It's a jarring experience for anyone to move to a new place and start a new job, (especially when it wasn't exactly your idea to begin with, thanks medical training!). It always takes some adjusting, but I think it's been extra weird for me because I used to live here in college. Everywhere we go holds some memory from a different life when we were younger, unmarried, and spent most of our free time drinking. It's not that the memories are bad, quite the opposite actually, but for some reason it's unsettling to me.
It was a little over 5 years ago when we left Jackson to move to New Orleans, but it may as well have been a lifetime ago. I moved here at 18, fresh out of high school and excited to be away from home. By the time I graduated college at 22, my relationship with Jeff had become serious and I'd made the decision to go to grad school in New Orleans to stay with him. I was beyond ready for my Jackson chapter to close and for a new one to begin. While I loved my college and had plenty of good friends, I was ready to get out of Jackson by my sophomore year. I just never felt like it was the right fit for me and I was itching to get away from what I felt was a pretty judgmental climate. I needed to be around the type of people who wear jeans and a t-shirt to football games and not heels and pearls, know what I mean? If you like to dress up in your Sunday best to watch a bunch of sweaty guys throw a ball around and get pummeled, then by all means, more power to ya! It just wasn't what I was used to growing up in Southern Louisiana and was indicative of the many differences between the two cultures.
|St. Louis Cathedral at night in New Orleans |
Where we were married
I found some really awesome friends in New Orleans. Everyone was so different from one another, yet coexisted in this perfect melting pot. People seemed to realize that this is what made the city so great. They live life to enjoy it down there, I mean really enjoy it. If you aren't having a hell of a time in life, then what's the point? It's probably the one thing they take seriously.
Not only did I meet and become friends with some really genuine people, but I fell in love with the city itself. And even after 5 years there, I felt like we were still discovering something new every time we ventured out. There was always a new corner to explore that you had never known existed. Unlike when we left Jackson back in 2008, I wasn't ready for my New Orleans chapter to be over. We like to think of our lives as progressing linearly. So, I think what gets me down is that it feels a bit like a step backwards to be in Jackson again, even though our careers and our lives together are moving forward.
I realized the other day that I've spent every day since we moved here focusing on all the things that are wrong with my life right now. I've been incredibly bored at work (I've been sitting around for a freaking week and a half doing not shit). I miss my old boss who was extremely nice, accessible, and understood the need to have a life outside of research. I knew coming into this position that I would not be the same as grad school. Some things better, some things worse. I'm just not sure yet if the better things will outweigh the worse things. Oh, and have I mentioned that I miss New Orleans and Jackson is devoid of all culture? There's that too. To top it off, Jeff just started an away rotation in New Orleans- yes, you read that right. (Go ahead and rub it in, babe.) Not only has he gone and left me in this hell hole (ok I may be exaggerating, slightly), but he's in the one place I want to be.
So, I decided I need to get my mind off these things that are bringing me down and instead focus on things that are good right now. Positive energy and all that jazz. No more pity parties about things I can't change in my life. So, here we go.
Things that make me HAPPY right now:
- Ben & Jerry's new Greek froyo! I'm especially liking the Blueberry Vanilla Graham flavor. Nommmmm
- other people who work in my new lab are super nice
- having a drive through coffee place on my way to work (also dangerous)
- Our internet/cable bill here is less than half what it was in Nola (the things you get excited about as an adult)
- Jeff's 2nd New Orleans rotation will be in February aka Mardi Gras season aka this is possibly the luckiest thing to have ever happened to us (now we'll have a free place to stay during Mardi Gras!!! I'm already planning my vacation time accordingly.)
I realize these are small, silly things, but they are little victories on the path towards not being completely miserable this year.