I have decided to leave the New Orleans area for many reasons, but the main one is financial. I love New Orleans, but my love for New Orleans might not be the kind of love I need to feel to make it my forever home. That being said, I DO have a photography business with a partner based out of New Orleans, so New Orleans is very much a part of my life and will continue to be. For now, I find myself moving back to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, but I have other long term plans that involve making Austin a part of my life (at least part-time). Yes. Austin, again. I cannot shake it. I hope that in a few years I will be in a good enough place financially to buy my own place and our business will be in a good enough place that I can work on expanding the company/booking weddings out there, all while still working in Louisiana and Mississippi for wedding photography. Unconventional, but I’ve never been good at conventional.
So, the other night I was trying to explain how I feel about the different places I have called home throughout the years and the easiest way was to equate it to human relationships.
- Mississippi // She is my mother. She comforts me, grounds me and is always there with open arms. I could never leave her or abandon her completely. She is family. She is my resting place when nowhere else brings me peace.
- Austin, TX // He is my lover, my soul mate. No matter where I go, I cannot shake him. Lord knows I have tried. I had to leave to realize how necessary of a role he plays in my life. With him there are fireworks, passion, and excitement. Austin is the one.
- New Orleans, LA // NOLA is the guy I tried to date while on a “break” with Austin. It had it’s good moments and bad, but ultimately we decided we are just best as friends… or even business partners.
- Northern California // He is my well-meaning, but deadbeat hippie father that is too stoned to remember to call.
My Adopted Cat Is The Best Climbing Partner Ever
Most pet cats will become timid or defensive when outdoors, but not Millie – after being adopted by her mountain-climbing owner Craig Armstrong, Millie has become a feline hiking and mountain-climbing legend.
“She literally loves to climb things… if there’s high-ground she’ll seek it out,” Armstrong said in an interview with Bored Panda. He had nothing but praise for the tenacious little athlete: “Generally she does best on slabby routes where she can scramble from ledge to ledge. She’s an incredible athlete but steep juggy routes just aren’t her thing. When bouldering, though, she’s done some pretty amazing gaps and dynos.”
“I go on a lot of weekend climbing adventures. It never seemed odd to me, just seemed like something I’d do with my pet, take her places,” explained Armstrong. Ever since Millie climbed up onto his shoulder at the Furburbia adoption center in Utah, Armstrong knew they’d make a good team.
There are, of course, pros and cons to taking your cat hiking – “We camp in my truck; She peed in there one night, but she caught a mouse in there one night, too.” Armstrong hopes that they can become a team in other aspects of his life as well; “I’m still waiting for the day we come across a group of pretty ladies and they love Millie and invite us to their campfire that night.“
He also had plenty of advice for owners who might consider hiking with their own cats. “Get them used to their name and to you as a safe place. In talus fields or thick woods she’ll get distracted and climb trees or explore tiny caves and under boulders and stop following sometimes. It’s taken a lot of practice and many trips to get Millie to the point where she follows me down a trail past areas like thickets that would have distracted her otherwise.”
Via Bored Panda
All my misery comes from a love for two places that leaves me constantly torn. On one hand, there is New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (they have always been linked in my mind since I stayed in both every summer as a child). I longed to move to New Orleans or the coast my whole life, but after Katrina I was so heartbroken by the fact that it was no longer the same that I started to look elsewhere. This brings me to my second greatest love, Austin. Austin, Texas was my dream all throughout college. It was the perfect place. Still somehow the south, yet with a California feel. It was eco-friendly, vegan-friendly, yogi-friendly, and all around friendly.
Well, I moved to Austin and began to see it’s problems. Traffic, rapid growth, etc. I started to dwell on the negative and miss my family in Mississippi and New Orleans. It took everything in me to leave. It broke my heart, but I truly believed I was making the right choice. So, now I am back here again and I could not imagine leaving my family. I can’t go back. Not completely. But I miss Austin every single day. But things are going so well for me here! And I love it here too, but sometimes my longing for Austin masks that!
Needless to say, it has all been frustrating, but while taking a long walk in the park the other day I had an epiphany. I CAN and WILL live in both places! Sure, it is non-conventional and any future partner or children I have might put some kinks in this dream, but the details will sort themselves out. My goal in life is to be a photographer and a writer and right now everything looks bright headed in that direction. Wedding photography can take me all over the United States and world if I play my cards right, so there is no reason why I could not keep a foot in two places, rather than having one definite home base.
That being said, this is not a dream that can happen tomorrow, but it is a dream that can happen in 3-5 years. And the realization that this is my dream and this is the solution has made all the difference. Suddenly I am no longer comparing New Orleans to Austin. Suddenly I can enjoy where I am at and pictures or mention of Austin no longer break my heart because it is not a closed door. It was not goodbye, it was “see you later” after all. My parents support this and my closest friends do as well, but I plan to make it a reality and that is all that truly matters.