Every time I visit New Orleans, I allow myself a few minutes to picture living here again.
I try to visualize what my life would be like in this funky town I left more than thirty years ago to chase my career dreams. I think about where I’d live, who I would spend time with, where I would socialize and how I would make a living.
My social life would probably be active because people are born gregarious here. It is hard to be a hermit in New Orleans. I am regularly in touch with two of my oldest friends, occasionally in touch with two more and family contacts come and go but are always easy to re-establish so I would probably never be lonely. Would I make new, younger friends? Probably. I hang out with younger people now anyway because too many people my age think of themselves as old. I don’t, although I have ridiculous issues dealing with my age; I’ll save that for another post. One of my best friends doesn’t even know my exact age and until I get past that obstacle (maybe next year), I won’t be writing much about it here. But I digress.
How would I spend my free time? Music would be involved. It is part of the culture. Alcohol would be in the mix but hopefully not as much as it was in my younger days here. This place is surrounded by water (no kidding!) so I’d probably go fishing. And I know I’d be photographing constantly.
My career? Ha! That’s why I left to begin with; it is difficult to make a good living in media here. My talent is significantly better and more marketable than when I left, but pay scales are low here except for the more established people.
Where would I live? Probably Lakeview, the neighborhood where I spent my childhood. Of course that is the dilemma because that area was one of the flooded parts of town after Hurricane Katrina. But I like Lakeview and at least some of the direction it is taking during the recovery.
It took about fifteen minutes to write this. That is approximately how long I usually contemplate returning to the cool, musical, quirky town where I grew up. And this time, as always, I have come to the same conclusion: this is an awesome place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here again.