Friday, October 1, 2010

Wednesdays in New Orleans, DC in May: Yada, Yada, Yada.

In my first job out of college, I went to Washington, D.C. every May for a conference. Stressful, huh? :-) Truly, we did have to go to meetings and such, but in those five years, I really got a feel and developed a strong love for our nation's capitol. I still fondly refer to those times as "DC in May."

Since I moved to Baton Rouge to work for Hancock Bank, I've spent a lot of Wednesdays in New Orleans. Between our past sponsorships of the Young Leadership Council (YLC)'s Wednesday at the Square and our current sponsorship of 2nd Harvest Food Bank of Greater N.O.'s Harvest the Music, I have become well acquainted with NOLA. Well, at least one particular square in NOLA. :-)

Last night, during a rare lull in customer/prospect entertainment in our tent, I was mulling over these Wednesdays and how great they've been for me. Anything that can take a city I'm not familiar with -- or, in this case, a particular part of a city I'm not familiar with -- and make it part of who I am and what I do cannot be duly complained about. I try to complain, but really, it's not logical. Just because I sweat from 2-9pm each Wednesday does not mean I'm not in the Crescent City listening to fabulous jazz and smelling delish jambalaya. And...each week I get to see the Superdome in person. Really? I gripe?

I guess my rambling point is that things that were not once commonplace for me often become that way, but do I really stop to think about what I'm learning from them? A few of my examples are:
  • Having a nephew.
  • Knowing the streets of my new city.
  • Living what life is like before, during and after a massive natural disaster hits your hometown.
  • Dealing with death.
  • Experiencing heartache.
  • Experiencing it again.
  • Knowing what it feels like to gain weight.
  • Seeing the other side of the coin.
  • Having hurtful misunderstandings with friends as adults.
  • Hurting someone else's heart by being true to my own.
  • Realizing that change does not always equate lack of loyalty.
  • Prioritizing a healthy balance, knowing I'm the only one who can do that for me, and doing what it takes to get there.

(As most of you know, I truly could go on and on.)

I well remember the first time I complained because I needed to get my nails done but really didn't have time. As soon as that flittered through my mind, I increduously wondered, "Seriously. When did you get spoiled?"

Even though work is the primary reason, when DC each May becomes a chore and Wednesdays in New Orleans are just another thing to check off before the weekend finally gets

Whatever happened to Carpe Diem?

Seizing the day isn't just about being in a fabulous city and not being acutely aware of that. It also applies to the not-so-fun stuff -- being hurt by a friend. Hurting someone else. Those aren't great. No one I know would look at those as great, or I doubt they'd very often say it out loud if that was their perspective.

But while I'd love to progress from my tenderhearted nature of those things rocking my world, I also really hope to never see those things as commonplace. I've been hardened before, and it's just not a good look for this redhead. I want to seize it all -- the good, the bad and the ugly. All those days have been given to me, and they're mine for the taking. Or the wasting. Totally my option.

So, in the words of Lee Ann Womack years ago, I hope I still feel small when I stand beside the ocean. Because really, it seems to be the only way to truly live.

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