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Reflections (and a little of New Orleans) 

The problem with the end of the semester (and the craziness that is the start of the spring wedding season) is that I feel like I am facing this strange polar opposite/vortex/soul-sucking craziness that is threatening to rip me in two.

A few weeks ago, I was in New Orleans for PCA, and had a great time attending the conference and exploring just a bit of the city. The conference really recharged my intellectual batteries and inspired ideas for new research. I felt a real kinship with the city, with the settings and surroundings, almost like it was a second home. I was only there for two days, but I really loved the experience and can’t wait to go back.


    
A few photos from my stay, including the view from my hotel window.

The only real things I had as agenda were to go to Cafe du Monde and to get a psychic reading. I thought I would be remiss to not get a reading in one of the most spiritual towns you can visit. Note: I did want to go on a ghost tour, too, and do a lot of other things touristy, but I was trying to limit my experiences so that I could go back and visit again with my husband and Emmaline. 

So, kind of by accident I got 3 readings from different people– not really because I was looking for different answers, but because I was just so interested in the entire process and I really wanted to deepen the experience. It was super cool– I got some wonderful insights and I have been meaning to write them down since I got them.

The one unifying message from all the psychics ( and I do believe that they all are gifted in the art of perception): that I need to slow down. That stress is going to consume me and eat me alive if I don’t recognize how to simplify.

That message resonates with me because I feel like I have spent the past year coming to terms with the reality of those words. This time last year, I was looking at my life and wondering what I needed to change to have my life be the most fulfilling, the most genuine, the most authentic. What did I want my legacy to be? And was I proud of the way I built that legacy?

All of the people I spoke with brought up that I was at a crossroads in my life. That I was very much so passionate about life long learning, and of experiencing life an a student and scholar, and it didn’t matter if it was In an actual classroom or an environment I made for myself for learning.  I love to learn and it shows, I guess. They all also brought up my love for teaching, that I was creative and liked to work with my hands.

All also brought up my husband (all good things and that he was my soul mate) and my daughter (Apple didnt fall far from the tree– I have been warned that she is stubborn, and will be willful, but has much charisma and talents yet to be discovered).

But two talked to me about where I was going if I didn’t learn how to listen to myself and slow down. “You used to be good at burning the candle at both ends,” one woman told me, her hands warm in mine. “But sweetheart, lately, all you are doing is getting burned.” I remember nodding, and feeling very emotional in that moment. She squeezed my hands “you know what you are letting go of. You already made the choice. The hard part now is walking through the fire to get to the other side.”

Those words stick with me tonight. I’m definitely in the walk through the flames part of the journey. It’s the ending and beginning of two very important chapters in my life, and it’s exhilarating and scary at the same time. As the blaze rages around me, I struggle with finding– and achieving– the perfect balance.

I know I’ll get there. And I know the next few weeks will be some of the hardest of my life. Il going to look back on New Orleans and the message in the palm reading that told me to stay focused, stay strong, and get through the opposite side alive.

Sometimes, it’s just about surviving the best you can.


The house of Voodoo– best fun   
I took a photo because of my daughter   
Bourbon street at night   

Only in New Orleans 

My final Cafe au Lait before flying off

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