JUMANJI

for those who seek to find a way to leave their world behind.

Wanderlust. I hate that word. I really do. Partially because it is so overused lately by anyone and everyone (who probably only want to travel because they’re bored which is not the meaning of the word), but mostly because ‘wander’ sounds like ‘wonder’ which is something I do all too often. I, too, am plagued by wanderlust. Guilty. I got the bug. I was a soul born to travel. I was made to move. explore. adventure.

But I was born in this concrete city where hardly anything is pretty and there’s nothing left to be explored. Sure, we have undeveloped land, but it’s mostly fields of wet grass – how fun is that?! Not much. And when you get to the other side, all you see is another subdivision full of houses and people and concrete and cars. Although Houston is always moving, it almost feels like a wasteland. Everyone is always inside. It’s too hot to be anywhere else. All I see are people driving to and fro, cooped up in their vehicles to go from home to work to the next appointment and back again. Where is the energy – the connection? Nobody even looks up from their hectic lives to stop and talk to anyone else anymore. Everything is schedules and routine. Organized play. Keep moving and don’t stop until bedtime. Not even to eat. Eat on the go and don’t take any time to enjoy one second of anything. Gotta make that money, honey.

When will it ever end?

My wish for this blog is that it becomes more than just ‘here I am. here’s a picture or two and I’ll tell you my story for a minute. see you next week.’ I want this blog to become a dialogue between new friends I’ve never met (but hopefully get the chance to meet someday). I travel a lot and love road trips so you never know.

Connect with me. Email me. Tell me about you and I’ll tell you about me. Talk about anything and everything and don’t hold back.

One thing I’ve learned while visiting New Orleans is that no matter when you go, no matter what brings you there, they will embrace you. all of you. You will be standing in line at Central Grocery waiting for that perfect muffaletta that will just make your day, and the man in front of you will turn around and say ‘it’s crowded in here today. They must be here for that ____ festival, eh?’ There’s always a festival in New Orleans and I think that’s why the natives have become such a happy, friendly, welcoming people. They have learned that you will always be able to find yourself there. You will always have a buddy that just totally gets it.

A few months ago, I was walking around New Orleans with one of my guy friends. Totally at ease and totally on guard. I was confused. In one breath, I saw a man in a unitard, a topless woman, someone wearing a fake beard, a guy on stilts, a policeman on a horse, and a voodoo queen. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Here I was, wearing jeans, a white tee, and a green hoodie, with my dirty converse and my non-boyfriend who I trusted with all my heart, but who I kept at a distance for the sake of self-preservation. What. the. hell.

I was standing outside of the art gallery where you would find all of the ‘blue dog’ paintings. It was centrally located somewhere in between Jackson Square and the French Quarter. It wasn’t crowded at all. It was probably Tuesday, and it was about 2pm. I was holding potato salad from Rouses (the local grocery store) and heading to the Cathedral to rest on the lawn for a picnic. It was entirely thrilling and entirely confusing to see such diversity in one place – and they embraced it!

I don’t know what to do with myself in New Orleans. It’s off-putting and invigorating at the same time. All of these differences in one place and every single one of them would open up to you. so easily. so vulnerable.

What do I do with that?

I’m not good at small talk. I like to get to the root of the conversation. I like to see the core of a person’s heart. I like to solve problems and be direct. I’m a problem solver. I like to give advice and I like to hear your opinion too.

I’m sure there are other places out there just like this. Places that accept you and love you and embrace the weirdness. The diversity. Not in a superficial ‘be yourself’ kind of way, but a really be yourself way. Houston isn’t like that. We have all kinds of people here, but they stick to their kind. I’ve grown up here and only have a small group of people that I can truly be myself around. Surely it’s not like this everywhere.

My family is from St. Louis. My parents met there and later moved to Houston to start their family, so both sides of my extended family still live there. St. Louis is a city that has my heart. You can walk downtown for two blocks and see red brick buildings, cobblestone streets, and architecture that is some of the oldest in the country. It’s so different from what I’m surrounded by now.

I want this.

That’s what life is about, right? Finding the people you can truly be yourself around?

be. yourself. around.

yourself.

you.

Houston, you have my heart. St. Louis, you have my soul.

It’s all about the connection, and you’re just not delivering it.

I don’t know much about what is to come. I tend to be more impulsive and free. I let my heart guide my feet and have ended up the in most interesting situations. But now that I’m 27, I want a change. I want to find that place that speaks to me. That place that I won’t get sick of. Where I won’t feel restless. I want to find the spot that I can stay in for more than five years and completely relax and just ‘let it be.’ And I want to find my people that just get it.

get it?

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