Before I closed the door behind me, I sighed and slowly turned around to reflect one last time. I looked at the living room, then the kitchen. A small smirk came across my face as I began to reminisce about the many emotions that transpired between those walls during the past 9 years. I experienced some beautiful memories in that place and heart wrenching ones too. As my eyes began to scan the area for the last time, I spotted a faint red stain on the carpet that was made years ago. I chuckled. I remember the night that stained was made and the drinking game that was being played which caused the stain. My eyes then quickly darted to a corner. I shook my head as I remembered sobbing uncontrollably in that space one day after receiving a text message that knocked the air out of my lungs. I stood frozen in a daze thinking, "Man, some stuff went down in this place and memories were made that I will keep with me forever." I became a little emotional then quickly waved the feelings off. I shrugged my shoulders and slammed the door. There was no need to reread that chapter because I had already started reading the next one, and just the first sentence of the new chapter has me on the edge of my seat, anxiously awaiting what's to come. The first four words of the new chapter reads, "Welcome to New Orleans!"
I finally made the move from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. I know some of you may be thinking that this isn't a major move, but to me it is - especially since I had been in my current place for almost 10 years. You see, this is a move I've been contemplating for a long time but didn't make a reality because I didn't want to start over, make new connections, find new grocery stores, get to know new neighbors, new smells, new sounds, etc. I was comfortable where I was with my usual routine...and talking about moving felt good, visiting the city with the reality of going back home felt good, but actually moving and staying in NOLA was another story (yea, that whole What is That in Your Hands post I wrote was for me). Then one day, I had an epiphany. I thought to myself, "how can you grow if you only do what's routine and comfortable?" I literally had an "ah-ha" moment, and from then on I began to put things together for the move. Just a month before this epiphany, I had the opportunity to sign another lease at my previous apartment which would have locked me in that contract for another year, but something told me not to sign the lease.....something said "step out on faith - I got you." And let me tell y'all this, my spirit wasn't lying. I've stepped out on faith, made the move, and God has shown up and out.
Now, as I type this, I'm chilling in my traditional New Orleans pad, baking some chicken, swaying my head to D'Angelo, and writing to ya'll. I just got to the city and already I've eaten at the best pizza place - Theo's Neighborhood Pizza, had the best hamburger at Camellia Grill, watched the Saints get embarrassed this past Sunday in the Super Dome, had some delicious blackened red fish and smothered cabbage at Jacques-Imo's, and browsed through some unique, cultural paintings at Frenchy's Art Gallery. To say the least, I've hit the ground running.....and I'm nowhere near tired yet.
I'm not sure what The Royal Chapter in NOLA holds. But I do know the author who wrote the chapter, and His books are always dope (shout out to God). Therefore, with the help of this renown author, I plan to make this chapter a page-turner. Get ready!
P.S. - I'm excited to take you guys on this journey with me! Stay tuned for pictures of the Queendom (my spot), my neighborhood, and more!
- Samjah Iman