So long, Deep South

I was raised next to a cow pasture. My Paw Paw has had at least two head of cattle since I was tall enough to look out the window and watch him mow his land.

I worked at a restaurant called The Shed beginning at age 16. When we wanted to have a party in high school, it usually took place in the woods with a circle of tailgates and a huge bonfire. I don’t happen to have a drawl until I get around my friends and family from home.

I grew up in the Deep South — as far south as you can get without jumping into the Mississippi Sound. I love where I’m from, and I’m proud of my roots. I moved two hours and fifteen minutes west to Baton Rouge to pursue an education. I found more similarities in the cultures of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and southern Louisiana than I ever anticipated. I felt as though I was welcomed with open arms as soon as I settled here.

Needless to say, I’m experiencing some mixed emotions for my next big move. I’ve never been to Illinois. I’ve never seen any of the Great Lakes. The largest cities I’ve visited have been for a limited amount of time and included the usual tourist happenings, i.e. visiting the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and seeing the Washington Monument in D.C. Chicago will be my new home, and I refuse to be a tourist.

0001-2I hope to bring a little slice of the Deep South I know and love to The Windy/Second City. I vow to bring my love for salt water, the Mississippi blues, the over-usage of y’all, and my love for LSU sports.

I don’t want this quote to be misconstrued. I know that, currently, there are better opportunities for me to leave the region I’ve always known and loved to leave my comfort zone and grow professionally. More than anything, this C.S. Lewis quote will act as a mantra when I start missing the people and places I love the most.

I bought my one-way flight on Monday. When I land on Tuesday, May 27, I’ll start a new chapter. Wish me luck (and send me some southern care packages).

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4 thoughts on “So long, Deep South

  1. Erin, you don’t need luck. You just need to keep smiling that smile and working hard. Chicago is an amazing city. You’ll find an active LSU Alumni Association that gets together for football games. You’ll find the best deep dish pizza in the world. You’ll come across breweries on random street corners and people to help you up when you slip on icy sidewalks for the first time. Use the public transportation… it will change your life. And go to Wrigley Field, the best bar surrounding a field of dirt and grass on earth. You’ll find some southerners. And some friendly Midwesterners. And they’ll find you due to your amazing charm and energy. Most of all, have fun. Work hard, and have fun. As good as life has been for you, it’s really only getting started. And a few years from now you’ll look back on this leg of your great adventure called life and be glad you enjoyed the Chicago chapter so much!

    Much love and see you in Chicago!

    Jay

    • If you’re trying to make me tear up, you did. Thank you so much for all of your support throughout the last few years. It means so much to know that you are already helping me form relationships in an entirely different city. I know you’re coming to see me, but I’ll miss you so much!

  2. This makes me sad to hear that you’re leaving the South, but I know you have absolutely amazing things coming your way. I’m going to see your name big somewhere soon, not like I don’t already. I hope that our paths cross at some point and that I can continue to hear about your life. You will always be a role model for me, regardless of your address. Stay beautiful. Love you!

    • Thank you so much Rachael. I know our paths will cross at some point. Know that I am always just a phone call or text away. You’re so inspiring, and you motivate me to work harder. I can’t wait to see pictures from your graduation.

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