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.
from Beauty by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro