a surprisingly wonderful experience. I originally thought I'd be in an extended stay hotel, but as it turns out, I'm in this precious (and very nice) corporate apartment that is less than a mile from the office! All the corporate apartments have themes, and mine is the "Mini-Me," named for Austin Powers/70s-style decor. It's not garish at all, but really cute, and accented with oranges and turquoises and greens throughout. The Mini-Me has definitely been a haven during this time of newness! Sadly, though, I have to leave it. :-(
But happily, I found a new place. :-) For those familiar with this area, it's not far from Highland and Bluebonnet, and I think it'll be a great way to save money and still live comfortably for at least a year. I've met a couple of my neighbors and they seem really nice, too. The drive to work will be about 15-20 minutes -- not bad -- and I'll be in a different part of town that will allow me easy access to the mall, among other important priorities. :-)
I'm so happy to report that the reason I'm even here in the first place (my job) is fantastic. I am fulfilled in my work and challenged, and I have gotten to know some very sweet coworkers as well (three of whom are even taking me out to dinner for my birthday -- how nice is that?). My predecessor still works with the bank and has been more than helpful, patiently answering my many questions. She is very organized, which gives me something to strive for as I make the valiant effort to follow in her footsteps. :-)
It's great to be back at Hancock Bank, but in a different department and location. I've enjoyed visiting Gulfport and with Gulfport people (many of my old coworkers from when I left in '99 are still there), and it's been fun to get to know the Louisiana HBers as well. It's still sort of uncanny to put so many names I saw from when HB starting acquiring Louisiana banks in '95 with actual faces and titles over here! Thankfully, the company is the same place I remember from college -- a warm and friendly atmosphere with an emphasis on professionalism. I'm getting to work for the person I consider to be my first mentor in Corporate Communications, and, of course, this girly girl is enjoying dressing up for work again! :-)
I'm still doing public relations, but there is definitely more of an emphasis on community relations in this position. This month, I have been running all over (Louisiana's corner of) creation to do events such as the bank's title sponsorship of Wednesday at the Square in New Orleans, an evening of free music in Lafayette Square (at St. Charles and Poydras). The weather has been so nice and cool for it, so I'm really thankful for that! We also partially sponsored a Wooden Boat Festival last weekend in Madisonville (near Covington and Mandeville) and had the bank's boat, the Doris M, docked for visitors to check out. This week, I have focused more on the Baton Rouge Business Report's BizTech Expo. BRBR is Louisiana's version of the Mississippi Business Journal and hosts this huge expo each year. HB is one of the four title sponsors, so we have a large booth and much participation. When I'm not event-planning, I process all charitable contribution requests, work with a great committee to decide where the larger dollars go, and work on general PR (including yet another United Way campaign this year -- must they follow me everywhere?!). ;-)
HBLA headquarters is in a great location (off the College Drive exit of I-10) with many fun restaurants and shops around, not to mention a Barnes & Noble that bascially sits in the bank's parking lot and a movie theatre I can see from my window. So that helps when it comes to figuring out how to spend the new spare time I've suddenly found myself with. I haven't gotten involved in PRAL (the Public Relations Association of Louisiana) yet -- they are still taking hiatus since SPRF (Southern Public Relations Federation) just had their annual conference. I'm also waiting a little while before I transfer my Junior League membership from Jackson to Baton Rouge...even though I haven't met that many people outside of work here yet, I'm definitely enjoying a breather from meetings and projects, valuable as they are.
Baton Rouge itself is a very fun city to live in, full of culture and art and all the traditional Louisiana traits -- spices, accents and a nice, laid-back atmosphere. Except the traffic! If you've ever heard anything about it, you heard right. Ugh. But otherwise, great city! Oh, and I have to say...in spite of my best efforts, I've become an LSU fan. It totally snuck up on me, but here I am, anxiously awaiting each new game day and chanting the Tigers' fight song with the best of 'em. My coworkers and sister are very proud of me. :-)
The long-distance adjustment with Carl and my friends has been more of a challenge for me than I expected, but it's all working out well. I prayed through this decision long before this job opportunity came, so that always gives reassurance whenever I wonder what the heck I've done by removing myself from the people who know me best. ;-) Thankfully, C seems to like Baton Rouge, too, so that makes exploring the city even more fun. During the week when I'm alone, I can tuck things away I want to show him during his visits.
I haven't yet been here too much during the weekends, and when I have I've either been working a weekend event or too dizzy to do too much -- yes, don't worry, I was diagnosed with inner ear issues last week?!?! -- so I haven't had much of a chance to check out local churches, but I'm looking forward to doing that soon. I would really love to get involved with a ladies' Bible study in the area as a means of spiritual feeding, encouragement and meeting people, but so far I haven't had any leads on that -- at least not from the Internet.
I know this has been long and generic, but I did want to send a thorough update. I'm sorry I haven't been great about keeping in touch, but maybe with all this free time, I can work on that. :-) I do hope you're all well and that you'll keep me posted on yourselves!
With much love,
p.s. Geaux Tigers. :-)
-- "Life should be a little nuts. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of random Thursdays strung together." -- Kevin Costner, from Rumor Has It
2 Comments - 0 Kudos
Excellent. So happy to hear things are going so well. ;-)
Posted by Just Music on October 18, 2007 - Thursday 9:29 PM
I'm so happy you've found a great new home.
Posted by Jams on October 18, 2007 - Thursday 10:22 PM