But, after sweaty hours of unpacking my worn memories into an unfamiliar room, I caught a glimpse of why I chose New Orleans. New Orleans is a place that sparks history. I have never seen such a change in my parents; story after story spilled off of their lips with each landmark we passed. I heard heart-breaking tales of driving through this city to find a restroom during reconstruction and finding only skeleton houses and strewn streets; I walked down a street rebuild by my father's own hands.
I also learned, however, why people like my parents still come back to New Orleans time after time. I listened to tales of southern belles wishing to share a beer with workers from my church; I ate beignets and oysters with my parents and cherished the sweet tradition in the food. With these streets comes the thought of a church member we just recently lost who shared no shortage of story with me about her New Orleans. I can't help but look at the city through her eyes, decades ago, when she took the train into town in the summer.
So I still have some concerns and fear of my upcoming year, but as I sit in orientation in New York, I yearn to be back on the streets that house my future. The song I have attached—“Sailboat” by Ben Rector—perfectly sums up my emotions of being uprooted and displaced; however, I know the shore is nearby and that I have a constant lighthouse that is leading the way, always.