Pic of the Week.

Surprise! Party's here!
Surprise! Party’s here!

I spent last week in Austin, and made the trek back to Baton Rouge late Friday night. I wanted to visit my kitty, get some packing done, and I had one final shift to work at my retail job. My friend Derek had been telling me for weeks he was going to come over Saturday night for a “packing party.”

So, Saturday night around 7, he knocks on my door with a few bottles of wine (standard practice in my household). We’re chatting and I’m well-aware that he looks dapper and I was in my pajamas having not showered for two days.

And then, there’s another knock on the door. No one ever knocks on my door, so that was weird. Upon opening said door, there were two of my friends — Liz and Ashley — SURPRISE! They had balloons and alcohol and smiles on their faces! It was amazing!

I was so freaking surprised, I can’t even put it into words really. Part of my wished I looked cuter and that my apartment wasn’t a wreck with boxes, but here were my friends, who really don’t care what I look like or the condition of my home. They understood, and it was really one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

Instead of packing, we ordered takeout and sat and drank and shot the shit. It was a fantastic Saturday night.

I don’t mean this to sound the wrong way, but I was feeling a little weird about my departure from Louisiana. I definitely have mixed feelings about it — I’ve lived in Baton Rouge for 12 years! There are certainly things I will always love about Baton Rouge: the oaks, the drive down Stanford Avenue (bonus points if you can catch the sunset), and the culture. There really is no place like it.

But, I’m excited for what’s to come. Sunday morning, Liz pretty much summed it up: “Are you excited about Austin? Not that many people get to start a life somewhere new…”

And she’s right. Not a lot of people do. And even already, I’ve questioned how I got so lucky for this opportunity that seems to be so perfect, that at times it feels like this moment was formed exactly for me.

Sunday night, I joined my friends for dinner — my “farewell dinner” — and as we were seated, I realized I was face-to-face with the woman who told me my services were “no longer needed” exactly 10 months ago. Things have really come full circle.

My official moving day is Saturday, and I still have so many ties in Baton Rouge that it won’t be my last time in town, of course. But being surrounded by so much love over the weekend made me feel happy and sad all at once.

It made me realize that I’ve been through a TON during my years in Louisiana, and I’m really lucky to have met some amazing people along the way.

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