Monday. A new week, a fresh start, and as I write this my house it quiet. Everyone is still asleep, which is a bit odd since at least one of my toddlers is almost always awake by 7:00am. I awoke feeling hopeful, that today would be a great day, because let’s face it — last week was a long one. For no particular reason, it was the kind of week that made me miss living in Louisiana.
I miss my family.
I miss my friends.
I miss those comfort radio stations (94.5, I’m talking to you).
And I miss the food.
Born and raised in the bayou, I moved away for good in 2009 a few months after Keith and I began dating. I wanted to be close to the boy that I loved. He proposed a few months after my arrival in Charleston, and with the exception of briefly living in Georgia and North Carolina for Keith’s job, I’ve lived in South Carolina ever since.
I spent the majority of my childhood planning my escape. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or where exactly I wanted to live, but I knew for sure it wasn’t going to be in the Louisiana. I was a mostly happy child and teenager, but a lot was going on under the surface. A lot of it was hormonal, but the majority of my internal struggles are directly linked to my life at home. One’s identity is shaped by their childhood and adolescence, and mine was heavily impacted by my father’s erratic behavior. So when I was old enough to do so, I got the heck out of there.
I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 17 and bee bopped around the state living with different family members. I also moved to California when I was 18 to be an au pair (long story…I’ll tell you sometime), then there was Texas for an even shorter time, but I always ended up back in Louisiana. My extended family and friends made that trip coming home worthwhile, and when I moved away in 2009 I had no idea that this would be my final exit.
It’s been almost 7 years since I’ve been permanently gone, and while I’ve lost my accent, I’m still a Cajun girl at heart. Growing up and becoming a woman while living a few states away has allowed me to view this quirky place with fresh eyes, and the things that used to bother me are no longer relevant. Every year around this time, I get a little more homesick than normal, and it’s all because of Louisiana football (New Orleans Saints, LSU Tigers, UL Ragin Cajuns). The game itself is exciting, but what I miss is the atmosphere it creates. Food, fellowship, and football is what Louisianians are all about. Charleston (and South Carolina in general) just isn’t on the same level, and it’s disappointing. Nevertheless I’m trying to embrace the Lowcountry. Charleston is a beautiful, historical city and there is much to do and see. My family and I live around 20 minutes from downtown, and I think exploring this unique city more often would lessen my homesickness. I’ve always had difficulty blooming where I’m planted, because I’m always looking ahead or wondering what’s next. I’m going to work on that. I’m trying to lower my walls and let new people in, but that can be risky. My prayer is that God would give me peace and contentment. I don’t know what the future holds, but whether we stay in Charleston, move to Louisiana, or even relocate to a place that isn’t on our radar yet, I’m going to try and embrace it. Afterall, home is where my sweet husband and babies are.